Bach Ma National Park of Hue: Centre of flora Diversity in Vietnam

Located in central Vietnam’s Thua Thien Hue province, Bach Ma National Park stands as the epitome of the country’s floral diversity. Positioned approximately 700 km south of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, and 1,000 km north of Ho Chi Minh City, the park encompasses an area of about 22,000 hectares across the districts of Phu Loc and Nam Dong. At its heart lies Bach Ma mountain peak, towering at 1450 meters above sea level and a mere 18 km from the coastline.

Overview of Bach Ma National Park

Overview of Bach Ma National Park
Overview of Bach Ma National Park

The climate in Bach Ma National Park follows a tropical pattern, characterized by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season, influenced by the monsoon.

Visitors should be prepared for the unpredictable weather, which can shift from sunshine to darkness and from clouds to rain in a short span of time. Particularly from September to December, the park experiences heavy rainfall, averaging approximately 8,000 mm annually. During the months of May to August, hot and dry winds prevail, while the period from June to November may see the occurrence of typhoons.

The name “Bach Ma” (“white horse”) carries a significant association in Vietnamese tradition, referring to the white cloud that often crowns the peak of the mountain. As visitors approach the park, they may encounter remnants of the Vietnam War, evidenced by hills that still bear the scars of defoliant spraying and have yet to fully recover.

Flora and Fauna of Bach Ma National Park

Flora and Fauna of Bach Ma National Park
Flora and Fauna of Bach Ma National Park

1. The Flora

Bach Ma National Park’s strategic location, bordering both Northern and Southern Vietnam, contributes to its rich biodiversity, encompassing diverse habitats ranging from coastal areas to high mountains.

The park boasts a remarkable flora, with a total of 2,147 species, representing approximately one-fifth of Vietnam’s entire flora. Among these species, 86 are classified as endangered and listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.

The main vegetation types within Bach Ma National Park include lush moist green forests, montane forests, and areas covered with scrubby grass. These habitats provide essential ecosystems for a variety of plant and animal species, sustaining the livelihoods of local communities.

2. Fauna

Bach Ma National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, housing numerous endemic and rare species that underscore its status as a biodiversity hotspot. Here’s an overview of the recorded species within the park:

  • Mammals: The park is home to 132 species of mammals, many of which are well-known in Vietnam.
  • Birds: With 358 bird species, Bach Ma National Park represents a significant portion of Vietnam’s avifauna.
  • Reptiles: The park boasts 31 reptile species, contributing to its reptilian diversity.
  • Amphibians: There are 21 frog species in the park, highlighting its amphibian richness.
  • Fish: Bach Ma National Park’s aquatic ecosystems support 57 fish species, indicating a diverse aquatic community.
  • Insects: With 894 identified insect species, the park plays a crucial role in invertebrate conservation efforts.

A standout example of the park’s conservation significance is the rediscovery of the Sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) in Vietnam in 1992. This elusive species, also known as the “Asian unicorn,” was previously believed to be extinct by the 1940s. Its presence in Bach Ma National Park underscores the importance of conservation initiatives in safeguarding Vietnam’s unique biodiversity.

What to Do at Bach Ma National Park?

What to Do at Bach Ma National Park?
What to Do at Bach Ma National Park?

In the buffer zone surrounding Bach Ma National Park, visitors can engage in various activities that showcase the area’s rich biodiversity and support local communities. One such activity is the establishment of medicinal plant gardens in Khe Su village, located approximately 2 km from the park entrance. Tourists are encouraged to contribute to the development fund of the village by donating a nominal fee of 40,000 VND (about USD 2).

For bird enthusiasts, the buffer zone offers an exceptional opportunity for bird-watching. With over one-third of Vietnam’s bird species found in the area, visitors can witness a diverse array of avian life. From pigeons, bulbuls, and malkohas to crow pheasants, herons, and egrets, the park teems with bird species. Lucky observers may even spot parakeets, kingfishers, and jungle fowl amidst the lush surroundings, making it a paradise for bird-watchers.

How to Get There?

Bach Ma National Park is conveniently located within reach from several major cities in central Vietnam. Situated just 40 km from Hue, 65 km from Da Nang, and 90 km from Hoi An, the park offers easy access for travelers. The park headquarters and entrance are approximately three km from the small town of Cau Hai, where the park road intersects with National Route No. 1.

Travelers have various transportation options to reach the park. Buses are an ideal choice for those who wish to enjoy the scenic landscapes along the route. Additionally, there is a railway station in Cau Hai, providing another transportation option for visitors. Frequent buses from both Hue and Da Nang also offer convenient access to Bach Ma National Park, making it easily accessible from neighboring cities.

Suggested next discovery destinations near Bach Ma National Park

After exploring the wonders of Bach Ma National Park, there are countless other incredible destinations to discover in central Vietnam. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Thien Mu Pagoda: Discover the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple overlooking the Perfume River. Marvel at its elegant architecture and tranquil surroundings.
  • Minh Mang Tomb: Explore the majestic Minh Mang Tomb, one of the most impressive royal tombs in Hue. Admire its grandiose architecture, beautiful gardens, and serene atmosphere.
  • Khai Dinh Tomb: Visit the ornate Khai Dinh Tomb, a fusion of Vietnamese and European architectural styles. Explore its intricate details, colorful mosaics, and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Lang Co Beach: Relax and unwind on the pristine shores of Lang Co Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fresh seafood in this idyllic coastal setting.

Book Tours with Vietnam Discover Travel

Planning and booking in advance is key to ensuring an exceptional vacation experience in Hue. Discover Vietnam Travel stands out among the numerous tour companies in Vietnam, offering seamless coordination and personalized services to make your travel dreams a reality. Whether you’re looking for airport transfers, accommodation booking, or customizable activities, Discover Vietnam Travel has you covered. With just a few emails or WhatsApp messages, you can tailor your trip to your desired schedule and preferences, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience throughout Vietnam. Trust in their expertise to create unforgettable memories on your journey through Hue and beyond.