Located nearly 140 km South of Hanoi in Ninh Binh, Cuc Phuong is the oldest National Park of Vietnam established in 1962. The botanical richness of the forest is impressive as it supports a various flora species , including ancient trees with thick clusters of roots, parasitic plants and ligneous creepers.
There are plenty of plants and animals living in the park. Having estimated 2,000 different species of flora and the 450 species fauna account for 38% of the national fauna. The flora is quite a treasure with a wide variety of 1,944 species, 908 genuses and 229 families. Paticularly, it is enjoyable to touch the thousand-year-old cho xanh (parashrea stellata) and sau (Dracontomelum Duperranum or Dancorra Edulis) trees, 50-70m high.
Lying in a limestone area, Cuc Phuong has numerous caves. At “Nguoi Xua” (Cave of Early Man), two ancient tombs have been discovered, along with Neolithic remains and evidence of stone implements;Some other caves such as Trang Khuyet (Crescent Moon), Thanh Minh, Hang Dan and Con Mong Caves.
The best time to visit Cuc Phuong National Park is during the dry season, from December to April, when the hard forest rain accounting for 90% of the annual rainfall is over. The park is conveniently located on the route to several tourist attractions, including Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu, and Sam Son Beach. It was officially opened in 1960 as the first national park in Vietnam.