Hue

Bach Ma National Park: Hiking and Trekking the Trails

Bach Ma National Park (Vietnamese spelling: Vườn quốc gia Bạch Mã) is about 48 km south of Hue and 65 km north of Danang. Hai Van Pass (đèo Hải Vân) is a popular stop-off, especially if you’re coming from Danang.

Bach Ma covers over 37 000 hectares with a tropical monsoon climate. If you’re looking to get out for the day from either Hue or Danang, this is a popular trip with activities for all.

What to Know Before Visiting Bach Ma National Park

What to Know Before Visiting Bach Ma National Park
[ by Phương Phan from Facebook ]

One thing to know about Bach Ma National Park is that motorbikes aren’t allowed inside the park. You’ll have to leave them at the entrance parking lot. 

The trails are quite far apart from one another but their starting points are all just off the concrete road. A vehicle, like a car, will save you the time getting from one trail to the next.

If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can book the park’s minibus. It’s quite expensive and the time you can spend at each destination is limited. A minibus can be booked for a day or overnight, and starts from Barie Station at the bottom of the mountain.

It’s best to rent a car from Danang or Hue, but you’ll need a driver with experience on the mountain trails. You can find agencies with this service online. Vehicles over 30 seats are not allowed. Alternatively, you can join a group or private tour.

Things to Do in Bach Ma National Park

Things to Do in Bach Ma National Park
[ by Alan Strakey from Flickr ]

There are many delightful natural trails in Bach Ma National Park. They can go to the top of the mountain, down to the other side, to the waterfalls, or around its lakes. 

Along the way, you can visit some old buildings which were villas for officers of French Cochinchina. When you reach the other bottom side, you can make a short stop at the Hobbit Village for some sneaky photos.

Day trips are popular, but you can also stay in accommodations along the main road. You can do free camping or there’s a designated point near the entrance for an organized campfire. You have to bring your own camping gear though.

Tours generally leave around 8 am and return by early evening. You can also book a guide and even have someone carry your pack while hiking.

View all the locations mentioned in this article

Hiking and Trekking in Bach Ma National Park

Hiking and Trekking in Bach Ma National Park
[ by Bach Ma National Park trekking from Facebook ]

The trails are generally easy and typically take around 30 minutes of hiking. Nonetheless, it’s best to bring a good pair of hiking shoes or boots. And, if you’re worried about insect bites, or maybe even leeches, you should wear long sports clothes that hug your body. 

You won’t need climbing equipment like snap links, ropes, nor helmets. The parts you have to climb all have ladders and ropes for support. If you happen to come here during the rainy season, it’s best to stick to the trails and avoid tricky parts with slippery steps. 

All the public amenities are around the entrance with a few along the concrete road. That’s why it’s best to prepare adequate water, food, insect repellent, and a basic first-aid kit just in case. Also, be prepared to do your business in the woods.

Black Parashorea Forest

Black Parashorea Forest
[ image from Facebook ]

The black parashorea (chò đen) forest is the first point of activity 3 km away from Bach Ma National Park’s tourist center. Besides the nice shady walks, there’s also a guided obstacle course with a hanging grid crossing and a zipline.

Tri Sao Waterfall

Tri Sao Waterfall
[ by Lonita Tuyet from Facebook ]

The beginning of Tri Sao Trail is 5 km from the entrance of Bach Ma National Park. At the end of the trail is a waterfall of the same name. This area is home to numerous crested arguses (trĩ sao), a type of pheasant or peafowl, hence the name.

Vong Hai Viewpoint

Vong Hai Viewpoint
[ by Phương Phan from Facebook ]

Vong Hai Viewpoint (đài quan sát Vọng Hải) is on Bach Ma summit at 1 430 m, 20 km away from the entrance. After conquering the trail, visitors can take in the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and forest, the serene Truoi Lake (hồ Truồi), and famous Lang Co Beach (biển Lăng Cô). 

Further away, you can also see: 

  •  Canh Duong Beach (biển Cảnh Dương) –  the most beautiful beach of Hue.
  •  Cau Hai Lagoon (đầm Cầu Hai) – one of the largest freshwater lagoon systems in SE Asia. 
  • Tu Hien Inlet (cửa Tư Hiền) – the mouth to the Cua Hai Lagoon which seasonally opens and closes. 
  • Tuy Van Mountain (núi Tuý Vân) – a popular power spot overlooking the lagoon with a pagoda originally built by Ngyugen Phuc Chu in the 17th century.
  • Hai Van Pass (đèo Hải Vân) – one of the most scenic routes famous for its hairpin bends.
  • The night lights of Hue and Danang cities. 

