Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park is the western neighbor of Phúoc Bình National Park. Frequently considered to be contiguous with one another, the two national parks are an essential habitat for endemic and rare species in Vietnam.
Bidoup Nùi Bà is about three times larger than Phuoc Binh to the east, with the protection zone covering about 250 square miles. Although grand in size, Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park is not frequently flooded with crowds of tourists. Relatively unknown to Vietnam’s international visitors, Bidoup Nùi Bà’s low profile status has helped protect the park’s unique plants and wildlife.
Spread over the Dam Rong and Lac Duong districts, Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park is located in Vietnam’s Lam Dong Province. The park is part of Vietnam’s Central Highlands and the majority of the protected area is centered around a forested plateau. There are remote villages and communes within the park, meanwhile, the closest city, Da Lat, is 31 miles (50 km) away.
Throughout the 1980s, Vietnam began to protect its land by creating nature reserves. Bidoup Nùi Bà was one of many areas that were chosen to become a protected space and the park officially became a nature reserve in 1986. For about two decades, Bidoup Nùi Bà maintained a few conservation projects before being re-established as a national park in 2004.
The name of the national park is taken from the two highest peaks on the Langbiang plateau. Bidoup is the tallest of the two peaks and it stands at 7,503 feet (2,287 meters). Nùi Bà is not far behind with a measured height of 7,109 feet (2,167 meters). As the park’s most recognizable landmarks, trekking to the summit of either peak is permitted as long as visitors hire a local guide to lead the way.
What to Do
Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park is the place to go for visitors who are nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Hiring a tour guide is strongly recommended for all visitors at the park and tour itineraries can be catered to single-day or multi-day excursions. Top activities in Bidoup Nùi Bà include hiking, homestays, and camping.
Go the Distance with a Walking Tour
Without a doubt, walking tours are the preferred activity in Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park because it gives guests the opportunity to explore the forest, vegetation, and wildlife that live in the area. With a diverse mix of life forms living in Bidoup Nùi Bà, hiking is the most unobtrusive way to try to get up close and personal with native plants and animals.
There are long and short hiking paths in the national park, so guests can spend a half, full, or multiple days in the wild. One of the shortest hiking trails stretches for just over 2 miles (3.5 km) and it leads to the Thien Thai Waterfall. Locals often refer to this path as the “Kingdom of the Immortals” because of the peaceful valley scenes and calm streams that are passed on the way to Thien Thai.
Park guests who have more time to stay in Bidoup Nùi Bà and want a bigger challenge, a 5.6 miles (9 km) track leads to the summit of Langbiang Mountain. Longer in duration, this trail is steeper, taking physically fit hikers one day to complete. At the summit, you’re rewarded with a panoramic view of the national park.
The longest hiking option takes you nearly 20 miles (30 km) through the valleys and up the peaks of Bidoup Nùi Bà. Hikers will need to plan to spend 2 days in the park to complete the trek. Tour guides are absolutely required for a multi-day journey as they ensure that you stay safe and are on the correct path. Overnight tours also include accommodations and meals.
Visit a Remote Village
Sometimes on the route for the 20-mile hike, visitors have the option of venturing to one of Bidoup Nùi Bà’s remote ethnic villages. Unlike local guides who can show you the plants or tell you about the history of the park, visiting the village is a unique excursion for park guests who want to learn more about Vietnam’s diverse culture.
Visitors should hire a local tour guide and inquire about trekking to the remote village. While locals are happy to welcome visitors, it is best to try to pre-arrange your visit and plan accordingly. Overnight stays are permitted, though most tour itineraries usually only include an afternoon in the village.
Spend the Night Under the Stars
Visitors don’t have to be a part of a hiking tour to camp overnight at Bidoup Nùi Bà. Camping excursions can be arranged with Bidoup Mountain being the best spot for campers to pitch their tent and spend a night under the stars. Campers don’t necessarily have to hire a local guide, but it is certainly encouraged.
Tour guides provide a complete package and frequently offer tents, food, and nighttime excursion options to park guests.
Plants and Wildlife
Thousands of species of plants and animals live in Bidoup Nùi Bà National Park. There are nearly 2,000 recorded vascular plants and 441 vertebrate species. Various rare pine trees make up the forests of the park while an abundance of orchids is seen across the ground. With almost 250 orchid species, Bidoup Nùi Bà has earned the nickname “Kingdom of Orchids”.
Of the 441 vertebrates in the park, 32 are listed in the IUCN Red Book. Commonly spotted animals include birds, insects, frogs, and squirrels. Rare and uncommonly seen animals include the vampire flying frogs, yellow-cheeked gibbons, and Asian black bears.
Lam Dong Province is about a 7 hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The most straightforward way to visit Bidoup Nùi Bà is to travel from either Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi to the city of Da Lat. Da Lat is about 31 miles from the park’s main entrance and as a major transportation hub, visitors can drive, bus, or fly into the city to stay the night.
From Da Lat, it is easy to travel to the national park. Taxis, buses, and shuttles have daily schedules to take visitors to and from Bidoup Nùi Bà. Most tours will be arranged at the Visitor Center, which means that visitors will need to arrange for their own transportation. A few tours, not many, may provide transportation from Da Lat to the national park.
When to Visit
The dry season in the Central Highlands runs from November to April and is the best time to visit the park. The forests in Bidoup Nùi Bà are misty year-round, so having less rain in the atmosphere makes hiking and outdoor adventures much easier. While visitors can travel to the park during the rainy season, hikers should expect muddy, flooded, or foggy trails.
Reconnect with Nature
Boasting nicknames like “Kingdom of Orchid”, Bidoup Nùi Bà is an enchanting place where visitors can reconnect with nature as they hike through the dense cloud forests. Less touristy, Bidoup Nùi Bà has less pollution and infrastructure to ensure that guests get to experience nature in its purest form.
Address: Xã Đạ Nhim, Lạc Dương District, Lam Dong, Vietnam
Phone: +84 263 3747 449