Cuc Phuong is a tropical primeval forest located 100km southwest of Hanoi and 60km from the sea. This is one of Vietnam's oldest treasures, having been established in 1926. It occupies of 25.000 ha, three-quarters of which are covered by limestone mountains whose highest peak is 645m. The beauty of Cuc Phuong National Park is found in the enchanting limestone mountains and lush green forest that stretches across Northern Vietnam. These mountains form two parallel ranges, enclosing a valley where the climate is quite different from that of surrounding areas.
Cuc Phuong is called a five-strata tropical forest, whose flora consists of nearly 2,000 species belonging to 240 families. In Cuc Phuong some varieties of tree extinct in many other parts of the world, can still be found such as the cho chi (Parashorea chinensis)which is over a thousand years old, 70m high and 3m in diameter, the cho xanh about a similar age with the trunk at ground level measuring 6m in diameter. Another age-old tree is the sau (Dracontonelum duperreanum) whose perimeter at ground level is 40m. The orchids in the garden are of some 50 species.
Scientists have identified 64 species of fauna. Most noteworthy are the yellow monkey, red bellied squirrel and flying reptile. There are 140 species of birds. Insects abound, especially butterflies. This is a very ideal site for those who love bird-watching.
Cuc Phuong is home to a wealth of beautiful tropical birds, many of them endemic to Vietnam and Indochina. Some of the rare birds that you might encounter are the Silver-Pheasant, Red-Collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill and the Bar-Bellied Pitta. The best time for birding is early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Cuc Phuong is fast becoming a must-see destination for scientists and birdwatchers alike.