Fueling ecotourism in the South-Central region of Vietnam, Phuoc Bình National Park is an adventure destination where visitors can experience personal encounters with some of the country’s most uncommon plant and animal species.
Extending throughout various types of terrain and an essential part of the Cai River system, Phuoc Bình National Park has been recognized for its gentle streams, mountains, and biodiversity.
As one of the largest national parks in Vietnam, Phuoc Bình is spread throughout three regions and one province. The large size of Phuoc Bình is even greater when combined with Bidoup Núi National Park. Together, the two parks form a natural corridor, which protects 1/3 of Vietnam’s plant species.
The park’s nearest urban center is the town of Phan Rang, which is the capital of the Ninh Thuân Province and it is 38.5 miles (62 kilometers) away. In addition to Phan Rang, there are several smaller communities including villages and communes situated in the buffer zone.
Following a similar pattern of national parks in Vietnam, Phuoc Bình was first established as a nature reserve in 2002. Habitat loss due to farming was the main reason why the Vietnamese government was urged to begin protecting the land and by 2006, Phuoc Bình was granted full national park status.
While environmental protection was the main concern, the national park Phuoc Bình shelters much more than Mother Nature. Ethnic communities, culture, and history are also protected within the park’s three zones. Today, homestays and historical visits are frequently included on tour itineraries.
What to Do
Ecotourism is flourishing in Phuoc Bình National Park where hiking, rafting, swimming, and visiting ethnic villages are the most in-demand activities by park guests. Visitors can choose to self-guide themselves through the park or join a local tour company. With several itinerary options, visitors can customize their trip to maximize and manage their time in Phuoc Bình National Park.
Hiking Excursions in Phuoc Bình
By far, hiking is Phuoc Bình’s most popular activity. Visitors have the choice of strolling amongst the green valley or climbing to the tops of the park’s highest peaks. Outstanding trails in Phuoc Bình are those that lead to the Dá Bàn Waterfall, Ma Lam Waterfall, and Pi Nang Tac’s stone trap. Most of these hikes are rather short in duration with distances ranging from 1-2 miles.
Hikers should bring sturdy shoes, a light jacket, water, and snacks when visiting. The weather can be unpredictable and oftentimes, the park experiences rain, sun, and cool breezes all on the same day. Be cautious of where you’re walking as you can easily get lost in the park’s dense forests. Visitors who want to tackle more challenging trails are encouraged to hire a local guide.
Streams and Rapids
Adrenaline seekers will fall in love with Phuoc Bình National Park because of its class 2 and 3 rapids. The Secret Valley is the most popular place for white-water rapid tours because of its remote location. Most tour itineraries will last for a full day as rafting routes commonly stretch for over 6 miles, and depending on the tour company, transportation and lunch will frequently be provided.
For visitors who are looking for a relaxing day with less adrenaline, calm sections of the water are perfect for exploring on foot and safe for swimming. With miniature waterfalls and bank-side pools, Da Nhong and Da Máy are two best streams that are suitable for swimmers of all ages.
Culture in the Buffer Zone
In the buffer zone of Phuoc Bình, there are six villages that house about 4,500 ethnic people. The Raglay people make up the majority of the population with the other villagers identifying as Kinh or Churu. As a way to support the local people and encourage tourism to Phuoc Bình, the villages have begun to open their doors to international tourists.
Homestays are the best way for park guests to learn the local traditions and cultures that are still practiced amongst the ethnic people. Many tours include a homestay or visit to a village where common activities include cooking and fishing with the locals.
Plants and Animals
Home to dozens of Red Book species, Phuoc Bình National Park is vital for many of Vietnam’s disappearing plants and animals. Protecting the park’s wildlife has become a major concern as further development of the area has led to a significant drop in sightings. Every year, new plants are being discovered, with the current recorded number at 1,225.
Meanwhile, the park is home to about 532 different types of animals including some of Vietnam’s most vulnerable creatures, such as the guar, giant muntjac, black-shanked douc langur, great hornbill, and Vietnam greenfinch. Many can only be found in specific areas of Vietnam, and unfortunately, their numbers continue to be threatened by poaching and deforestation.
Visitors to the park can increase their chance of seeing a rare animal by hiring a guide to lead.
How to Get There
Due to its location in South Central Vietnam, Phuoc Bình National Park receives most of its visitors from Ho Chi Minh City, which is about 7 hours away by car. Visitors who are touring the South-Central region of the country will take a flight, car, or train to Phan Rang town where they can find quality accommodation.
Those coming from Hanoi would be best off booking a flight, as the capital city is about a 25-hour drive north of the town of Phan Rang. Once in Phan Rang town, visitors can search for a local tour or ask their hotel to arrange transportation to the park. The drive from the town to the national park takes about 1 and ½ hours, which makes it easy to enjoy the park in a single day.
Guests who are staying multiple days in the area can either travel each day to the park from Phan Rang or arrange to stay overnight in one of the park’s villages.
When to Visit
Tourism at Phuoc Bình peaks during the dry season, which spans from December to April. The cooler temperatures and lower levels of rain make exploring the park easier for guests who want to enjoy hiking, swimming, and rafting. From May to November, the rain returns, and the park is particularly humid and hot in the middle of summer, making it a less ideal time to visit.
Nature at Its Finest
Like a scene from Jurassic Park, the forests of Phuoc Bình National Park come alive as soon as you enter the core protection zone. Sheltered from the effects of deforestation, the park’s interior harbors rare species, lush jungles, and cool streams.
From the lowland plains to the highest mountains, visitors who brave the journey to Phuoc Bình will have the chance to see some of Vietnam’s best-kept secrets.
Address: Phước Bình, Bác Ái District, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam
Season: Year-Round | Best during the dry season
Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM