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Hanoi- Cuc Phuong, Van Long, Tam Dao (1 Viewer)


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Planning to be in Hanoi (late March) and want to make a few birding trips while seeing Vietnam. I would like to hire a driver from Hanoi to Van Long and then on to Cuc Phuong. I think it is best to stay in the park and I am deciding between headquarters and the bong substation. I’m just not sure which one will be best. The more remote substation looks best for birding, but will it be possible to get back and forth to headquarters/restaurant without my own vehicle? Can I coordinate a car to drop off/pickup from the substation? Also, are there any local guides in this area people recommend?

As for Tam Dao, I’m just looking for more updates as some people on this thread mentioned it being closed a while back. Is it still a good birding spot? I see it listed on many birding itineraries. Or are there other spots that might be better and still within striking distance of Hanoi?

Thank you everyone for the input!
If you spend several nights there, I would recommend to stay both at the HQ area and at Bong. Both areas are good for birding, but at Bong, you have more trails inside good forest.

Accomodation at Bong is quite basic.

You can rent motorbikes at the HQ to move along the road inside the park or go to Bong. You can also have you car drive you to Bong, or arrange transport with the park HQ.

There is no mobile reception at Bong, so you need to arrange pick up before going there.

If you go to Van Long mainly for the Langurs, best chances are in the afternoon, so more practical to do that on the way back to Hanoi after a morning in Cuc Phuong.

You can book guides at the HQ, but if you want a really good one, you can contact Bui Duc Tien (Vietnam Pitta Tours).

I haven't been in Tan Dao for a long time. BA Vi mountain can make an interesting day trip from Hanoi. Go early and avoid weekends
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I went in 2018 so my information could be out of date. I traveled by a mix of public transport and taxi transfers from van long to cuc Phuong and vinh yen to tam Dao. No guides.
At Cuc Phuong, Bong was much better for birding than HQ. Easy enough to arrange transfers. There was a better, cheaper restaurant there too. Accommodation was a bit grim though.
At Tam Dao the road into the national park was closed but local people ignored it so I risked it. Got told off on the way out but it was worth it. Not sure if Tam Dao is worth it if you can’t access the NP as you are limited to the TV tower steps.
good luck
On more addition: Xuan Thuy NP in March is also a good location for migrating waders and water birds, not too far from Hanoi and Cuc Phuong.
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