Hoang Lien Wildlife guide – update 2023

Hoang Lien National Park is a protected area located in the Lao Cai province of northern Vietnam. It covers an area of approximately 30,000 hectares and is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.

The park is named after the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which is the highest mountain range in Vietnam and includes Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina. The park’s terrain is characterized by rugged mountains, deep valleys, and dense forests, making it a popular destination for hiking and trekking.

The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many rare and endangered species. Some of the animals that can be found in the park include black bears, sun bears, red pandas, and serows. The park also has a rich cultural heritage, with several ethnic minority communities living within its boundaries.

Visitors to Hoang Lien National Park can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, trekking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The park also offers opportunities for rock climbing, mountain biking, and other adventure activities. There are several waterfalls and rivers in the park, providing opportunities for swimming, fishing, and kayaking

Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: One interesting fact about Hoang Lien National Park is that it is home to Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina, with an elevation of 3,147 meters (10,308 feet). Fansipan is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers looking for a challenge, and the park offers a variety of trails and routes to the summit. In addition to its height, Fansipan is known for its stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and the Muong Hoa Valley.

Hoang Lien is a must-visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are 9 highlights to look forward to:

Hoang Lien National Park is a must-visit destination for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are nine highlights to look forward to:

  1. Fansipan: Fansipan is the highest peak in Indochina and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Hiking to the summit is a challenging but rewarding experience.
  2. Rare and endangered species: The park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including black bears, sun bears, red pandas, and serows.
  3. Waterfalls: The park is home to several waterfalls, including the Silver Waterfall and the Love Waterfall, which are popular destinations for swimming and picnicking.
  4. Ethnic minority communities: Several ethnic minority communities live within the park’s boundaries, offering opportunities to learn about their unique cultural traditions and practices.
  5. Trekking: The park offers a range of trekking opportunities, from short hikes to multi-day expeditions, through some of the most stunning scenery in Vietnam.
  6. Birdwatching: Hoang Lien National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 300 species of birds recorded in the area.
  7. Rock climbing: The park offers opportunities for rock climbing, with several routes available for climbers of all skill levels.
  8. Mountain biking: The park’s rugged terrain makes it a popular destination for mountain biking enthusiasts, with several trails available.
  9. Muong Hoa Valley: The Muong Hoa Valley is a stunning area with terraced rice fields and traditional villages, offering a glimpse into the local way of life
Hoang Lien National Park
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Visit Hoang Lien for wildlife.

Hoang Lien National Park is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including black bears, sun bears, red pandas, and serows. You can also spot a wide variety of bird species in the park, with over 300 recorded in the area.

To increase the chances of spotting wildlife, it is recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the area and can take you to the best spots for wildlife viewing. Additionally, visitors should always respect the park’s rules and regulations and avoid disturbing the animals or their natural habitats.

While wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, visiting Hoang Lien National Park is a unique opportunity to experience Vietnam’s rich biodiversity and learn about the efforts being made to protect these important species.

Tips

Visit Hoang Lien

Hoang Lien National Park is a great destination for visitors interested in exploring Vietnam’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, even if they are not specifically interested in wildlife. Here are some of the highlights of the park that may interest visitors:

  1. Fansipan: Fansipan is the highest peak in Indochina and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Hiking to the summit is a challenging but rewarding experience.
  2. Waterfalls: The park is home to several waterfalls, including the Silver Waterfall and the Love Waterfall, which are popular destinations for swimming and picnicking.
  3. Ethnic minority communities: Several ethnic minority communities live within the park’s boundaries, offering opportunities to learn about their unique cultural traditions and practices.
  4. Trekking: The park offers a range of trekking opportunities, from short hikes to multi-day expeditions, through some of the most stunning scenery in Vietnam.
  5. Rock climbing: The park offers opportunities for rock climbing, with several routes available for climbers of all skill levels.
  6. Mountain biking: The park’s rugged terrain makes it a popular destination for mountain biking enthusiasts, with several trails available.
  7. Muong Hoa Valley: The Muong Hoa Valley is a stunning area with terraced rice fields and traditional villages, offering a glimpse into the local way of life

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

Go with local guide

We WANEE 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 Hoang Lien national park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Visit on weekdays

Hoang Lien national park is Vietnam’s most popular national park. 80% of the visitors in Hoang Lien are Vietnamese. It is great to see that locals are enjoying their own nature parks, which will only make them more aware of what still survives there. And hopefully helps in the protection of these wonderful places. But you might be looking for a place to get away from your busy daily life.

