Located 150 kilometers west of Hanoi at the entrance to the magnificent Hoang Lien Son mountain range, Phu Tho Province's Xuan Son National Park is a great natural retreat and trekking area.
With an area of 15,048 hectares, Xuan Son's main attraction is a 1,300-meter high limestone mountain covered in dense jungle. Xuan Son forest has over 700 botanical species and 365 kinds of animals. The National Park also contains one of the most beautiful cho chi (Parashrea Stellata) forests in the northern region.
The park's landscape is amazing with three misty 1,000- meter-high-mountains Voi, Ten and Can rising skyward. There are hundreds of grottos, streams and more-than-50- meter-high waterfalls.
A not to be missed site is the 10-kilometer-long Dong Tien (Fairy's cave) full of stalactites, making Xuan Son one of the recent top northern tourist destinations.
Visitors can also experience traditional customs of ethnic people like the Dao and Muong who live in the forest. Some tours offer meals in the stilt houses before going trekking in the National Park that was established in February 2002.
Trek with local guides to Ban Du (Du Village), Phu Tho Province's most remote area and the administrative station of both Xuan Son Commune and the National Forest.
Another seven kilometers along the path is Xom Coi (Coi Hamlet). This is the last of the hamlets in the forest and tourists can do homestays with the hospitable ethnic people.
Tourists relax on the way to explore the Xuan Son National Park in the northern province of Phu Tho
Just a tip - watch the weather before starting your trek, as it's best if it's sunny day. To visit Xuan Son National Park from Hanoi - follow Highway 2 to Phu Tho Province's famed Den Hung (Hung Kings' Temple). From the temple, drive 40 kilometers on Highway 32 to the southwestern Thanh Son District. Keep going straight another 30 kilometers to arrive at the Xuan Son gate.
For more information check out the official website: www.vuongquocgiaxuanson.com.vn.