Ben En National Park


is located in the two districts of Nhu Xuan and Nhu Thanh, 45km southwest of Thanh Hoa Province. It is not only the place preserving sources of rare and precious varieties of fauna and flora in service of scientific research but also an ideal tourist attraction.

Surrounded by hills and mountains, has a total natural area of over 16,000ha plus 30,000ha of buffer zone forest and is affected by the tropical monsoon, creating an average annual temperature of about 230C.

The flora in the Park is plentiful with 462 varieties and 125 orders. According to Le Duc Giang, Director of , it is the distribution centre of Lim xanh (Erythrophloeum fordii Oliv), a famous common variety in Vietnam with some hundred-year-old trees with a diameter of 3m. Also there are other trees as Cho chi (Parashorea chinensis Wang Hsie.), Vu huong (Cinnamomum balansae), Sen mat (Madhuca pasquieri), Vang tam (Manglietia fordiana ), Lim xet (Peltophorum tonkinensis), Lat hoa (Chukrasia tabularis A. Juss), etc.; groups of herbaceous plants such as Song (Calamus poilanei Conrard), rattan, bamboo; family Dipterocarpaceae such as Trau (Vernicia foridii), Sen (Sapotaceae) Mang tang (Litsea cubeba) and over 300 species of rare medicinal herbs.

The Park boasts a diverse fauna because it is a favourable living environment for many groups of insects, birds, rodents, animals with hooves, and carnivore. Many surveys and investigations show that the Park has 50 orders, 177 families, 216 varieties and over 1,000 species of animals, including 91 species of animals, 201 species of birds, 54 species of reptiles, 31 species of amphibians, 68 species of fish and 499 species of insects. Many of them are listed in the Red Book, such as elephants, gayals, Bao lua (Fel ursi), Khi mat do (Macaca arctoides), Vuon bac ma (Hylobates concolor leucogienis), etc.

In recent years, with scientific research projects such as “Preserving the gene source of some rare and precious plants in ” and “Research on forest restoration after slash and burn farming in ”, the Park has attracted hundreds of domestic and foreign researchers and scientists.

A special gem in the Park is Song Muc Lake with a total area of 4,000ha, tens of metres in depth. The Lake is divided into two small lakes: the upper covering over 3,000ha and the lower covering 800ha. There are about 24 islands on the lake with wonderful caves that create a romantic landscape. On the islands, some species of birds and animals feed under the watchful eyes of researchers.

Le Duc Giang said that at present the Park is devising a project on promoting eco-tourism of international standards. With its advantages and existing tourism potentials, such as lakes, islands, forests, rivers, springs, caves and grottos, the Park will become an ideal eco-tourist area. (Source: Vietnam Pictorial)

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