Phu Quoc National Park overview
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, take a walk along a park trail or motorbike on one of roads in the north. It will give you a taste of the natural environment on Phu Quoc.
Phu Quoc National Park was established in 2001, and includes 8,603 hectares of strictly protected area, 22,603 hectares of biological restoration area and 33 hectares for administration and services. An additional 6,144 hectares is dedicated to a land-buffer zone, with around 20,000 hectares of sea-buffer zone, though the final Marine protection zones are yet to be declared.
Located on an island with mixed terrestrial and coastal climates, Phu Quoc National Park contains many forest types and landscapes, including mangroves and wetlands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation and forest on rocky mountains. Studies by the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Center in 2005 recorded 1,164 higher plant species, including 23 orchid species and 12 rare plants, including the globally endangered Paphiopedilum callosum which was recently found in the park.
A total of 208 animal species were recorded in the National Park, including 28 mammals, 119 birds, 47 reptiles and 14 amphibians. Of these animal species, 6 mammal, 4 bird and 9 reptile species are globally endangered. The rare species here include lorises, the long-tailed macaque, silver langur, otter, and hornbill.
Exploring Phu Quoc National Park
Phu Quoc National Park is not strictly defined, however until the National park is made more accessible for the needs of tourism, the following options are available for visitors keen to explore what is on offer;
Hire a motorbike on your own and explore the northerly parts of the island. The best areas and most forested parts can be found on the road toward Ganh Dau. To get there, take the road from Duong Dong towards Bai Thom and turn off toward Ganh Dau. The national park becomes more apparent the closer you get to Ganh Dau Village.
Walking trails are limited, though for a great way to experience the national park there is a good walking trail 5km before Ganh Dau, where the going is relatively easy and the trail wide enough to take in the surrounding environment. The walk is a particularly pleasant way to escape the heat, as the vegetation provides cover from the heat of the sun. Take the same road mentioned previously towards Ganh Dau and 100m after the 5km Ganh Dau road marker on the left hand side you’ll find an opening in the national park with a clearly defined walking trail, which continues for a couple of kilometers. Note, besides the 5km Ganh Dau marker, the actual trail is not sign posted.