Ben En National Park

ben en national park thanh hoa vietnam

Ben En national park is situated in districts of Nhu Thanh and Nhu Xuan, Thanh Hoa Province about 200km from Hanoi. The park was established in 1992 and gradually expanded. It is not only a protected breeding ground for many rare creatures, but also an attractive destination for ecotourism.

Ben En national park map

The park covers an area of 16,000ha, half of which is virgin forest. Ben En has a wide and diverse system of lakes, caves, mountains and forest. The park is home to valuable and rare species of animals and birds, such as the red wolf, black gibbon, great hornbill, gayal, tibetan bear, red-face monkey, elephants, bears and, until recent years, tigers.

Studies found that there are several rare species in Ben En national park. So far recovered were 1,389 species of plants, 1,004 species of animals, 66 species of mammals, 201 species of birds, 54 species of reptiles, 31 species of amphibians, 68 species of fish and 499 species of insects.

There are 462 varieties of flora in the park, and 125 orders. Probably some of the reported species are now extinct. In Ben En National Park the endangered tree species Erythrophleum fordii still can be found. In 2011 Vietnamese and Singaporean scientists discovered the new ginger species Distichochlamys benenica.

The 4,000ha lake, with a depth of about 12m, consists of 21 islands, appropriately named Me (Mother), Tinh Yeu (Love) and Tuong Lai (Future) and dreamlike caves like Suoi Tien. Legend has it that fairies from heaven often come here to relax and bathe. The two biggest lakes are Ben En Lake and Muc Lake.

The national park’s main attraction is Song Muc Lake which can be explored by motor-boat or kayak.

There are two caves situated in the South and the North of the national park. A nearby cave known as Lo Cao has a more topical history. It was used by Professor Tran Dai Nghia during the war against the French to produce cast iron to make weapons used at the great battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

There are two hiking trails in Ben En, one starting next to the guesthouse of the national park, the other is on one of the islands. At Hiking Vietnam we run a two day trip from Hanoi.

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