Cat Tien National Park: Where to Stay

First published November 2016 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle


From traditional longhouses to luxury safari tents; from bamboo huts to camping under the tropical canopy: accommodation in and around Cat Tien National Park is exciting, atmospheric, good value and, more often than not, environmentally and socially responsible. 150km from Saigon, Cat Tien National Park is bounded by the Dong Nai River to the east and the Ho Chi Minh Road to the west. Rich in wildlife and flora (including bears, elephants, primates, crocodiles, and old-growth trees), there’s a real energy in this area: you can sense the life that lies beneath the thick jungle canopy. Most of Cat Tien’s sleeping options are deeply in touch with the natural environment and local community, giving the accommodations more soul, character and depth than the average hotel in Vietnam. I visited all of the places to stay that are currently available in this lush, exotic, bio-diverse national park in the southern Central Highlands.

Accommodation in Cat Tien National Park, VietnamAtmospheric lodgings: accommodation in & around Cat Tien National Park is exciting & characterful

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On this page I’ve reviewed all eight accommodations in, or nearby, Cat Tien National Park. I’ve included practical information, such as room rates and contact details, as well as a description, photos, and my personal opinion of each property. All accommodation options below include breakfast, mosquito nets (essential in this area), have on-site restaurants, and can arrange activities in and around the national park. Most places can either arrange or advise on transport to/from their property. The following accommodations are all within walking distance of the national park or, in some cases, in it. You can book rooms directly from this page by clicking the BOOK HERE links: any bookings made from this page will help to support this website (see below for details).

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: I never write a review for money: all my content is free & all my reviews are independent. You can support the work I do by booking your hotels via the Agoda links & search boxes on my site, like the ones on this page. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Any money I make goes straight back into this site. Thank you.

Click a name from the list below to read my review:


Accommodation in Cat Tien National Park

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Address: Ta Lai Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: 450,000vnd ($20) per person | Contact: [email protected]


15km west of the Cat Tien ferry crossing, Ta Lai Longhouse is a superb, WWF-initiated project aimed at supporting the local ethnic minority communities while also protecting the natural environment. The Longhouse is signposted off the main Nam Cat Tien road and down increasingly narrow paved lanes, over a suspension bridge across the Dong Nai River, and up a dirt path to a forested hillock surrounded by cashews trees. Up the stone steps, the Longhouse is a beautiful bamboo-and-thatch structure in a clearing at the top of the hill. Several other brick and bamboo huts dot the immediate vicinity, including the immaculate shower rooms, kitchen, communal dining area, and games room. Pathways lead down to a clear lake ringed by the forested hills of the national park. It’s a marvellous spot for swimming and kayaking during most of the year, but at the height of the dry season (February to April) it dries up completely. Just before I visited, a large wild elephant was spotted bathing in the lake here.

Ta Lai Longhouse, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamThe bamboo longhouse at Ta Lai: sleeping is on mattresses on the wooden floor

There are two longhouses: the main one can accommodate up to 30 people, while the small one sleeps 15. Mattresses are laid out on the bamboo floor with mosquito nets hung from the ceiling. Bamboo screens partition guests, providing some privacy. There were only a couple of other guests when I visited, which was lovely, so it’s difficult to imagine what it would be like with 30 or more people. The Longhouse often receives large groups, so it’s worth calling ahead to make sure it’s not too busy. The price is 450,000vnd per person, including breakfast. Camping (200-300,000vnd) is at the bottom of the hill under cashew trees. Lunch and dinner are available for 150,000vnd per head, and refreshments served throughout the day, including excellent, locally sourced coffee. 30% of the revenue goes directly to the two ethnic minorities in Ta Lai Village, the Mạ and the S’tieng, whose traditional homes the Longhouse design is based on. Staff are young, active, friendly, and between them speak about four different languages. Walking, biking, swimming and kayaking are all on offer: the surrounding landscape is perfect for outdoor activities. This is a fabulous place and I hope that it will encourage similar projects in the coming years. You can BOOK HERE

Ta Lai Longhouse, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamView from the bamboo terrace at the Ta Lai Longhouse: the lake below is great for swimming

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Address: 854 Nam Cat Tien Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $70-$140 | Contact: [email protected]


On the lush banks at the confluence of the Dong Nai and Da Huoai rivers, Cat Tien Jungle Lodge is just a few metres from the National Park ferry crossing. Recently opened, Jungle Lodge offers some of the most comfortable rooms in the area. Owners, Gary and Phuong, are passionate about their project and about the sensitive development of the Cat Tien area in general. There are currently only 16 rooms on their large riverfront property, which means there’s lots of space (indoors and outdoors) in which to relax and plan your national park adventures. At first sight, it’s a odd collection of building styles and materials: a large, green-painted, brick villa, a two-storey wooden lobby and restaurant, and several tile-roof houses. But, once you’re on the premises, the space works really well. The communal areas are light, spacious and airy; the garden (dotted with fruit trees) is verdant and quiet; the riverfront walkway is lined with bamboo, and the bar by the swimming pool is a wonderful place to see the sunset.

