Located in An Minh and Vinh Thuan districts, Kien Giang Province and about 365km south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, U Minh Thuong National Park is recognized as one of the three highest priority sites for wetland conservation in the Mekong Delta.
One salient characteristic that will strongly impress you is that U Minh Thuong National Park situates in an area of freshwater wetlands, comprising peat swamp forest, seasonally inundated grassland. The core zone of U Minh Thuong National Park is surrounded by a perimeter canal and dyke system, with a series of gates, which are used to manage the water level.
U Minh Thuong National Park supports one of the last significant areas of peat swamp forest remaining in Vietnam as well as one of the three highest priority sites for wetland conservation in the Mekong Delta.
Fauna. In the past, the park supported one of the largest breeding colonies of water birds in the Mekong Delta. However, this was heavily disturbed by a fire in 2002. Surveys to date have confirmed the presence of 187 bird species at U Minh Thuong National Park, including 9 species of global conservation concern such as: oriental darter, spot-billed pelican, painted stork, lesser adjutant, black-headed ibis, glossy ibis, greater spotted eagle, grey-headed fish eagle and Asian golden weaver. In addition, at least eight species of economically valuable fish are found at this park.
The Melaleuca forest in the core zone of U Minh Thuong National Park plays an important role in maintaining the soil and water quality in the buffer zone by preventing the acidification of topsoil and surface water, filtering ground water and storing freshwater during the dry season. This park harbors a diversity of flora with 226 species of non-cultivated vascular plants which are very rare in South-East Asia. The natural vegetation was classified into 10 types, belonging to four main classes: Melaleuca forests, seasonally inundated grasslands, permanent swamps and vegetation along canals and streams.
U Minh Thuong National Park also has historical values because the area was used as a military base by resistance forces during the First and Second Indochina Wars. Due to the complete loss of natural forest in the Mekong Delta region, U Minh Thuong is one of the few places where you can see the landscape as primary as it was. In addition, you can find the archaeological remains dating back to the Oc Eo civilization in this area.
Furthermore, with the advantage of the road and water way (only 50 km from Rach Gia), the park is now an idea destination for tourists who prefer ecosystem. To date, most of the tourists come here is from Western, Thailand, Singapore, Philippine…Being a nature-lover, you should not miss a trip to U Minh Thuong National Park with a binocular and you will have a chance to view more than 187 bird species as well as the salient landscape of the park…