Ben En Wildlife guide – update 2023

Ben En National Park is located in Thanh Hoa Province in the north-central region of Vietnam. The park covers an area of 16,634 hectares and was established in 1992. The park is named after the two mountains within its boundaries – Ben En and Thung Khe.

The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including over 400 species of plants and over 60 species of animals. Some of the notable animal species found in the park include langurs, macaques, civets, and pangolins. The park is also home to a number of bird species, including the white-winged wood duck, which is a rare and endangered species.

Ben En National Park has a number of natural attractions, including caves, waterfalls, and lakes. One of the most popular attractions in the park is the Ben En Lake, which is surrounded by mountains and forests. You can take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the scenic views.

In addition to its natural attractions, the park also has cultural and historical significance. There are a number of ethnic minority groups living in and around the park, including the Thai, Muong, and Hmong. You can learn about the customs and traditions of these groups through cultural performances and visits to local villages.

Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: One interesting fact about Ben En National Park is that it is home to the largest population of the critically endangered Delacour's langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) in the world. This species of primate is endemic to northern Vietnam and is characterized by its black and white coloration, long tail, and distinctive crest of fur on its head. 
The Delacour's langur is considered to be one of the rarest primates in the world, with an estimated population of fewer than 250 individuals remaining in the wild. The conservation efforts of Ben En National Park have helped to protect this important species and ensure its survival for future generations.

Ben En National Park is a must-visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are 9 highlights to look forward to:

Here are nine highlights of Ben En National Park that nature and wildlife enthusiasts can look forward to:

  1. Delacour’s langur: As I mentioned earlier, Ben En National Park is home to the largest population of the critically endangered Delacour’s langur in the world. You can take a guided trek through the park to see these elusive primates in their natural habitat.
  2. Pu Luong Nature Reserve: Located in the southwestern part of the park, Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a beautiful area of limestone mountains, rice paddies, and traditional villages. You can take a guided trek through the reserve to see its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
  3. Ben En Lake: This stunning lake is located in the center of the park and is surrounded by limestone mountains and dense forest. You can take a boat tour of the lake or hike to the top of nearby mountains for panoramic views.
  4. Waterfalls: Ben En National Park is home to several beautiful waterfalls, including Ba Thuoc, Coi, and Mo Waterfall. You can take a guided tour to see these natural wonders up close.
  5. Caves: The park is also home to several impressive caves, including Son Moc, Rua, and Hoa Binh. You can explore these caves with a local guide and see their unique rock formations and underground rivers.
  6. Birdwatching: With over 120 species of birds recorded in the park, Ben En National Park is a great destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. Some of the notable species include the red-headed trogon, the white-rumped shama, and the black-crowned parrotbill.
  7. Trekking: There are several trekking routes in the park that offer you the chance to explore its diverse landscapes and wildlife. You can choose from a range of routes depending on their fitness level and interests.
  8. Traditional villages: Ben En National Park is also home to several traditional villages where You can learn about the local way of life and cultural traditions. Some of the notable villages include Ban Khoang, Ban Mu, and Ban Nua.
  9. Camping: For those who want to fully immerse themselves in nature, camping is a great option. There are several camping sites in the park where you can set up a tent and enjoy the tranquility of the wilderness
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Visit Ben En National Park for wildlife

Ben En National Park is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to a diverse range of animal species, including several rare and endangered ones. Some of the notable wildlife species that you can see in the park include:

  1. Delacour’s langur: As I mentioned earlier, Ben En National Park is home to the largest population of the critically endangered Delacour’s langur in the world. You can take a guided trek through the park to see these elusive primates in their natural habitat.
  2. Owston’s palm civet: This small carnivorous mammal is found only in northern Vietnam and southern China. It is considered to be endangered due to habitat loss and hunting, but a small population can still be found in Ben En National Park.
  3. Sunda pangolin: This unique and fascinating mammal is covered in scales and is known for its ability to roll up into a ball for protection. The Sunda pangolin is critically endangered due to hunting and poaching for its meat and scales, but a small population can still be found in the park.
  4. Annamite striped rabbit: This small rabbit is found only in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. It is considered to be endangered due to habitat loss and hunting, but a small population can still be found in the park.
  5. Black-shanked douc langur: This species of monkey is known for its colorful and distinctive appearance, with black fur on its limbs and face, and bright orange fur on its body. The black-shanked douc langur is considered to be endangered due to habitat loss and hunting, but a small population can still be found in the park.

These are just a few examples of the many wildlife species that you can see in Ben En National Park. The park is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts who want to see some of Vietnam’s most rare and fascinating animals in their natural habitat.

Tips

Visit Ben En National Park

While Ben En National Park is definitely a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts, there are also plenty of other reasons to visit the park even if you’re not primarily interested in wildlife. Here are a few examples:

  1. Natural beauty: Ben En National Park is a stunningly beautiful area, with towering limestone mountains, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes and rivers. You can take in the breathtaking scenery and enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature.
  2. Trekking and hiking: The park offers a range of trekking and hiking routes that allow you to explore its diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature lover, there are plenty of options to choose from.
  3. Water activities: Ben En Lake, located in the center of the park, is a great destination for water activities like swimming, boating, and kayaking. You can take a boat tour of the lake or hike to the top of nearby mountains for panoramic views.
  4. Cultural experiences: The park is also home to several traditional villages where you can learn about the local way of life and cultural traditions. Some of the notable villages include Ban Khoang, Ban Mu, and Ban Nua.
  5. Relaxation and rejuvenation: If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and unwind in a natural setting, Ben En National Park is the perfect destination. You can relax in the park’s natural hot springs, or indulge in a traditional massage or spa treatment.

