Bach Ma national park
On a planet where the environment changes daily for the worse, and natural flora and fauna is destroyed mercilessly, continuously, and irreversibly by humans, Bach Ma is one of these places where biodiversity is preserved and respected.
Bach Ma National Park is located in central Vietnam in the provinces of Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam. The national park lies on a high mountain ridge that runs west-east from the Laotian border to the East Sea at the Hai Van pass. This ridge interrupts the coastal plain of Vietnam, and, therefore, forms a biographical boundary between the faunas and floras of northern and southern Vietnam. This ridge also affects the local climate at the national park, which is probably the wettest place in Vietnam.
The geology of the national park is dominated by granite, with some overlying areas of sandstone, schist and gneiss. The topography is generally steep and rugged, formed by heavy dissection of the substrate by surface water. The national park is dominated by a west-east ridge, with several peaks above 1,000 m, the highest of which is Mount Bach Ma at 1,448 m. The lower slopes and hills are less steep, and are bordered by a narrow alluvial plain.
The Bach Ma area has long been noted for its rich biodiversity. One reason is that, within a relatively small area, the area supports a wide range of habitat types, from coastal lagoons to montage forest. Additionally, Bach Ma is situated at a biographical boundary between northern and southern Vietnam, and between the Annamite mountains and the coastal plain. With steep mountains and dense forests, this area is home to a wide variety of animals and plants. At the base of the mountains there is tropical monsoon forest, above 900 m sub-tropical forest. There are species from both northern and southern Vietnam, and Bach Ma is recognized as one of the areas of Indochina with high biodiversity. Bach Ma mountain peak was the highest point in the park before extension at 1450 m above sea level, and is only 18 km away from the coast.
In summer, the climate around Bach Ma Peak is cool, and this was the principal reason for establishing of Bach Ma Resort in the 1930's. Here the French built 139 villas and guesthouses. Today we can see some of these villas still remaining in the jungle; they were destroyed in the American War and reclaimed by nature. During the war, the American Army used the summit as a helicopter-base and the area saw a lot of heavy combats, hence unfortunately destroying some parts of the forest.
Today you can still find many interesting plants and animals; the Park is a habitat for precious species which are at risk of extinction. Bach Ma National Park on its own is reason enough to visit Vietnam.