Five Lakes

Five Lakes at Bach Ma National Park
[ by Noah White from Facebook ]

Go on for another 5km from the viewpoint and you’ll reach the trail for the Five Lakes (Ngũ Hồ). The name speaks for itself as a meeting point of five lakes. It’s a beautiful spot for some outdoor picnicking and dips in the water.

This trail starts at a restaurant and it’s the last point where you can get a restroom. The trail also connects to Rhododendron Waterfall trail and there are signs showing directions along the way. 

After around 300 m, the path divides into one going directly to the Five Lakes, and one being the “adventure trail”. The regular trail will take you to the top of the stream, around the lakes, and to their meeting point. The adventurous one is just a little bit more tricky, but there are ladders and ropes to hold on to as mentioned above.

Rhododendron Waterfall

Rhododendron Waterfall
[ by Hoi An Express from Facebook ]

Do Quyen Waterfall or Rhododendron Waterfall in English gets the name from the Rhododendron flowers (hoa đỗ quyên) in the area. The beginning of the trail is 2 to 3 km from the Five Lakes and another resting spot with an amazing view.

Again, if you take the easy path you won’t miss any of the scenery. On the harder path, you’ll have to cross some streams but there are ropes for you to grip. Just be prepared to get your feet wet.

At the end of the trail, you’ll reach the top of the fall at 300 m. There are 700 steps down to reach the bottom of the fall, and you have to climb back up again. March is when the flowers bloom.

Truoi Lake and Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery

Truoi Lake and Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery
[ image from Facebook ]

Truoi Lake (hồ Truồi) and its beautiful turquoise waters are 15 km away from Bach Ma National Park. It’s a good stop-off when you’re already in the park but you can also get here directly from outside.

You’ll need to take a 15-minute ferry ride on the lake to get to the Truc Lam Bach Ma Monastery (Thiền viện Trúc Lâm Bạch Mã). From the ferry, you’ll see the 24 meters high Buddha statue. Once ashore, it’s 172 steps to the three symbolic gates of the three worlds (cổng tam quan).

Camping in Bach Ma National Park

Camping in Bach Ma National Park
[ by Bach Ma National Park trekking from Facebook ]

Free camping: In Bach Ma, there’re lots of empty ground. So, if you’re interested in camping here, you can bring your own equipment and camp in the free spaces. 

Organized campfire: There’s a designated point for camping around the campfire with team-building activities near the entrance. You’ll have to pay for the campfire and also prepare your own equipment if you want to camp.

The Ecosystem

The Ecosystem at Bach Ma National Park
[ image from Facebook ]

Most of the animals here are in the protected zone and you’ll mostly see birds like pigeons, parrots, and sparrows while traversing the park. Bach Ma National Park has 2 373 species of flora, 73 of which are listed in the Vietnam Red Book. There are five new species discovered and given ‘bachma’ in their names.

The fauna comprises 1 715 species including 1 029 species of insects, 57 species of fish, 134 species of reptiles and amphibians, 363 species of birds, and 132 species of mammals. There are 69 species listed in the Vietnam Red Book. Two new bee species were discovered that are endemic.

Traveling Tips for Bach Ma National Park

Traveling Tips for Bach Ma National Park
[ by Hà Tường Vân from Facebook ]

Best Time to Visit: The ideal time is from November to April when the weather is nice.

Environment: Be mindful to help preserve the environment. Don’t damage or remove vegetation, and take your trash back with you.

Ticket Prices in Bach Ma National Park

Entrance fee:

  • Adults: 60 000 VND per person;
  • Children: 20 000 VND per person.

Minibus to Bach Ma Peak (VAT not included): 

  • One round trip per vehicle for a group of 5 to 8 people: 850 000 VND; overnight: 1 200 000 VND.
  • One round trip per vehicle for a group of 1 to 4 people: 750 000 VND; overnight: 1 100 000 VND.

English and Vietnamese speaking guide: 500 000 VND/ guide/ day/ group of 20 people.

Campfire: 700 000 VND per campfire ; Team-building host: 400 000 VND per campfire.

The Hobbit Village entrance fee: 

  • Adults: 100 000 VND per person;
  • Children from 0.9 to 1.3 meters tall: 60 000 VND per person;
  • Children below 0.9 m: free.

Eating and Staying in Bach Ma National Park

There are basic restaurants and hotels at the bottom of Bach Ma and along the concrete road. You can contact the tourist center via their official website to book a hotel and/ or campfire in advance. Homestays at the bottom are also a good choice if you’re on a budget.

How to Get to Bach Ma National Park

Check out our articles on ‘30 Amazing Things To Do in Hue’ and ‘25 Things To Do in Danang’ for further details on how to get to Hue and Danang, then from there to Bach Ma National Park.

  • Grab is convenient for booking a car to the park for a whole day.
  • Renting a motorbike is the most convenient choice for one or two people. However, as stated before, motorcycles aren’t allowed to travel inside the park.

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