Extended in 3 provinces of the North: Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa, Cuc Phuong National Park is the first and largest national park in Vietnam, which is home to an exceptionally diverse bio-ecosystem. The spectacular natural settings have attracted thousands of visitors each year. And the abundance, beauty, and diversity of butterflies in the park are among the travelers’ most vivid memories of this National Park, making Cuc Phuong one of the top places to go in northern Vietnam.
From April to May is the butterfly season in Cuc Phuong
The structure of Cuc Phuong National Park enables travelers to enjoy the comfortable driving through the jungle. The road curves along a valley, bordered on both sides by dense primary forests with a diverse system of plants and animals as well as a number of trails to accommodate hikers. The canopy of the forest shadows the road but there often exist large breaks that allow light to touch the road surface and the forest ground. Thanks to the full sunlight intensity, these clear areas offer the appropriate conditions for remarkable butterfly aggregations.
From late April to May, when the weather gets cooler after the spring rain, Cuc Phuong enters the butterfly season. The Park is full of different species of butterflies. It is estimated that the number of species of butterflies in this not-so-large park exceeds 500 species, which is said to be more than half of the whole butterfly fauna in North America (700) and more than the entire number of butterfly species in Europe and Australia (500). This is just incredible a figure! Cuc Phuong Park is hence a must-see destination when visitors travel to northern Vietnam in this period of time.
Driving to watch butterflies
When passengers drive or hike across the roads or the mud glades, you will stand in awe when seeing the large groups of butterflies burst into a cloud of colors (white, orange, blue, green, and black, etc.). These clearings contain hundreds of butterflies busily milling about at mud glades or water-seepages, and ingesting salt, minerals, and water. An assortment of butterflies ceaselessly patrolling the roads and chasing each other is such an amazing scene to watch.
The road is full of butterflies
Butterflies are not something that sounds strange to us, but the interesting thing about butterflies in Cuc Phuong National Park that has captured visitors’ attention and makes them believe that they should visit this land at least once when taking North Vietnam group tours is that the butterflies love to cascade along the main roads through the Park! The dreamy and poetic scenery when driving along a road that is full of colorful butterflies is the vivid memory of every traveler visiting Cuc Phuong. The large aggregations of butterflies are believed to swarm along the roads not only to sip moisture and minerals but also to sex. Butterflies often aggregate in the clearings where the sunlight can meet the ground, believing it would offer bigger opportunities to meet suitable mates. And the road is the stimulus for this behavior. Both female and male butterflies patrol on the road, and any other crossing would join in and eventually form large assortments of butterflies.
Fireflies in Cuc Phuong at night
Additional to the various species of butterflies that can be seen along the roads at daytime, the night on the Park also amazing to admire. The forest is enlightened with fireflies! The scene of millions of butterflies glittering under the moonlight in the jungle is just too awe-inspiring to dream.
The wonderful aggregations of butterflies that you see when driving into the park turn out to be more than just a pretty picture. They also represent the overall biodiversity of the tropical forest system that Cuc Phuong protects. Cuc Phuong is, of course, much more than butterflies. There are at least 119 mammals (27 endangered), more than 300 birds (5 species endangered), and 67 reptiles (2 endangered) that the Park provides habitat for.
The stunning swarms of butterflies in Cuc Phuong and the beauty of the Park itself have been an endless inspiration for nature lovers and photography enthusiast. Watching the butterflies in the National Park is absolutely a should-do activity that your group tour in Ninh Binh Vietnam should not miss.