Ultimate Guide to visit Nam Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park 

guide to Nam Cat Tien national park
Beautiful tree in nam cat tien national park

Cát Tiên National Park is a protected area located in the south of Vietnam, in the provinces of Đồng Nai, Bình Phước and Lâm Đồng. It is approximately 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh City. The park has an area of about 71,000 hectares and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical forests left in Vietnam. Since 2011, Cát Tiên National Park has been a part of Đồng Nai Biosphere Reserve.

nam cat tien national park
The local guide shares the story of the trees

The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including endangered species such as the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros, the Siamese crocodile, and the yellow-cheeked gibbon. The park also shelters diverse wildlife, from reptiles at Crocodile Lake to rare birds .

Opening Information: 6:30 AM – 6:30 PM everyday

Entrance Fee: Check out Offical Website of Nam Cat Tien National Park

How to travel to Nam Cat Tien National Park from Ho Chi Minh city – Saigon

By Bus

The distance from central Saigon to Cát Tiên National Park is approximately 220 km and takes around 3-4 hours to travel. There are two bus routes that operate between Saigon and Cát Tiên National Park:

  • Route 1: Saigon – Cát Tiên Highway. From here, you will need to take another taxi or motorbike taxi to reach the National Park area. The travel fee for a taxi is 300,000 VND and for a motorbike taxi is 180,000 VND in general. The advantage of this route is that you can travel to Cát Tiên National Park anytime during the day that you want, as Phuong Trang Bus Company organizes the bus every hour. Bus tickets cost about 190,000 VND (8 USD).
phuong trang bus to nam cat tien
Phuong Trang Bus to Nam Cat Tien
  • Route 2: Saigon – Cát Tiên Entrance. This bus route will take you directly from the bus station in Saigon to the entrance of Cát Tiên National Park. This bus starts at 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM every day from Saigon bus station. Kim Hoan Bus and Manh Hung Bus are two good travel bus companies where you can book the tickets. Bus tickets cost about 120,000 VND (5 USD) 

By Motorbike 

If you have your motorbike, that’s really convenient. It should take about 4 hours travel by motorbike from Saigon Ho Chi Minh city to Nam Cat Tien. 

nam cat tien travel by motorbike
Travel to Nam Cat Tien by motorbike is super fun

In central of Ho Chi Minh city, there are some motorbike rental company you can book with that give you a good rental price:

 

Style Motorbike: located in Vo Van Kiet street riverside area of Saigon Ho Chi Minh with many different kinds of bikes for you to choose from. If you are the first time rider we would recommend The Honda Wave is the most common motorbike / scooter in Vietnam. It is reliable, easy to ride and cheap. As it is semi-automatic with our free driving lesson most people will quickly and easily learn to ride. Pricing rental is about 240.000 vnd ( 10 usd ) per day 

Address: 368 Vo Van Kiet, District 1, HCMC 

What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

  1. Gibbon Trekking Tour – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 
nam cat tien gibbon adventures
Gibbon is hanging on the trees in Nam Cat Tien park

An early morning gibbon trek in Nam Cat Tien national park is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with some of Vietnam’s wildlife while on the lookout for one of the country’s most elusive primates.

Exotic plant, palm and vine species are abundant too – wind your way through wild bamboo, under creeping vines and around the trunks of gigantic yellow banyan trees, the oldest of which has been growing in the park for around 500 years.

This activity requires a guide to show and assist you to explore the park and will lead you across marked trails to follow the gibbons for around 2 hours. They can sometimes be seen swinging through the trees or heard calling to each other. Other primate species you may encounter include macaques and langurs. The forest is also home to a number of bird species including hornbills and jungle fowls, while woodpeckers can often be heard drilling into tree trunks. Rarer still are sightings of mouse deer, civets and snakes, although your guide may pick up foot prints or scent markings to point out to you.   

             2. Cycling – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

If you are a cycling lover so that would be a great trip if you can start from Saigon Ho Chi Minh and cycling down all the way to Nam Cat Tien national park on the first day. 

Nam Cat Tien national park cycling trip
Cycling to explore Nam Cat Tien park

Otherwise you can rent the bike inside national park, there are many different bikes and sizes you can choose from , its up to how your physical to explore the park on bike. The total route cycling a loop along national park will be about 55 km 

           3. Animal rescue center – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Cat Tien National Park has a research centre and sanctuary for Gibbons, and a rescue centre for Sun and Moon Bears.They have ~37 bears, rescued from illegal black market trading or from being farmed for their blood (to use in traditional medicine). The animals seemed distressed. As the bears were raised in captivity, many don’t know how to live unsupported by humans and are not suitable for release into the wild. The rescue centre was far from great, however, they are in the process of building a new centre with more outdoor space and better conditions. Funding for this project is raised through tours of the current rescue centre so it’s a catch-22 situation if you want to support the bears.

 

           4. Bird Photography Tour – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Birds photography Nam Cat Tien national park
Nam Cat Tien national park birds searching

 

Mammal species found in the park include Indochinese Tiger, Asian Elephant and the last surviving Annamese Rhino, a sub species of the Javan Rhinoes, although it is not easy to catch a glimpse of these. Wild boars, several species of deers and the rare Duoc Langurs and Crested Gibbons are sometimes seen.

