Tam Dao National Park – a perfect retreat for nature lovers hinh anh 1A corner of Tam Dao National Park (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Travellers with a penchant for nature will be spoilt for choice while discovering Tam Dao National Park in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.

A large biodiversity hotspot in the north

Tam Dao National Park is an ideal place for nature lovers since it habours a large variety of ecosystems and micro-habitats with strong biodiversity.

Located some 70 kilometres to the northwest of Hanoi, Tam Dao National Park covers an area of 34,995 hectares, including 26,163 hectares of forest. It spans Tam Dao district in Vinh Phuc province, Dai Tu district in Thai Nguyen province, and Son Duong district in Tuyen Quang province.

Tam Dao National Park is based in the Tam Dao range, which is one of the terminal spurs of a larger mountainous area. It runs 80 km from northwest to southeast, and has more than 20 peaks with altitudes of over 1,000m. The highest summit is Tam Dao North with an altitude of 1,592 m. Three other peaks with beautiful scenery are Thien Thi at 1,375 m, Thach Ban at 1,388 m and Phu Nghia at 1,300 m. Sharp peaks with sloping sides and numerous, deep partitions are characteristic of the topology.

The boundary of the national park is located at an altitude of 100 m around the Tam Dao range. Seventy percent of the area of the park is covered by natural and planted forests. The natural forest is about 220 km2 and the planted forest is about 30 km2.

As the tall mountainous range splits the area into two parts, the national park's climatic condition is divided into two areas with different rainfalls. This difference and some other factors such as the effect of human activity divide the park into some smaller climatic zones which increase its bio-diversity.

Tam Dao National Park is a protected area in Vietnam. It is endowed with rich biodiversity and is known to host a number of rare and endemic animals and plants. The park is home to 1,282 kinds of valuable flora, 64 of which need preservation such as dendrobium daoense, camellia chrysantha, asarum, and mosla tamdaoensis. It also dwells 163 species of fauna of 158 families, with rare and valuable animals and birds like flying squirrels, clouded leopard, tiger, and Francois’ leaf monkey.

As a valuable asset of the nation, Tam Dao National Park has brought substantial benefits to environmental protection, water supply, scientific research, and local tourism.

Tam Dao National Park – a perfect retreat for nature lovers hinh anh 2Longleaf pine forests cover Tam Dao National Park (Photo: VNA)

The park also houses the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, which provides a semi-wild environment for bears that get a second chance. The centre spans 12 hectares and is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. It has around 200 moon bears and sun bears, many of which used to be held captive for bile.

Nearly 100 local people are employed to take care of the bears together with foreign experts.

Upon arrival at the centre, the animals are quarantined and carefully monitored for 45 days. Health checks, including x-rays and examination of teeth, mouth, feet, and claws, are done once every two years.

Tam Dao National Park – a perfect retreat for nature lovers hinh anh 3A bear at the centre’s playground (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Finding your own retreat

Domestic and foreign visitors head to Tam Dao mostly on weekends, solo or in groups, on sunny or chilly days. Although the town is small, there are plenty of options for tourists rushing here to escape the usual busy urban life.    

Young newlyweds can choose spots to take wedding photos, since Tam Dao offers an ancient stone church, silver waterfalls, jungles, pagodas, sunsets and poetic overcast vistas. Visitors can stay at small mansions, looking down the valley from their perch at one of the resorts.  

Others can savour coffee at Windy Inn, famous for its restless wind blowing all day and night.

The ancient stone church is a common place to take pictures thanks to its European architecture style, which appears romantic when shrouded in fog. Especially, the vine-covered walls add to the mysterious fairy tale atmosphere here.

Climbing at Tam Dao is an unforgettable experience. The place is where many athletes chose to practise climbing. Many also come here to enjoy the winter stir-fried chayote bud, a specialty of the town.

If you are in search of a short weekend away, or simply wish to be far from the maddening city crowds, then throw your stress away and head to Tam Dao./.