Nam Cat Tien National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn quốc gia Nam Cát Tiên, vườn quốc gia mean national park) is one of the areas with the most diverse ecosystems in Vietnam. Experiencing a “green travel” trip and enjoying fresh natural spaces is an effective method to help us heal and renew ourselves. In addition to adventure tourism models, when you come to explore Nam Cat Tien, tourist can experience many attractive activities such as trekking, camping, watching nocturnal animals… This is definitely one of the tourist destinations near the city, ideal for you and your family to have fun on holidays or weekend getaway outside the noisy city.

General information about Nam Cat Tien National Park 

Located 160 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Nam Cat Tien National Park stretches over 70,000 hectares, including the districts of Tan Phu, Vinh Cuu (Dong Nai), Bao Loc (Lam Dong) and Bu Dang (Binh Phuoc). Initially, this area was divided into Nam Cat Tien forest and Tay Cat Tien forest, but later the two areas were connected into a nature reserve.

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve since 2001, Nam Cat Tien National Park is a valuable natural treasure of Vietnam and the whole world. In addition, Bau Sau wetland in Nam Cat Tien was also recognized as an international Ramsar site in 2005. In 2012, the Vietnamese Government ranked Cat Tien National Park as a special national monument. 

Bau Sau area in Nam Cat Tien

Bau Sau area in Nam Cat Tien

The park is a great destination for those who love nature and want to explore the diversity of flora and fauna. About 50% of Cat Tien’s area is green forest, 40% is bamboo forest, 10% is farm. Typical animals include: Asian elephant, gaur, sun bear, moon bear, wild buffalo, leopard, clouded leopard, deer…The National Park is also the “home” of more than 300 bird species and 450 butterfly species, accounting for nearly 50% of the species in Vietnam...Among them, 40 species are listed in the world’s Red Book, especially the one-horned rhino.

animals in Nam Cat Tien

There is also a bear rescue station located on Fairy Island (Vietnamese: đảo Tiên) with many rare animals such as yellow-cheeked gibbons, silver langurs, black-shanked douc langurs, and small lorises).

The journey to Nam Cat Tien National Park is not only a trip, but coming here also helps you experience a fresh and quiet atmosphere different from the hustle and bustle of the city. Under the morning sunlight, you can wander in the fresh forest, listen to birds singing and immerse yourself in pristine nature.

What is the best time to visit this national park?

Choosing the right time to explore Nam Cat Tien National Park can significantly affect your experience. Between December and May, when the weather is stable and dry, it is the ideal time to enjoy the natural beauty here. With a mild climate, you can cycle through the forest, walk, sightsee or even camp overnight to enjoy the quiet natural space. In particular, around March, this place will be filled with flocks of flying butterflies, giving you memorable experiences.

time to visit Nam Cat Tien

If your plans fall between June and November, carefully monitor the weather forecast before departing. This will help you avoid unexpected rainy days and enjoy your trip without interruption. 

Things to do in Nam Cat Tien National Park

Nam Cát Tiên is not only a perfect place for wildlife lovers. It’s one of the most attractive cultural and eco-tourism destinations in the Southeast Region where you can experience all kinds of tours.

Trekking tour

It’s a truly wonderful experience to explore the region. Many tourist agents offer you a short trip, approx distance 6km (roundtrip), to explore the jungle and witness some old & giant trees which have been surviving for hundred years.

giant trees in Nam Cat Tien

(Source: namcattien)

Trekking through the forest at Nam Cat Tien National Park will bring you an adventurous journey in the heart of wild nature. You will discover many impressive natural landscapes from trails, along winding rivers, to waterfalls, and pristine forests. This will be a journey that challenges your endurance, and gives you a strong feeling of connection with nature.
Throughout the journey, you will have the opportunity to encounter wild animals such as monkeys, antelopes, and even rare birds.

Nam Cat Tien trip

Along with rich animals, you can also meet the unique plants of Nam Cat Tien: the giant Tung tree with a lifespan of more than 500 years, the sycamore trees with a giant root system, or trees with a trunk larger than 2 meters.

When trekking in Nam Cat Tien forest, you need to prepare all personal items, tent, sleeping bag, food, water, and insect repellent. Besides, to ensure smooth and safe travel, you should depart during the day and avoid traveling in the forest at night

Night safari

Discovering the life of nocturnal animals at Nam Cat Tien National Park is a fascinating and interesting experience. You will enter a completely different world when the sun goes down, and the animals’ nightlife begins. To participate in this activity, you just need to contact the management board of Nam Cat Tien tourist area to book tickets.

night safari in Nam Cat Tien

Experienced guides will take you to places where many animals are active. You can use a flashlight to observe the animals more closely. Samba deer, wild pigs, porcupines, guar, weasels, civet cats, barking deers, mongoose, elephants, rhinoceros… are animals you can encounter on this journey. You will observe how they search for food, build nests, and protect their territory in the dark.

Gaur in Nam Cat Tien

Gaur in Nam Cat Tien

The gentle steps under the canopy of trees, the clacking sound of deer looking for food, or the rubbing sound of weasels on tree branches, all create a vivid and magical picture. Most of the night safari tours take place from 19pm and finish around 21pm.

