I came to the national park of Cat Tien in Tan Phu district, Dong Nai province. About 150 km from Ho Chi Minh City, after coming to the ferryboat, it is almost at night and the dark cloud has come even it was only 3 p.m. We intended to wash until 4 p.m to come to the forest under construction of people who are working here; and at 7 p.m, we will come to see the night animals to enjoy the wild life of the feast.
Cat Tien national park is about 71,350 ha wide and on the location of three provinces: Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, and Lam Dong. It has plentiful resources and is one of the biggest national parks in Vietnam.
Cat Tien is acknowledged by UNESCO to be the Biosphere reserve park of the world, and by the RAMSAR to be the Bau Sau wetlands, which has the international important level. Cat Tien national park is also preparing for the applying for the national natural heritage.
Cat Tien has 113 animal types, 351 bird types, 159 fresh water fish types, 109 reptile types, 41 amphibian types, and 450 butterfly types. In terms of plants, there are statistically 1610 types, which are typical for the plant systems of East of South Vietnam.
After finish preparing, there is a heavy rain and the journey has to wait for the rain, but it is still sprinkling, so we decided to wear raincoat to start.
The bare hood car has two lines of chairs so it is possible to view in every side while sitting in the car. The car comes to the small roads with the leaves full of water after rain. The most many trees are bamboo or liana, some has flax, so it is possible to be wounded when it scratch on your skin. After many phases of road, the tour guide told the driver to slow down and the people bow low to avoid the bamboo or the wild trees to scratch on the face. The air is just humid and especially after rain, there was sound of cicada that made it so sad space.
The first stop of us is the specious Go trees with the diameter of 2m. This is nearly 700 years old tree, which name Bac Dong Go tree (the name of old prime minister). It is to tribute the year 1987 when the P.M came to see this park. He guided the management boards to protect those precious and rare wood trees. After that, we leave to the car and the path is quite muddy and wet. The trees fell down and blocked the way, sometimes you would get bitten by terrestrial leech without any notice.
The pine tree was big enough for 20 people’s embrace. The root is more than 1m high and about 7-8m long, it looked like the octopus. This tree is about 400-500 years old and it reminded me about Angkor Thom where this tree was also available. Another destination is the Si tree with hundreds of bodys, which creates the springs of mystery and the natural masterpiece. Due to the limited time, and the tiredness of crossing the jungle, we stopped in Ben Cu to see the spring flows. This port is passable by foot while it is on dry time. The other side is the centre to protect the larks.
On the way back to the starting point, I saw the foreign visitors were excited about the pure and quiet atmosphere of this place. They also wondered like us that if there is no measurement of management boards for the people around this land; it is sooner or later that this land would be harmed by the environmental effects for the living condition of wild specious animals and for the plants also. The lesson of the vanishment of the last one horn rhino of Vietnam is enough for the manager’s disillusion or not…