Cat Tien National Park is located in the south of Vietnam, around 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh City, established in 1992.
It has been an area of about 720 km2 and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical rain forest left in Vietnam.
It consists of tropical forest and various vegetation made up of bamboo woodland, farmland, wetlands and grasslands.
Cat Tien is also the home of numerous birds and mammals such as Asian elephants, Sun Bears and Gaur and also hosts many smaller mammal species, including rare Gibbons, Mouse Deer, Tree Shrews, Black Shanked Douc Langur and Pygmy slow Loris.
One the park's popular sites and attractions in the centre of the parks core is the Bau Sau or Crocodile Lake. Bau Sau ecosystem has an important role in the maintenance and conservation of biodiversity in the region as well as social and economic life of communities. The lake is home to a large number of Siamese crocodile which were reintroduced back into the lake in 2003 as previous inhabitants were poached to extinction. The numbers are now steadily increasing and it is common to see them basking in the sun along the sides of the lake.
LOCAL ethnic COMMUNITIES
Three ethnic minorities are living nearby Cat Tien National Park, in Ta Lai.
Ma, Tay and Stieng people have lived in the central valley of the reserve for several centuries, and several hundred people are currently still risiding.