Backpacking Experience to explore Nam Cat Tien National Park
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is not only famous for its beautiful landscapes, historical relics such as War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta,.. etc. There is no shortage of places. Sights, but this article I would like to introduce to travelers, who love nature and discover another place - Nam Cat Tien National Park.
Nam Cat Tien: Nam Cat Tien National Park is about 150 km northeast of Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City. It is a nature reserve located on the territory of 5 Tan Phu, Vinh Cuu (Dong Nai), Cat Tien and Bao Lam (Lam Dong), Bu Dang (Binh Phuoc Province). This is also a place recognized as a world biosphere reserve.
If you want to explore Nam Cat Tien go back in the day. I recommend using a private car (Car or motorbike) and departing early in the morning.
Day Trip Itinerary:
- 4:00 am: Depart by car or motorbike from Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City to Nam Cat Tien
- 6am Take a rest, have breakfast on the street and prepare some pistachio food
- 8am: Arrive at Nam Cat Tien, check in and start your exploration journey (You can rent a bicycle or car to get around the main road of the reserve)
- 12h Trekking about 5km to Bau Sau, eat, rest and then return to the main road
- 4pm: Prepare to end the journey (this time you can shorten if you go back by bus to catch the last trip at 15h)
- 17h Depart for Ho Chi Minh City
2 Days 1 Night Itinerary:
- 7:30 am depart at Mien Dong Bus Station (Kim Hoan or Be Local Bus Company), go straight to Ta Lai. Nam Cat Tien).
- 11h arrive and start the journey to explore the routes through the forest. If you go this way will be more comfortable because walking through the forest takes more time to explore.
- 17h return to Forest Management Headquarters to prepare to start the night watching tour at 6pm. Overnight at the Homestay, the hotel is nearby. Tip: If you intend to explore the next day, you should rent a room in the forest area (across the river) because if you rent outside, you must buy the ticket again the next day. You can refer to some hotels and homestays in Nam Cat Tien here.
- Or spend the night at Bau Sau to watch the sunrise the next day.
- Move inside Nam Cat Tien National Park
- Walking (requires a lot of health and time, I choose this way to go from Bau Sau forest Headquarters)
- Bicycle: VND 100k-150k / unit. This way is the most popular choice for Western visitors, cycling on the main road is quite easy in the dry season (although a bit dusty), to trails to the jungle, then leave the car outside and walk in.
- Car: I ask the group you rent a car for 500k / round trip (I hitched a ride from Bau Sau crossroads because I could not walk)
Suggestion General expenses for Nam Cat Tien backpacking trip according to the following schedule:
- Bus ticket: 80k / way
- Entrance fee: VND 60k / adult
- Room rate outside the forest: from 120k (5usd) including breakfast
- Room rate in Bau Sau: Homestay 750k / room. Living with rangers from VND 200,000 / room with 3 beds (refer to the trial at Bau Sau)
- Bau Sau stay fee: 140k / person (because I went alone and did not stay so I did not collect his money)
- Eating: eat 3 meals / day ~ 100k / person (if traveling in backpacker group, the cost will be different and will be more economical)
- Motorbike petrol: fill-up the Motorbike before exploring Nam Cat Tien.
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