Explore Bau Sau – crocodile lake

Bau Sau (Vietnamese: Bàu Sấu) is one of the most popular tourist sites in Nam Cat Tien National Park. This is a wetland located in the south of the national park, home to Siamese crocodiles, a rare species that needs to be preserved. Siamese crocodiles in Bau Sau have an average length of 2.2 to 2.8m, with a long body and a clamp-like snout. Their main food is fish, crabs, birds and small animals.

Siamese crocodile in Nam Cat Tien

This area is managed by Cat Tien National Park and Bau Sau ranger station, so if you want to visit, you need to register in advance. The 14 km journey from the administrative center to Bau Sau includes 9 km of driving and 5 km of walking through the forest. In the first 9 km, you can use a jeep or bicycle to move, then in the next 5 km you will explore the beauty of the old forest with ancient trees and exposed roots on foot.

Siamese crocodiles in Nam Cat Tien national park

The surface of Bau Sau Lake is more than 2,500 hectares in the rainy season, but in the dry season, the lake surface is only 100 to 150 hectares. During the day, you can relax on the shore watching crocodiles swimming, or use the ranger station’s boating service to visit the lake. Especially at sunset, you can admire the beautiful scenery on the lake and take impressive photos.

Take a boat ride along the river

A boat driver will take you along the Dong Nai River, observe the many birdlife activities or glimpse some wildlife along the riverbanks. To capture these moments, bring along a pair of binoculars or a high-resolution camera.

boating in Nam Cat Tien

Kayaking along the river in the morning or late afternoon is also an extremely interesting activity in Nam Cat Tien which attracting many young people to participate. You have the opportunity to experience the unsteady feeling of the boat moving smoothly on the river surface and see the forest edge ecosystem such as vegetation, birds, and wild animals.

Kayak in Nam Cat Tien

Visit animal rescue centers

There are 02 rescue centers in Nam Cat Tien National Park:

1, Dao Tien Rescue center

The center is located in Dong Nai River upstream, about 5 minutes by boat from the park headquarters, with an area of up to 57 hectares, Dao Tien (Vietnamese: Đảo Tiên, English means Fairy Island) is not only a vast jungle but also a place to rescue, care for and preserve rare animals. Most of the animals are being helped in this center were the victims of the illegal wildlife trade. This area plays an important role in protecting these species from extinction and providing a safe natural environment for them to thrive.

Here, you will encounter endangered primates such as golden-cheeked gibbons, black shanked douc, silvered langur, and pygmy loris…; at the same time learn more about the works of the center.

Entrance ticket cost from 300.000VND/adult.

2, Cat Tien Bear Rescue Centre:

This place is also known by many people as a bear rescue station. Bears injured by illegal hunting will be brought here for treatment, care, and released back into the wild. The staff at the rescue station are always dedicated to creating a cozy environment for the bears, helping them recover and return to the wild in good health.

Not only a home for sun bears, Asian black bears, the station also operates as a rehabilitation center for leopards, crocodiles, peafowl. Tourists will see them in their semi wild environment as well as learn about works of volunteers. In order to visit the bear rescue centre, tourist need to contact and book a ticket with the office in advance.

Explore about Ta La ethnic culture

At Ta Lai village, you will enter the colorful and diverse world of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, where people still retain their authenticity and simplicity with unique customs and traditions.
An experiential journey in the village gives you the opportunity to learn deeply about the unique culture here, from clothing, music to traditional handicrafts. In particular, you can participate in handicraft making activities, learn how to weave brocade (a traditional craft of the Ma ethnic group), and enjoy traditional dishes.

Ta Lai village in Nam Cat Tien
To get to Ta Lai, you can rent a bicycle for convenience and to save time. Along the way, you will feel close to nature, admire the fresh landscape and interact directly with local people on the trails.

How to get to Nam Cát Tiên?

From Hochiminh city, it takes around 3 and a half-hour of driving to Nam Cát Tiên. There are also two popular ways to get here.
By local buses: they depart from Eastern Bus Station in Hochiminh. Here are some of our recommendations include Kim Hoàn bus, Mạnh Hùng bus, Bé bus…Also, it cost around 200,000VND for a bus ticket.
By car rental service with a driver: this is the best way to travel to Nam Cát Tiên for your group or with family members as the car/bus can come and pick you up from your accommodation in the city. Also, it can stop along the way or you can use it to visit other places.

private car from Ho Chi Minh to Nam Cat Tien

Some notes when traveling to Nam Cát Tiên

In order for the trip to the jungle to be the most convenient and safe, you need to note some of the following issues:

  • Prepare food and water before going to visit any tourist sites in the forest
  • Topical insect repellent.
  • Should wear trousers and closed shirts, strong shoes, leech shocks…and choose a dark color so that birds and wild animals don’t run away.
  • Bring a sun hat, raincoat, flashlight

Warmest Greetings To All from Viet Dream Travel! We offer full package to visit Nam Cat Tien for 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights trekking tour to this national park. So do not hesitate to contact us at:

Office number: (028) 3838 8322 – Hotline/SMS/Whatsapp/Viber/Zalo – (+84) 918 709 338


Best regards,