Situated in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam's driest climate zone, the UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve Nui Chua National Park has gained popularity among Vietnam’s natural tourist attractions. Nui Chua surprises with ever-flowing streams, a tapestry of linked mountain ranges, and verdant hillsides—perfect for hiking, outdoor pursuits, and a reconnection with nature's untouched beauty on a Vietnam travel journey.
1. An overview of Nui Chua National Park Vietnam
Nui Chua National Park spans two districts in Ninh Thuan Province: Thuan Bac and Ninh Hai. Encompassing expansive forested landscapes, this natural haven covers an area exceeding 30,000 hectares.
The park is divided into three specialized zones, including an area dedicated to ecological rejuvenation and a hub for tourism and services.
Originally known as the Phan Rang Dry Forest, the park evolved from a nature reserve in April 1998 to the Nui Chua Conservation Area in 2003, ultimately earning its status as Nui Chua National Park. In a momentous achievement in 2022, UNESCO honored the park with the esteemed title of a World Biosphere Reserve.
2. The biodiversity of Nui Chua National Park
2.1. The flora in Nui Chua National Park
Nui Chua houses an impressive array of over 1500 vascular plant species, spanning across all five branches of this plant system. Notably, the Orchidaceae family takes the lead, encompassing 96,64% of the total with a diversity of 1,237 species. This biodiverse haven also shelters rare plant species, some of which are listed in both the Vietnam Red Data Book and the Global Red List.
2.2. The fauna in Nui Chua National Park
Nui Chua National Park is home to a staggering 330 vertebrate species: 84 mammals, 163 birds, and 83 amphibians and reptiles. It is also famed for rare treasures like the black-shanked douc langur, red-faced pheasant, central Vietnam's unique tree frog, and iconic species such as the asiatic black bear, stump-tailed macaque, pygmy slow loris, and more.
Under the waves, the coral reefs teem with life, boasting 300 species, including 46 recently identified corals. The seaweed system in Nui Chua also flourishes, with nearly 200 species. Notably, Nui Chua stands as a rare spot where marine turtles choose the mainland for nesting, underscoring its pristine and assured natural beauty.
3. Things to do in Nui Chua National Park tours
3.1. Take a trek to Chua Mountain
Your trek in Chua Mountain can begin by scaling the highest peak, Chua Anh (Co Tuy), rising above 1,000 meters. The route winds through the forest, featuring shrubs, whimsical rocks, and wildflowers and orchids. Serenity abounds, with intermittent streams offering refreshing pauses to admire the expansive sea below.
Besides Chua Anh, tourists can explore six other surrounding peaks, including Chua Chat, Chua Chau, Chua Chong, Chua Vo, and Chua Em, to fully conquer Chua Mountain. Various challenges undoubtedly lie ahead, yet plentiful joys and memories also await you.
As night falls, take a stroll along Vinh Hy Bay's shoreline and let the shimmering lights of fishing boats enchant you. Engaging in squid fishing aboard a small anchored boat while taking in Vinh Hy's tranquil space, sea, mountains, and forests promises an unforgettable and diverse journey.
Moreover, traveling from Vinh Hy to Binh Ba (Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa) along the coastal road unveils stunning beaches like Thung, Thit, Hoi, Kinh, Nuoc Do, Cha La, Binh Tien, Chuoi, Da Vach, and numerous unnamed beaches for exploration.
On your visit to Nui Chua, don’t hesitate to directly contact the department of the National Park for more detailed information about trekking experiences.
3.2. Admire the beauty of Da Vach Lake
Da Vach Lake is among the must-see destinations for visitors seeking unique landscapes. Perched atop Da Vach mountain, this lake greatly attracts tourists on the grounds that it defies the odds with its water levels in an otherwise arid region.
Accessible only by foot, this picturesque lake spans around 80 meters in length, 50 meters in width, and delves to a depth of 1.5 meters, perched at an elevation of 236 meters above sea level. While the trek might present challenges, the reward of witnessing this heavenly vista is an experience you will forever treasure.
