It’s the only dry forest in Vietnam.
Nui Chua National Park, in the central province of Ninh Thuan, is considered “a desert” thanks to its dry conditions and low rainfall. Located around 40km from Phan Rang City , the 30,000ha site in Ninh Hai district was first designated a national park in 2003.
It is bounded by the East Sea to the south and east, by Highway 1 to the west and to the north by part of Cam Ranh Bay in neighbouring Khanh Hoa province.
It is of a special type, boasting a dry ecology in Southeast Asia with a miracle of different floral and fauna species.
A few years ago, a Germany scientist could not believe the dry level measured by his machine in the forest. After measuring again and again, he came to the conclusion that the climate in Nui Chua forest is as dry as that in Africa.
Currently, Phan Rang city remains hot and dry though the rainy season is drawing near. Long dunes of sand and stones caught our eyes when we first set foot on the soil of Nui Chua National Park. Thousands of stones of different sizes are piled up, creating a sense of fierceness and formidableness. On that dry stony and semi-wasteland ground, rooted stunted thorny trees and bushes form a forest.
Entering the park, tourists in Vietnam Tourism will encounter green trees growing amid stones and sand in an intensely hot and dry climate. To cope with the intense heat and dryness there, all the local fauna and floral species have their own way of adapting. In the dry season, most of the trees look like skeletons with rough, stunted and snaking trunks and tiny branches and leaves. Surprisingly, they bud immediately and start a new life after the first rain comes.
Scientists recognized that the natural resources of Nui Chu National Park in Ninh Thuan Province are not only abundant and diverse in biological elements but also have the endemic, rare, precious and valuable characteristics, very useful to scientific research and protection of the gene resource and contribute economic benefits, especially the eco-tourism.
It has a rich flora with 1,265 varieties of plants, of which 390 varieties are medicinal plants, over 100 varieties belong to bonsai trees and many varieties are edible. It also has a diverse fauna with 306 species of vertebrate animals, including many rare and precious animals, such as the black-shanked douc, white-collared bear, puma and japuar.
At Nui Chua National Park, there is a forest of apricot trees. Due to the arid soil, the apricot trees look like bonsai trees, but in spring they are in yellow blossom, producing a beautiful landscape. The typical apricot variety of this area is Hong mai which has red flowers, some of which have up to 13 petals. Nui Chua National Park is also home to many rare orchids, too.
Visitors are additionally afforded the chance to explore the park via 20km of asphalted roads embracing Mount Nui Chua, the Ngoan Muc Pass and Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach at an altitude of 250m.
Lo O Stream in particular, is a historical beauty spot surrounded by cliffs and clear waterfalls, its flat granite stones idyllic for picnics.
The magnificent mountain ranges overlook the appealing and pristine bays of Vinh Hy and Ninh Chu Beach .
Visitors interested in visiting the only savanna in Vietnam can drive from Ninh Chu Beach in Khanh Hai Commune along provincial Highway 702 to Vinh Hy Bay.
After a few hours of sightseeing, tourists are free to choose among beaches spread over nearly 40km for swimming and cruises, as well as coral reefs with diverse marine life, visible via glass bottomed tourist boats.
The farthest border of Nui Chua National Park is Thit Beach where sea turtles come and lay their eggs.
Travelers can also walk down to Cau Gay Village , home to the Raglai ethnic minority group, and visit local craft shops to catch a glimpse into the lives of the artisans.
Military base CK 19, used by the liberation army in the, anti-American war, lies near Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach and includes traces of guerrillas trench shelters and the smokeless stoves.
The local coast was formerly used to transit weapon and other military equipment from north Vietnam to battlefields in the south
For tourists in Vietnam travel, It’s really the interesting adventure to discover nature and experience culture.