Located 50 kilometers from Dalat, Bidoup National Park is a highlight for nature lovers, with beautiful forests, animals and unique ethnic minority cultures. The best way to visit the park is on a two-day tour, which includes walking through the forest, spotting animals, and camping.
About Bidoup National Park
Its full name is Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, established in 2004 and got its name from the two highest peaks of the Langbiang Plateau: Bidoup Mountain and Nui Ba Mountain. Covering more than 70,000 hectares, it is one of the largest national parks in Vietnam.
You will find nearly 2000 different species of plants and 60 different animal species here, many of which are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam. Some of these animals are the rare sun bear, vampire flying frogs and yellow-cheeked gibbons. The park was also formerly the habitat of the Gaur, an Asian species of cattle and related to the water buffalo. A full grown bull can grow up to 2.5 meters high and weigh a ton. There is speculation that gaurs still live in this area.
The extensive biodiversity is also the most striking feature of the Bidoup National Park, with many species of fauna and flora. There are approximately 1900 plant species, 62 of which are listed in the IUCN Red Book for Threatened Species. The park also consists of more than 90% forest, the largest part of which is coniferous forest. You will also find bamboo forests and extensive grasslands here.
Without a doubt, visiting Bidoup Nui Ba National Park is one of the best things to do in Dalat, for nature lovers and hikers.
Highlights of Bidoup National Park
The best way to explore Bidoup Nui Ba National Park is by trekking. There are several walking routes to choose from, each of which has its own appeal. For example, one of the shorter routes of 3.5 kilometers takes you to the beautiful Thien Thai waterfall.
If you want to be more challenged, climb Langbiang Mountain, the roof of the national park. The 9-kilometer route over sometimes quite steep paths can be tough, but the panoramic view at the top makes it worth it.
If you have more time to explore Bidoup National Park, go for 2 days. There is a walking route of about 30 kilometers that takes you through the beautiful forest far off the beaten track and of course more chance of spotting animals. There are a number of places where you can stay overnight in the park.
In particular, the multi-day route is recommended to do with one of the forest rangers or a local guide. It can also be useful to arrange a guide for the shorter routes.
One of the other highlights of Bidoup Nui Ba National Park is camping. It is even one of the best places for camping in Vietnam, deep in the woods, far away from the city and completely part of nature, as camping is meant to be.
Because you will probably not be traveling through Vietnam with a tent yourself, it is best to arrange this through a tour. Your tent will be set up in the middle of the forest probably close to a lake. Take a cool dip in the lake and in the evening food is cooked over the campfire. Afterwards, enjoy a drink and share stories around the campfire, before falling asleep in your tent, with only to the sound of the wind. It is certainly an experience you will never forget.
Camping Bidoup National Park with Local Vietnam
Interested in going camping and trekking in this stunning national park? Check out Bidoup National Park 2 days trekking & camping tour, starting from Dalat.
3. Wildlife spotting
Bidoup National Park is a great place to spot wild animals in Vietnam. It is very unlikely you will see a huge gaur or sun bear, but especially on longer hikes you have a good chance of seeing gibbons and the national park is also one of the best places for bird watching in Vietnam. For the best chance of spotting gibbons, get up early as these animals are most active at sunrise. Tip: bring binoculars to spot birds, gibbons and other wildlife.
4. K’Ho ethnic minority
Bidoup National Park is not only home to stunning nature, but also to unique cultures. There are a few villages of ethnic minorities located here, mainly of the K’Ho group. K’Ho is the oldest ethnic minority in the Southern Central Highlands. They live mainly in the high mountains and very isolated, so many of their traditions and customs have been well preserved. They live mainly from animal production, cultivation and handicrafts such as weaving and blacksmithing. A visit to a local village of the K’Ho minority is therefore a great experience that gives you an insight into the unique lives of these people.
How to get to Bidoup National Park
Getting there from Ho Chi Minh City
Bidoup Nui Ba National Park is located north of Dalat, so if you’re coming from Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll need to travel to Dalat first. Since Dalat is very popular among the residents of Ho Chi Minh City, you don’t have to worry about transportation. There are dozens of buses at night, limousine buses during the day and even domestic flights.
From Dalat to Bidoup National Park
The best way to get to Bidoup National Park is by tour, which includes a direct transfer from Dalat as well as a guided walking tour and food. View our Bidoup National Park tour camping & trekking 2 days here.
If you want to go to the park yourself, rent a car with driver for a whole day and negotiate the price. This is better than a taxi, as the distance from Dalat is 50 kilometers and the park is far from other attractions, so getting a taxi back will be tricky. A cheaper option may be to rent a scooter or motorbike and drive to the park yourself. You just have to follow the QL27C from the city until you see the entrance for the national park on your left.
Best time to visit Bidoup National Park
Bidoup is located high in the Langbian plateau, so it can be cool all year round. For camping and hiking, the dry season is the best time of year, from November to March. In addition, the temperatures around this time of year are ideal for outdoor activities. The rainy season is from April to October.
Accommodation and staying overnight
Two day trips to Bidoup are highly recommended if you want to discover the unique ecosystem. There are options for camping in the park as well as homestays of the ethic minority. It is best to arrange these kinds of accommodation through a guide, as they are hard to book on your own. A bit outside the park, in Lac Duong, there are also accommodations that offer more comfort.