Cuc Phuong National Park, stretching through the Vietnamese provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa, has become a popular destination this ‘butterfly season,’ for those wishing to be surrounded by the colorful creatures.
Located 120 km away from Hanoi to the southwest, it takes us about 3 hours driving from Hanoi to Cuc Phuong National Park. Covering an area of 22,200 hectares, Cuc Phuong National Park nestles against Tam Diep mountain. Leaving national highway 12A and following a steep path for 15 km, one kilometer before the entrance to the forest, you can already breathe pure, fresh air and hear the sounds of animals. Cuc Phuong has about 2,000 plant species and 2,600 animal species, many of which are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world. This is one of seven centers of great plant diversity in Vietnam.
With caves, thousand-year-old trees, and animal rescue sanctuaries, the seasonal presence of butterflies between the end of spring and the beginning of summer is just one of many reasons why the park is attracting visitors from all over the country. In April and May, 400 different species of butterflies appear about the same time. The forest becomes a huge garden of color.
The best time to visit is right after a rainy day when kaleidoscopes of butterflies can be easily spotted floating around in the sunlight.
Visitors can ride their motorbikes deeper into the center of the park and feel like they are flying alongside the butterflies or stop and wait for them to land on their helmets, shoulders, or side-view mirrors.
Cuc Phuong National Park has a variety of butterfly species, including the atlas moth and the swallowtail butterfly.
How to get there