Vu Quang Wildlife guide – update 2023

Vu Quang National Park is a protected area located in the northeastern part of Vietnam, covering an area of 550 square kilometers (212 square miles). It was established in 2002 and is named after the Vu Quang mountain range, which runs through the park.

The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, with over 1,000 plant species and more than 400 animal species recorded within its borders. Some of the notable species found in the park include the Saola (an endangered bovine species), the Truong Son muntjac (a type of deer), and the Annamite striped rabbit.

The park is also home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Kinh, Thai, and Hmong people. Visitors to the park can learn about the traditional cultures and practices of these communities through homestay programs and cultural tours.

In addition to its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage, Vu Quang National Park is also known for its scenic landscapes, including mountain ranges, forests, waterfalls, and rivers. Trekking, camping, and birdwatching are popular activities in the park.

Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: One interesting fact about Vu Quang National Park is that it was the location where the Saola, one of the world's rarest and most elusive large mammals, was first discovered in 1992. This species, also known as the "Asian Unicorn," is critically endangered, with less than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. Its discovery in Vu Quang National Park helped to highlight the importance of conservation efforts in the region and sparked further research into the species. The park remains one of the key habitats for the Saola, and conservation efforts are ongoing to protect this unique and rare animal.

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

Here are 9 highlights to look forward to when visiting Vu Quang National Park in Vietnam:

  1. Spotting the elusive Saola, one of the world’s rarest and most enigmatic mammals.
  2. Hiking through the park’s scenic landscapes, including mountain ranges, forests, and waterfalls.
  3. Observing the park’s diverse birdlife, including several endemic species such as the Grey-crowned crocias.
  4. Learning about the traditional cultures and practices of the ethnic minority groups that call the park home.
  5. Trekking through the park’s remote and pristine forests to experience the full range of its biodiversity.
  6. Exploring the park’s many rivers and streams, which are home to a variety of aquatic species.
  7. Camping under the stars in one of the park’s designated camping areas.
  8. Learning about the conservation efforts underway to protect the park’s unique biodiversity.
  9. Visiting nearby attractions such as the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which is known for its stunning cave systems
Vu Quang national park
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Visit Vu Quang for wildlife.

If you’re interested in wildlife, Vu Quang National Park is definitely worth a visit. As one of the most biologically diverse regions in Vietnam, the park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the Saola, the Truong Son muntjac, and the Annamite striped rabbit.

In addition to these larger mammals, the park also boasts a rich diversity of birdlife, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Visitors can take guided tours through the park to observe these species in their natural habitats and learn about the park’s conservation efforts to protect them.

Trekking and camping are popular activities in the park, and visitors may also have the opportunity to interact with some of the ethnic minority groups that call the park home and learn about their traditional hunting and gathering practices.


Visit Vu Quang

While Vu Quang National Park is certainly known for its wildlife and biodiversity, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the park as well. Here are a few:

  1. Scenic beauty: The park’s rugged landscapes, including mountains, forests, and waterfalls, offer visitors breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking and trekking.
  2. Cultural experiences: The park is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Kinh, Ta Oi, and Van Kieu, who have maintained their traditional cultures and practices. Visitors can learn about these cultures and interact with the local people.
  3. Historical significance: During the Vietnam War, the park was the site of several battles and served as a supply route for the Ho Chi Minh trail. Visitors can learn about this history and visit historical sites within the park.
  4. Adventure activities: In addition to hiking and trekking, the park offers opportunities for other adventure activities, such as river rafting, kayaking, and mountain biking.
  5. Peaceful retreat: The park’s remote location and peaceful surroundings make it an ideal destination for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in nature

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 Vu Quang national park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Visit on weekdays

Vu Quang national park is Vietnam’s most popular national park. 80% of the visitors in Vu Quang 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 Vu Quang, 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

Most of the time in Vu Quang quite humid and hot, you should prepare suitable clothing and suncream

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.


Traveling to Vu Quang 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 Vu Quang National Park you can choose to stay.

What is there to see?

Frame phong canh 13 WANEE asia
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Other activities

In addition to wildlife viewing, there are many other activities to enjoy in Vu Quang National Park. Here are a few:

  1. Trekking and hiking: The park offers many trekking and hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the park’s rugged landscapes and natural beauty. There are trails suitable for all levels of fitness and experience.
  2. River rafting and kayaking: The park’s rivers offer opportunities for river rafting and kayaking, which are popular activities for adventure seekers.
  3. Mountain biking: The park’s terrain is ideal for mountain biking, and visitors can rent bikes in nearby towns and explore the park on two wheels.
  4. Bird watching: The park is home to many bird species, making it a great destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. Some of the birds that can be spotted in the park include the crested argus, rufous-necked hornbill, and blue-rumped pitta.
  5. Photography: The park’s stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultural sites make it an ideal destination for photography enthusiasts

How to get to Vu Quang?

Vu Quang National Park is located in the central province of Ha Tinh in Vietnam. Here are a few ways to get there:

  1. By car or motorbike: The park can be reached by car or motorbike from Hanoi, which is approximately 340 kilometers (211 miles) away. The journey takes around 7-8 hours and involves driving along National Highway 1A.
  2. By train: The nearest train station to the park is in Vinh, which is approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. Trains from Hanoi to Vinh run regularly and take around 4-5 hours. From Vinh, visitors can hire a taxi or motorbike to reach the park.
  3. By bus: There are regular buses that run from Hanoi to Ha Tinh city, which is approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the park. From Ha Tinh city, visitors can hire a taxi or motorbike to reach the park.
  4. By plane: The nearest airport to the park is Vinh Airport, which is approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) away. Flights from Hanoi to Vinh are available, and from Vinh, visitors can hire a taxi or motorbike to reach the park.

Weather & Climate in Vu Quang National Park

Vu Quang National Park is located in a tropical monsoon climate zone, with hot and humid weather year-round. The park experiences two main seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

The rainy season lasts from May to October, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in July and August. During this time, the park can be quite wet and muddy, and some of the trekking trails may be difficult to navigate. However, the rains also bring lush greenery and make the waterfalls and streams in the park more dramatic.

The dry season lasts from November to April, with temperatures ranging from 18-30°C (64-86°F). This is the best time to visit the park for trekking and outdoor activities, as the weather is cooler and drier, and the trails are more accessible. However, visitors should be aware that the park can still receive occasional rainfall during this season.

Overall, visitors to Vu Quang National Park should be prepared for hot and humid weather, and should plan their visit according to their preferred activities and the weather conditions.

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