3.3. Immerse yourself in nature at Lo O Stream
Venturing deeper into the Nui Chua region, travelers will begin to hear the gentle murmurs of the Lo O Stream harmonizing with the sounds of the wind and rustling leaves, creating a soothing forest melody. Along the stream are unique, beautiful flowers like azaleas and orchids.
Nestled in the lush forest and still remaining largely untouched, this stream is a haven of crystal-clear water originating from mountain crevices. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the cool, clear water, explore the suspension bridge leading to Lo O built by the Raglai people, or trek to conquer the Da Do Peak and admire the vast landscape from above. Here, you can also observe the culture of the Raglai ethnic minority who are living in the region.
3.4. Explore the unique features of Hang Rai Cave
Hang Rai coral rock beach, to the south of Vinh Hy Bay, is a coveted hotspot for both tourists and shutterbugs seeking extraordinary vistas. It was formerly known as a coral reef, but as the oceanic water begins to recede, its hidden ancient rock landscape is revealed. Nestled along the shoreline, the rugged coral formations lead to jagged edges, evoking the raw beauty of distant celestial landscapes like Mars or the moon.
In Hang Rai, tourists can witness the awe-inspiring spectacle during high tide as crashing waves against the fossilized reef resemble a majestic cascading waterfall. Whether bathed in the light of sunrise or sunset, the convergence of the rocky coast, ocean, and sky conjures a celestial panorama that is simply out of this world.
3.5. Enjoy camping at Bai Hom Beach
Situated just 1 kilometer away from Nui Chua National Park's headquarters, Bai Hom Beach is an unspoiled spot, ideal for explorers eager to uncover fresh experiences along the picturesque Central Coast of Vietnam.
For most tourists, you can enjoy leisurely walks along the pristine white sandy beach, take refreshing swims in the sea, or engage in fishing activities here. For adventurous souls, cliff-scaling or cave-exploring are two of the most captivating activities.
>>> Discover more: Places to visit in Central Vietnam: 11 captivating destinations to explore
4. When is the best time to visit Nui Chua National Park?
Nui Chua exhibits typical characteristics of a coastal, dry climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season spans from January to September, while the rainy season typically lasts from late September to December.
The prime window to explore Nui Chua National Park falls between March and September. These are sunny, radiant days that showcase the park's landscapes in their most vibrant and alluring splendor, perfect to witness their captivating allure.
5. How to get to Nui Chua National Park from Phan Rang?
From Phan Rang or Phan Rang - Thap Cham, the central hub in Ninh Thuan Province, you can opt for cars or motorbikes to reach Nui Chua. Below are two common routes for your reference:
- Route 1: Start at Phan Rang City, then follow route 16/4 to Yen Ninh Street, passing Ninh Chu Bridge onto Provincial Road 702 through Thai An Village. The park is 30 kilometers ahead.
- Route 2: Start at Phan Rang City, then turn onto Nguyen Van Cu Street, then Truong Chinh Street, left at Ninh Chu Roundabout toward Tri Thuy Bridge, and continue on Provincial Road 702 for another 30 kilometers to the park.
For an alternative, take the Loc Phat bus from Phan Rang to Vinh Hy Bay. The buses depart as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m.
The central region of Vietnam has many other fascinating places for you to discover. For your convenience, consider combining your Ninh Thuan visit with a trip to Nha Trang. Just a two-hour drive away, Nha Trang boasts crystal-clear beaches, culturally significant towers and pagodas, and a desirable place to stay, Vinpearl Nha Trang.
With one city center hotel and five lavish resorts on Hon Tre Island, Vinpearl Nha Trang takes pride in its sophisticated dining experiences with diverse restaurants and bars, each offering a unique ambiance while overlooking the breathtaking Nha Trang coastline.
Beyond the stunning vistas, you can also engage in a myriad of thrilling recreational activities at VinWonders Nha Trang with family and friends while staying here.
>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Nha Trang for a memorable stay in Vietnam!
In Vietnam's central region, Nui Chua National Park should definitely be a must-visit destination. Brimming with diverse flora, fauna, and captivating natural wonders, this landmark ensures an immersive and vibrant experience. Mark your calendar and get ready for a direct encounter with this colorful paradise!