Bach Ma National Park in Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Bach Ma National Park in Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

Bach Ma National Park, Hue

The Bach Ma National Park is in Phu Loc and Nam Dong Disctricts, Thua Thien Hue Province. The national park is 52km south of Hue City and 68km northwest of Da Nang. The total area of the national park is 37.500 hectares.

 The terrain of the national park, which is steep, includes several high mountains of over 1,000m running from west to east with dense tropical forests and narrow valleys in between. The terrain is higher to the west and lower to the east. The highest peak of Bach Ma is 1,450m above sea level.

Bach Ma National Park is a tropical monsoon climate with special characteristics compared to the rest of Vietnam. The high mountain ranges at Bach Ma separate Vietnam into two distinct climate zones: that to the north with a real cold winter and that to the south without a real winter.

The rainy season in Bach Ma is from September through January and the dry season is from February through April. There are occasional short-lived torrential showers in the summer from May through August. Due to the high mountains to the west, southwest and south of Bach Ma that the clouds are blocked and the rain is more lasting here. The average annual rainfall is about 4000mm which is among the highest in Vietnam.

Also the terrain at Bach Ma is steep and this makes the rivers in the area more dangerous when it rains. It is vital that you take proper shelter and not to venture near the rivers in the national park in a rain.

The population in Bach Ma National Park includes the Kinh, Co Tu, Van Kieu and Muong. Some of these communities are poor and some make a living from exploiting produce in the forest.

Flora at Bach Ma National Park
There are 2,373 floral species at Bach Ma including 332 species of mushrooms, 87 moss species, 183 fern species, ...Several of these are endemic and several are listed in the Endangered Species in Vietnam’s Red Book: Fokienia (Po Mu, Cypress family), Aquilaria crassna (Tram Huong), Sindora tonkinensis (Gụ lau), Sindora siamensis (Gu Mat), Hopea pierrei (Kien Kien), Marbled jewel orchids (Lan Kim Tuyen, Anoectochilus), Paris polyphylla,...

Fauna at Bach Ma National Park
There are 1,715 faunal species at Bach Ma National Park with several representatives for all those in the North, the Central and South of Vietnam. There are 1,029 insect species, 57 fish species, 134 reptile species, 363 bird species, 132 animal species.

Those listed as endangered which require special protection include
Red-shanked douc (Voọc vá chân nâu, Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus);
Dhole (Sói đỏ,Cuon alpinus)
Binturong (Cầy mực)
Leopard (Báo hoa mai)
Saola (Vu Quang ox, siola, spindlehorn, Asian unicorn, Vu Quang bovid)
Giant muntjac (Muntjac deer, Muntiacus vuquangensis)
Muntiacus truongsonensis (Mang Truong Son, Annamite Muntjac)
Indochinese box turtle (Vietnamese box turtle, or flowerback box turtle, )

Bird species at Bach Ma National Park
Edwards's pheasant(Lophura edwardsi, Gà lôi lam mào trắng)
Pale-capped pigeon (Bồ câu nâu)
Silver pheasant (Gà lôi trắng)
Vietnam partridge (Annam partridge, or Annam hill partridge, Arborophila chloropus merlini, green legged partridge)
Rufous-throated partridge (Gà so họng hung, Arborophila rufoguralis)

Tourist attractions at Bach Ma
For those with special interests, you can go bird watching or wildlife studying at Bach Ma. For other travelers, you can take several trails in the forest at the national park with lovely vegetation around.

- The Observation Tower (800m walk to 1,430m above sea level) offers panoramic views of the whole area.

- Rhododendron trail (20 minutes walk) lead you to the top of a 300-m waterfall. The scene is often lovely and it is spectacular during the flower season (late February and March).

- Five-lake trail (30 minute walk) takes you through scenic landscape with lakes and waterfall.

- The Tri Sao Trail (2.5km) through thin forest takes you to a landscape with a lake and waterfall.
- The Cho Den Forest trail with several huge timber trees with tree trunk of over 1m in diameter.

Adventure tours and eco tours at Bach Ma
AdventureGreen offers bird watching tours, nature tours to the Bach Ma National Park. The tours take either 1 day or 2 days from either Da Nang or Hue.

Accommodation at Bach Ma
There are French-styled villas in the national park with basic facilities. It is also possible to stay overnight at a local family or a simple guesthouse near the entrance to the park, on the edge of the forest.

How to get there and away, how to get around
There are daily commuter buses and daily trains between Hue and Da Nang which stop at the Lang Co Railway Station. The national park can arrange transfer service from the mountain base to the top.