Try to avoid weekends and national holidays. If your planning only allows a visit on the weekend, it is definitely still worth visiting. But you will have to share the roads and the main attractions like the trails with many locals.

Like in other parks around the world with high visitor numbers, wildlife has learned that people are not to be feared. That’s why the popular parks often offer better wildlife observation opportunities than nature reserves with very low visitor numbers and therefore often bigger problems with poaching. The good news is that generally speaking, Vietnamese do not really like walking. Even less when it is in a jungle. So, even on busy weekends, you might still have the forest to yourself.

Do NOT feed the animals

Most people understand you should not feed the wildlife. In Hoang Lien, the wildlife is quite shy but if you find some young macaque or mammals “DON’T FEED THEM”

Feeding wild animals can significantly change their behavior. Feeding or leaving unattended food to large animals, such as bears, can lead them to aggressively seek out food from people, sometimes resulting in injury. Feeding can also alter animal behavior so that animals routinely travel in larger groups, which can make disease transmission between animals more likely.

Bring a Outdoor clothings

Updating…

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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Park restaurants close early?

Where you eat will largely depend upon where you stay as you’re likely to eat most of your meals dinner at least at your hotel or guesthouse. If you are out and about in the national park, you can eat at one of the restaurants at HQ. The Restaurant is located next to the information center and is a better option than Dipterocarpus doesn’t ask in terms of food and surroundings.

The menu consists of reasonably priced Vietnamese rice, noodle, meat, and fish dishes – expect to pay around 150,000 VND for a dinner of stir-fried chicken, rice, and a vegetable side with a drink, less if you just want noodles or a stir-fried rice.

Buy leech socks and insect repellent

On our tours, we provide leech socks when necessary, but if you’re visiting the park on your own and plan on trekking in the jungle, especially in the months of Jun to October, buy a pair of leech socks and insect repellent in the souvenir shop in the park.

And wear long pants that you can tuck into these leech socks. You will probably regret wearing shorts.It sounds more scary than it is, leeches are small worm-like creatures of 1 to 3 cm long. They don’t transmit diseases. Though there have been some unusual cases of hookworm entering the bite site.

This is not scary either and definitely not common. But if you start to notice a strong itch a couple days after and see a red trail meandering just below your skin starting from the leech bite site, then it is wise to either take deworm medication or freeze it with nitrogen ice or the freeze spray used for sports injuries.

The leech bite does not hurt, usually, you don’t feel anything at all. The only ‘problem’ with leeches is that if they attach long enough, more than 30 seconds or so, they will inject anticoagulant. When you remove them afterward, they will keep bleeding for quite a while. So, getting blood stains on your clothing is the only real trouble.

For some people, just the idea of being ‘attacked’ by leeches is the biggest issue Lol.

Accommodations

Traveling to Hoang Lien you will not have to worry about the accommodation to stay overnight. There are many options for you to choose from, from the homestay to the resort. Below are some options for accommodation in Hoang Lien National Park you can choose to stay.

What is there to see?

Hoang Lien National Park is a protected area in the northwestern region of Vietnam, covering an area of over 30,000 hectares. The park is known for its diverse ecosystem, including lush forests, high mountains, and pristine waterfalls.

One of the main attractions of Hoang Lien National Park is Mount Fansipan, which is the highest peak in Vietnam, standing at 3,143 meters above sea level. The mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, and it is a popular spot for hiking and trekking.

