The Xuan Son National Park, Phu Tho Province
The Xuan Son National Park, Phu Tho Province

Xuan Son National Park, Phu Tho

Xuan Son National Park is in Tan Son District, west of Phu Tho Province, 80km west of Viet Tri City and 140km north-west of Hanoi. The national park includes forest and mountains on the last stretch of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range (from Lai Chau and Lao Cai). The total area of the national park is 15,000 hectares.

Xuan Son National Park, Phu Tho, Vietnam
A lake at Xuan Son National Park, Phu Tho, Vietnam

The national park has a terrain of forested mountains alternated by small valleys. There are streams running through the national park and there are waterfalls created which make the landscape more captivating.

There are different types of forest at Xuan Son National Park: evergreen rain forest, evergreen tropical forest on high altitude, low forest on high mountains.

Xuan Son National Park has the same climate as that of Phu Tho Province which is tropical monsoon climate. There are two distinct seasons: hot, humid summer with lots of rain from May through September; dry and cold winter from November through March. The transitional time (April, September, October) is mostly with pleasant weather of spring (April), or autumn (September, October).

Torrential rains can be found in June, July, August and September. The annual rainfall is between 1,600-1,800mm. There may be typhoons or tropical depression during this time which may cause floods and landslides in the national park.

The hottest temperatures in the summer may reach 36oC which not often but can be found in May, June, July or August. The coldest temperatures are found in November, December and January which can be below 10oC. But thanks to the forest and mountains all around the national park the the temperatures within the national park fluctuate quite moderately compared to the rest of Phu Tho.

Flora and fauna
The Xuan Son National Park is home to 1,270 floral species, 182 bird species, 76 animal species, 91 fish species, 44 reptile species, 27 frog species, 551 insect species…

Of the animal species, 29 species are listed as rare. Of the bird species, 21 are listed as rare. There is green-legged Partridge (Arborophila chloropus merlini, Gà so ngực gụ) which is endemic to Vietnam.

The species which require special protection include:
- Black crested gibbons (Nomascus concolor, Vượn đen);
- François' langur, also known as the Francois' leaf monkey, Tonkin leaf monkey (Voọc đen má trắng Trachypithecus francoisi);
- Phayre's leaf monkey, also known as Phayre's langur(Trachypithecus phayrei, Trachypithecus crepusculus, Voọc xám Đông Dương);
- Sun bear (Ursus malayanus, Gấu chó);
- Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus gấu ngựa);
- Chinese pangolin (pentadactyla, Tê tê vàng);
- Indochinese serow (sơn dương, Naemorhedus summatraensis);
- Silver pheasant (Gà lôi trắng, Lophura nycthemera);
- Green-legged Partridge (Arborophila chloropus merlini, Gà so ngực gụ);
- King cobra (Rắn hổ mang chúa, Ophiophagus hannah);
- Southern Vietnamese box turtle (Rùa hộp vàng, Cuora galbinnifrons);

There are villages of the ethnic Muong and Dao in the Xuan Son National Park. Their villages can be visited and some families offer homestay service to the visitors. People are mostly genuine and their daily life has been not been affected by mass tourism.

The dense forest of Xuan Son National Park
The dense forest of Xuan Son National Park

What to see, tourist attractions in the national park
Natural Museum
Tho Than Cave
Na Cave
Ngoc Waterfall
Mo Waterfall
Dong Tien Cave (10km)
Coi Cave
Dat Cave
Lap Cave
Doi Cave
Lang Cave
Ten Mountain Peak (1,244m)
Can Mountain Peak
Voi Mountain (1,348m)

Tours in the national park
AdventureGreen offers ecotours, nature tours and trekking adventure tours in the Xuan Son National Park. The trekking tours to the top of either Ten Mountain or Can Mountain take at least 3 days, 2 nights for each tour from Hanoi. All the mountain trekking tours are on steep limestone mountain slopes with dense forest which require good physical and mental endurance. On these tour, it is necessary to stay one night in a tent in the forest.

Accommodations in the national park
There are homestay and simple guesthouses in the Xuan Son National Park. The facilities are basic, but rooms are clean. Visiting Xuan Son National Park, you’d better have a sense of adventure and do not expect luxury.

A trail in Xuan Son National Park
A trail in Xuan Son National Park