Phu Quoc National park covers more than 50% of the island so it is definitely worth considering a visit, especially if you would like to escape the heat of the daytime sun, a walk along a park trail or motorbike ride on one of roads in the north will give you a taste of this natural environment on Phu Quoc.
What you expect
Usually, Phu Quoc National Park is off limits and not really accessible for tourists. As we approached the path into the park itself near Bai Thom, a guard in green uniform chased us away. However, if you approach Ganh Dau from the South, along Dai Beach, a path leads into the forest and it is nice to walk along the trail in the shadow of the trees.
At the end of the path you find the huts of a couple forest dwellers. Among them a friendly old woman (unfortunately without any environmental awareness) who lives off the land. She has a small garden behind her shack where she harvests bamboo sprouts to sell them on the market.
The woman told us that Vinpearl is about to raze the forest and build some sort of safari park right here. Well… development can’t be stopped I guess.
If you can pull yourself together and not ride the motorbike on the path, you may even have a chance to spot some wildlife. Since not all members of our group were as keen on walking as I am though, all we spotted was a nephila spider as big as my palm, sitting in the middle of the largest and strongest spider web I ever encountered. Unfortunately I could not focus properly, so the picture is too blurry.
Nature on Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc National Park is one of Southeast Asias finest nature reserves and quite well protected for Vietnamese standards. Even if I complained earlier, that they wouldn’t let us into the heart of the park, maybe it’s better that way.
Here, some data about the nature on the island and the great diversity of species. The most prominent of the endangered animals that find a haven here is the dugong, but the fellow is not alone:
- Phu Quoc National Park covers over 56.000 hectares of land and sea.
- It harbours 929 plant species,
- 43 different mammals,
- 84 species of birds,
- 125 different fish,
- 132 mollusc species and
- 62 interesting kinds of sea weed.
- Endangered mammals:
- Small-clawed otter, slow loris, pygmy loris, silvered langur, crab-eating macaque and stump-tailed macaque
- The dugong: The marine section of the park is home to the dugong, the last surviving member of the once large family of dugongidae and the only strictly herbivorous sea mammal in the world.
- Landscape and flora: Roughly fourty percent of the area is consisting of lowland evergreen forests – an ideal habitat for the huge biodiversity, especially plant species. The park also features a mountainous area with 99 peaks.
- A large amount of butterflies is around when you trek in the natural areas of the island. You also encounter a variety of quite bizarre insects to look at, but not to touch.
Other ways to experience the nature of Phu Quoc Island is to go snorkeling or scuba diving. Also visiting the streams is a great opportunity to relax in the green.
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