 

The birding sites can vary from time to time, depending on the weather conditions and the level of physical exertion our travellers are ready for. Some sites may require hours of hard trekking through dense forests. At different sites, it is expected that we can observe different species of birds.

 

            5. Animal Night Safari Tour – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

It is not enough if you just have a Cat Tien National Park day trip, you should spend a night there and enjoy a guided night safari. This is the only place in Vietnam having this service. With a price of around 150,000 VND to 250,000 VND, tourists are carried and guided through the forest and seeing the animals running around, finding their prey or hiding from their predators.

night life safari tour nam cat tien

 

deer night safari life nam cat tien national park

 

            6. Bau Sau Trekking – Crocodile Lake – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Bau Sau nam cat tien exploration
Explore Bau Sau Nam Cat Tien
Trekking Bau Sau Nam Cat Tien
Beauty Nature of Bau Sau through the trekk

nam cat tien travel guide vietnam

Dubbed “Bàu Sấu” or Crocodile Lake, the water is home of hundreds of crocodiles. Here is glorious scenery you have never seen before. These crocodiles are endangered in the wild and listed in the World Red Book of Vietnam. They live in the lake, hunting and swimming night and day. A trek to Bau Sau is the best way to explore their life in the nature. You can see by your eye these crocodile in various sizes. Visitors also join the activity including boat rowing in Crocodile swamp. That’s full of challenging in Nam Cat Tien Park tour adventure.

 

            7. Giant Tung Tree – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Nature talk at Nam Cat Tien park
Explore and talk to nature
team group picture at nam cat tien
Giant tung tree nam cat tien

Nam Cat Tien has no shortage of old trees. But the 400-year-old Tung tree is famous by its loudest name, the Thunder Lizard, which is most impressive. The stump of the Thunder Lizard tree stood like a low wall, zigzagging through the dry leaves on the ground. From the national park headquarters, you walk or cycle for more than 2km on the main road, then go deep into the forest about 1km to reach this Tung tree. Don’t forget to ask for directions to the more than 700-year-old Uncle Dong percussion tree, the hundred-trunked tree over 400 years old, and the strange six-topped mausoleum tree!

              8. Ta Lai Ethinic Village – What to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Talai Village longhouse
Mary operation manager shares us story about Ta Lai longhouse community story

Ta Lai Tourist Village or Ta Lai Longhouse is a community tourism model located in Ta Lai commune, Tan Phu district, Dong Nai province, 20m from Vam Ho lake and 100m from Cat Tien national park.

Inside Ta Lai longhouse - Nam Cat Tien national park
Inside Ta Lai longhouse – Nam Cat Tien exploration
Visit Talai Longhouse at Nam Cat Tien
Ka Nga local guide at Talai Longhouse shares the stories

This is a project established by WWF (International Fund for Nature Protection) of Denmark and Vietnam, through the National program on developing ecotourism in protected areas in Vietnam in 2008, under sponsored by DANIDA, with the aim of contributing to nature conservation as well as community cultural development of local ethnic minorities.

Talai village nam cat tien
Explore Talai Village Nam Cat Tien

Coming to Ta Lai tourist village, visitors will participate in many interesting picnic activities such as: walking up Green Hill, visiting cocoa gardens, coffee gardens, kayaking on the river, or cycling around. village to see the peaceful gardens in the morning sunlight…

Talai Village explore Nam Cat Tien
Talai Village explores Nam Cat Tien

In addition, trekking activities explore the diversity of unique flora and fauna species in Cat Tien National Park, thereby gaining more knowledge about the uses of trees in the forest and setting up tents to sleep over. night in the forest to mingle with nature, is also very popular with experience enthusiasts.

Kayak at Ta Lai long house nam cat tien
Hung the local kayak guide at Nam Cat Tien shares the kayak tips before heading to the river
Kayak Nam Cat Tien fun time
Enjoy the time on the beautiful river at Nam Cat Tien
team kayaking ta lai longhouse nam cat tien
Enjoy the beautiful nature at Nam Cat Tien – Talai Longhouse

Accommodation in Nam Cat Tien 

  1. Talai Longhouse

Booking a stay or an activity at Ta Lai Longhouse means actively supporting local communities through a community fund, providing safe and stable employment to locals, and participate in a sustainable and responsible form of tourism.

Address:

2. Dream Hills Homestay

Located just 2 km from entrance gate of Nam Cat Tien in a quite beautiful rice field area, Dream Hills homestay such as perfect stay place for anyone looking for such a local and quite place.

Address: H, 2 600A, Nam Cát Tiên, Tân Phú, Đồng Nai 71000

That’s the ultimate guide that make your trip to Nam Cat Tien easier, at Jackfruit Adventure we are organizing lof of team building activities in Saigon Ho Chi Minh, team building Da Lat city and other cities in Vietnam. Contact us for more information about city cycling tour Ho Chi Minh

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