Being the home to many species of rare plants and animals, especially some valuable herbs, Chu Yang Sin National Park is really an ecological system of international significance in the Central Highlands.
- Location: Lak and Krong Bong districts, Dak Lak Province
How Is It Unique?
Chu Yang Sin National Park is located in Lak and Krong Bong districts, Dak Lak province, 60 km to the south-east of Buon Ma Thuot town. The national park encompasses a range of high mountains in the northern part of the Southern Annamite mountains. The topography of the park is characterised by steep slopes and narrow valleys.
Chu Yang Sin mountain range consists of many mountain peaks, of which the 2,442m Cu Yang Sin peak is the highest one in Dak Lak. It covers 59,667ha, with tropical climate of high mountain. The topography has many slopes, facilitating varieties of forests with diversified flora and fauna.
The north of Chu Yang Sin National Park is drained by the Ea K’tour and Ea Krong Kmao streams, which flow north to join the Ea Krong Ana river. Streams in the south of Chu Yang Sin flow into the Krong No river. Both the Ea Krong Ana and Krong No rivers flow west and north before joining the Srepok river, a major tributary of the Mekong River.
At elevations below 800m, the national park supports lowland semi-evergreen forest, characterised by Lagerstroemia calyculata and Terminalia nigrovenulosa, and lowland evergreen forest, dominated by Hopea odorata, Dipterocarpus alatus and D. turbinatus.
The park has primary forest covering from ground level to the 8,000m peak of Chu Yang Sin mountain. Montane evergreen forest is widely distributed above 800 m, and dominated by members of the Fagaceae and Lauraceae. Montane evergreen forest at Chu Yang Sin is also characterised by conifers, such as Pinus dalatensis, P. krempfii, P. kesiya var. langbianensis, Podocarpus imbricatus and Fokienia hodginsii.
On mountain summits and ridge lines, elfin forest formations are distributed, dominated by Lyonia annamensis, L. ovalifolia and the dwarf bamboo Arundinaria sp. Coniferous forest, dominated by Pinus kesiya, occupies more than 10,600 ha of the national park. This is a secondary vegetation type that is formed in areas subject to periodic burning.
A significant proportion of the national park supports bamboo forest, dominated by Oxytenanthera nigrociliata and Bambusa procera. Open secondary growth, scrub and grassland cover less than 1% of the total area of the national park.
Do not forget to bring with you a binocular because Chu Yang Sin National Park is situated within the Da Lat Plateau Endemic Bird Area.
Eight restricted-range bird species have been recorded at Chu Yang Sin: Germain’s Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron germaini, Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis, Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti, Collared Laughingthrush G. yersini, White-cheeked Laughingthrush Garrulax vassalli, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouille d’anjou, Grey-faced Tit Babbler Macronous kelleyi and Yellow-billed Nuthatch Sitta solange.
The most important of these species, from a conservation perspective, is Grey-crowned Crocias, which is endemic to the Da Lat plateau and classified as globally endangered.
A total of 46 mammal species have been recorded at Chu Yang Sin. Mammals of particular conservation significance recorded at the site include Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nigripes and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates gabriellae. Moreover, people have found red-face monkeys, long-tail monkeys, a community of Bos Gaurus cattle, and a mole which is believed to be a new species.
What to Do at Chu Yang Sin National Park?
Coming to Chu Yang Sin National Park, tourists can spend a half day soft trekking to reach the peak of Chu Yang Sin mountain. From here, they can overview the scenery of a tropical forest ecosystem below.
In addition, they can also trek for about 2km to the hidden waterfall named Bim Bip. This is the waterfall originating from the Yang Tao mountain’s slopes. Once reaching it, all of your efforts will be paid off as you will have a chance to enjoy the impressive atmosphere among the forest canopy.
What to Eat When Visiting Chu Yang Sin National Park?
Dak Lak is famous for so many great food that can satisfy every visitor.
- Don-Village Grilled Chicken
If you are planning to visit Dak Lak province, let’s include Don-village into your list. It is such a famous destination that you should not skip.
The chicken here is raised in a different method from other regions in Vietnam, which makes its meat leaner and more delicious. In order to make this dish, local people have to be very meticulous. First of all, they rinse the chicken and marinate it with special sauces. Next, grill it on fire until it is well-cooked. When finished, the chicken will be served with a reputable spicy herb to create a perfect combination in your mouth.
- Red Noodle Soup
Red noodle soup is said to be the representation of people in Dak Lak Province. The vermicelli is red and is served with chilli sauce, lemon’s slices, pepper and so on. The broth is succulent because it takes about 4 to 5 hours to boil the crabs and pork bones.
To make a complete dish, people also add various toppings like crushed pork, crab flesh, bean sprouts, quail eggs, fried minced onion, etc. This awesome dish is very suitable for a chilly evening.
- Bagrid Catfish Hotpot
This is the most impressive food made from crystal-eyed catfish in the central highlands. In order to make bagrid catfish hotpot, people clean and slice the fish, then dip it into hot water to make the meat firmer. Next, fry pounded onion along with fresh turmeric and tomatoes. Add bagrid catfish, sour bamboo shoots, and some spices into the pan. Stir the mixture until it is almost done.
People will pour bone broth into the hotpot when everything is ready to eat. During the meal, some kinds of vegetables are also added inside.
Where to Stay
There are a wide range of hotels and homestays in Dak Lak province.
- Muong Thanh Luxury Buon Ma Thuot Hotel
Location: Tan An, Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province
Tel: 0262 3961 555
- Dakruco Hotel
Location: Tan Lap, Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province
Tel: 0262 3970 888
- Bazan Xanh Hotel
Location: Tan Loi, Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province
Tel: 0262 3803 333
If possible, whoever you are, an adventurer, a researcher or a tourist, you should come to Chu Yang Sin National Park to explore and discover the secrets of the land.