In addition to Mount Fansipan, Hoang Lien National Park is home to several other mountains, including Mount Pu Luong, Mount O Quy Ho, and Mount Ngu Chi Son, which provide a variety of trekking and hiking routes for visitors to explore.

The park is also home to several ethnic minority communities, such as the Hmong, Dao, and Tay, who have their own unique cultures and traditions. Visitors can learn about their way of life and even stay in a homestay to experience their daily routines.

Other attractions within Hoang Lien National Park include the Silver Waterfall, Love Waterfall, and Tram Ton Pass, which are all worth a visit for their natural beauty and breathtaking scenery

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Other activities

In addition to trekking and hiking, there are several other activities that you can enjoy in Hoang Lien National Park. Here are some examples:

  1. Cycling: The park offers several cycling routes that allow you to explore the surrounding landscapes and enjoy the fresh mountain air. You can rent a bike from one of the local shops or bring your own.
  2. Wildlife watching: Hoang Lien National Park is home to a wide variety of animal species, including gibbons, bears, monkeys, and many types of birds. You can join a guided tour to spot some of these animals in their natural habitats.
  3. Photography: With its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife, Hoang Lien National Park is a paradise for photographers. You can capture some breathtaking shots of the mountains, waterfalls, and forests.
  4. Homestay: Staying with a local family in one of the ethnic minority villages is a great way to learn about their culture and way of life. You can participate in their daily activities, such as farming and cooking, and get a glimpse of their traditions and customs.
  5. Spa and wellness: After a day of hiking or cycling, you can relax and rejuvenate at one of the spa and wellness centers in the park. They offer a range of services, such as massages, hot baths, and herbal treatments.

These are just a few examples of the activities that you can enjoy in Hoang Lien National Park. With its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the park offers something for everyone

How to get to Hoang Lien?

Hoang Lien National Park is located in the northwest region of Vietnam, near the city of Sapa. Here are some ways to get to the park:

  1. By air: The closest airport to Hoang Lien National Park is in Hanoi, which is about 300 kilometers away. From there, you can take a bus or a private car to Sapa, which is the gateway to the park.
  2. By bus: There are several bus companies that operate daily services from Hanoi to Sapa. The journey takes about 6-7 hours, depending on the traffic and weather conditions. You can book your tickets online or at one of the bus stations in Hanoi.
  3. By train: The train is a popular option for travelers who want to enjoy the scenic views of the countryside. There are several trains that run from Hanoi to Lao Cai, which is the nearest station to Sapa. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to Sapa.
  4. By private car: If you prefer a more comfortable and convenient way to get to Hoang Lien National Park, you can hire a private car from Hanoi. This option is more expensive than the bus or train, but it allows you to stop at any point along the way and enjoy the scenery.

Once you reach Sapa, you can hire a local guide or join a tour to explore Hoang Lien National Park. It’s important to note that some areas of the park may require a permit, so it’s best to check with your guide or the park authorities before you set out on your adventure

Weather & Climate in Hoang Lien

The weather in Hoang Lien National Park is influenced by its high altitude and location in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Here’s what you can expect in terms of climate:

  1. Dry season: The dry season in Hoang Lien National Park runs from October to April. During this time, the weather is generally cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 10-20°C (50-68°F) in the daytime and dropping to as low as 0°C (32°F) at night. This is a great time for trekking and hiking, as the trails are less muddy and the views are clearer.
  2. Wet season: The wet season in Hoang Lien National Park runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is warmer and more humid, with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C (59-77°F) in the daytime and around 10°C (50°F) at night. There can be heavy rainfall, particularly in July and August, which can make the trails slippery and muddy.

It’s important to note that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, and conditions can change quickly. It’s best to check the weather forecast before you set out and bring appropriate gear for any weather conditions, such as rain jackets, warm clothing, and sturdy hiking boots.

Overall, Hoang Lien National Park is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the activities you want to do. If you’re planning to hike or trek, the dry season is the ideal time, while the wet season can be a good option for waterfall enthusiasts and photographers

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