These are just a few examples of the many reasons to visit Ben En National Park, even if you’re not primarily interested in wildlife. The park offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences.

There is no ATM here so its better that take cash with you

Go with local guide

We don’t tell you this to sell more tours, but simply because it’s the best way to see more wildlife.

And not to get lost…

The local guides know the park from the inside out and know where the animals often forage. More importantly, the guides have well-trained eyes that will help you to discover everything from the smallest to the largest wonders of Ben En national park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Bring a compass

This really only applies if you are visiting without a guide. Even though there has been some improvement on the more popular trails, still some trails in there are not well-marked. And besides that, there are no good trail maps available. Often (wildlife) trails branch off the original tourist trails and might cause confusion.

All people we have met who thought they had a good sense of direction, get totally disoriented in these jungles. It is easy when following e.g., a river. But once you get into the continuous forest it is really hard. Even the most basic map can help you if you bring a compass. Study the map before you start the trek.

If you do get lost, and know there is a road to the east that cuts through the entire park, a compass will help you find it. Without it, you are completely lost and will rely mostly on luck!

A compass and some basic study of the area/map would have solved this situation. Phone signal has improved a bit in recent years. But still, once you are deeper in the jungle, you won’t be able to call for help. With an analog compass, you do not rely on battery life.

The souvenir shop in the park at the visitor center might have cheap compasses in stock. But to be sure, better bring one from home or buy it before you enter the park, and test if it indeed points in the right direction…

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What is there to see?

Ben En National Park offers a range of natural and cultural attractions for you to see and explore. Here are a few examples of the things you can see in the park:

  1. Ben En Lake: This stunningly beautiful lake is located in the center of the park and is one of its main attractions. You can take a boat tour of the lake or hike to the top of nearby mountains for panoramic views.
  2. Waterfalls: The park is home to several beautiful waterfalls, including Ba Thuoc waterfall, Kho Muong waterfall, and Thac Mo waterfall. These cascading falls are surrounded by lush vegetation and are a great spot for photos.
  3. Caves: The park is home to a number of fascinating caves, including Son Duong cave, which is one of the largest and most impressive in Vietnam. You can explore the caves and marvel at their unique formations and features.
  4. Wildlife: As I mentioned earlier, the park is home to a diverse range of animal species, including several rare and endangered ones. You can take a guided trek through the park to see these animals in their natural habitat.
  5. Traditional villages: The park is also home to several traditional villages where you can learn about the local way of life and cultural traditions. Some of the notable villages include Ban Khoang, Ban Mu, and Ban Nua.
  6. Hot springs: The park is home to several natural hot springs that are said to have healing properties. You can relax in the warm waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

These are just a few examples of the things you can see in Ben En National Park. The park offers a wealth of natural and cultural attractions for you to explore and enjoy

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Other activities

In addition to the natural and cultural attractions, there are also a variety of activities available for you to enjoy in Ben En National Park. Here are some examples:

  1. Trekking and hiking: The park offers a range of trekking and hiking routes that allow you to explore its diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature lover, there are plenty of options to choose from.
  2. Cycling: The park’s scenic roads and trails make it a great destination for cycling enthusiasts. You can rent bicycles and explore the park at their own pace.
  3. Water activities: In addition to swimming, boating, and kayaking in Ben En Lake, you can also try their hand at fishing. The lake is home to several species of fish, including carp, tilapia, and snakehead.
  4. Camping: The park offers several campsites where you can pitch a tent and spend the night in nature. Camping is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty and enjoy some peace and quiet.
  5. Photography: Ben En National Park offers endless opportunities for photographers to capture stunning images of the park’s natural beauty and wildlife. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, the park is sure to inspire your creativity.

These are just a few examples of the activities available in Ben En National Park. The park offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or creative inspiration

How to get to Ben En National Park?

Ben En National Park is located in Thanh Hoa Province in northern Vietnam. Here are some options for getting to the park:

  1. By car: The easiest way to get to Ben En National Park is by car or motorbike. The park is located about 170 km from Hanoi and can be reached via National Highway 1A. The journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
  2. By bus: Several bus companies operate services between Hanoi and Thanh Hoa Province, with some buses stopping near the park entrance. The journey takes around 4-5 hours and can be arranged through your hotel or a travel agency.
  3. By train: The nearest train station to Ben En National Park is Thanh Hoa Station, which is located about 50 km from the park. From there, you can take a taxi or hire a car to reach the park.
  4. By private transfer: Many hotels and travel agencies offer private transfer services from Hanoi to Ben En National Park. This is a more expensive option but offers the convenience of door-to-door service.

Once you arrive at the park, you can arrange for a local guide to take you on a trek or tour of the park’s attractions. There are also several hotels and guesthouses located near the park entrance if you wish to stay overnight.

Weather & Climate in Ben En National Park

Ben En National Park experiences a typical tropical climate with two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. Here’s a brief overview of the weather and climate in Ben En National Park:

  1. Dry season (November to April): During the dry season, the weather in the park is generally cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. This is considered the best time to visit the park, as the weather is comfortable and the skies are clear.
  2. Rainy season (May to October): The rainy season in Ben En National Park is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity. Temperatures during this time range from 20°C to 30°C. While the park can still be visited during the rainy season, trekking and other outdoor activities may be more challenging due to the wet conditions.

It’s worth noting that temperatures and weather conditions can vary depending on the elevation and location within the park. Higher elevations are generally cooler, while low-lying areas may be warmer and more humid. You are advised to check the weather forecast before traveling to the park and to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions.

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