Cat Tien Jungle Lodge, VietnamRooms at Cat Tien Jungle Lodge are cosy, thoughtfully furnished & very spacious

Most of the rooms are arranged in a row among the gardens, with patios fronting onto a water feature and the river beyond. The more expensive rooms are in atmospheric wood and brick bungalows close to the river. All rooms have lots of space and are attractively furnished with wooden desks, rugs, lamps, ceiling fans, and mosquito nets. Large bathrooms (with excellent showers) and modern conveniences, such as flat screen TVs and air-con, also feature in all rooms. The restaurant serves good food, including lots of vegetarian options, and the bar has a couple of cocktails on the menu (a rarity in these parts). In the early morning, the exotic call of the golden-cheeked gibbon can be clearly heard, coming across the river from the steamy canopy of the national park. Staff can arrange any number of park activities. Rates are between $70-$140 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE.

Cat Tien Jungle Lodge, VietnamThe riverside bar & swimming pool is the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the national park

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Address: 4 Nam Cat Tien Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $15-$30 | Contact: [email protected]


Down a concrete lane lined with hibiscus hedges, and then down a gravel pathway surrounded by cashew trees and banana plants, Forest Call Lodge lives up to its evocative name. The gardens shimmer with birdsong and are thick with the scent of fruit trees and flowers. The reception is a beautiful bamboo and thatch structure, which also doubles as a communal living and dining room for guests. Owner, Mr Thuat, has years of experience working in the national park, and has successfully stopped the construction of dams and roads that would have destroyed the park’s habitat. (For more about Mr Thuat’s work, read this article in the New York Times.) Forest Call offers quiet, restarined, clean and affordable accommodation in brick and tile bungalows. Arranged in a line among the lush foliage of the garden, the eight rooms (6 fan-cooled, 2 with air-con: $20-$30 respectively) are simple and plain with semi-outdoor bathrooms. There’s also a dormitory (with good, shared bathroom facilities), consisting of bamboo beds and rattan mats, for $4 per person. They are currently in the process of building rooms in bamboo tree houses.

Forest Call Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamRooms are clean and plain at Forest Call Lodge, set in lush gardens on the Da Huoai River

Forest Call’s main strengths are its lovely gardens and its good location, on the banks of the Da Huoai River. In the raining season, the grounds are so verdant that you can almost see the plants growing. Log seats, benches, and hammocks dot the garden; there are wood and rubber-tyre swings over the river; and a zip-line across to the small island opposite the property, where you can climb a lookout tower for excellent views. Unlike the Dong Nai River, which encompasses the national park and flows muddy and fast all year, the Da Huoai River runs slow and clear in the dry season, making it suitable for swimming and kayaking, both of which can be enjoyed at Forest Call. Breakfast is included and Thuat can arrange all park-related activities. Rates are between $15-$30 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Forest Call Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamOwner, Mr Thuat, demonstrating his zip-line/cable car across the river to a small island

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Address: 4 Nam Cat Tien Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $15-$35 | Contact: [email protected]


Hidden down a dirt road lined with coffee bushes and corn plants, Green Hope Lodge has 11 rooms, most of which have river views. Several brick bungalows stand in the abundant gardens, which front right onto the Dong Na River. Thatched gazebos sit in the shade of fruit trees behind a screen of bamboo, where you can lay out in hammocks and watch the river flowing by. It’s a very atmospheric place to idle away an afternoon.

Green Hope Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamThe bamboo and thatch gazebos in the riverside gardens at Green Hope are a great place to relax

The brick and wood bungalows (either fan or air-con) are quite large and sturdy. They’re comfortable but minimally furnished, with the exception of giant bamboo chairs. The bare stone floors are a nice touch. Rooms are also available in a dark-wood stilt house with good river views from the second floor and lots of patio space. The small restaurant serves breakfast (included in the price), lunch and dinner, and staff can arrange all park excursions. Rates are between $15-$35 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Green Hope Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamRooms are clean and minimally furnished at Green Hope Lodge

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Address: 4 Nam Cat Tien Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $10-$35 | Contact: (+84) 973 346 345


On the left, just before the ferry crossing to Cat Tien National Park, a short lane leads to Green Bamboo Lodge. However, this place also goes by the names, River Lodge, Bird Song Retreat, and Lava Rock. The different names reflect the various styles of accommodation available here. Sprawling along the banks of the Dong Nai River, 17 rooms occupy a pleasant, shady, and quiet patch of land. The bamboo huts are the most atmospheric: perched on stilts over the muddy river. The bamboo architecture inside is fascinating to look at, and the rooms are small and cosy. Bamboo floors act as a massage for your feet, and out on the balcony there are hammocks to swing in while gazing down the river, or watching primates swing from branches in the national park on the opposite bank. The gardens between the huts boast giant-leaved teak trees, and a canopy of delicate bamboo leaves provides lots of shade. It’s a very exotic-feeling place to stay, and prices in the low-season are exceptionally good value at $10-$15 a night. There’s also a good bamboo dormitory ($5-$7).

Green Bamboo Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamThe riverside bamboo huts are very atmospheric and good value at Green Bamboo Lodge

Other rooms include: new brick-and-wood huts, which are neatly and simply presented; and rather incongruous, A-frame, red-brick bungalows, which are brand new and slightly smarter. All come with balconies and great river views. The newest accommodation option takes the form of ‘lava houses’: cylindrical dwellings (they look a bit like Dutch windmills) made of brick, but with a two-foot thick outer layer of volcanic rock, of the kind found all over the Cat Tien area. The layer of rock keeps the rooms cool in all weather and there’s a rooftop balcony on each ‘lava house’. The riverfront restaurant is stocked with home-grown vegetables, fruits and meat: they aim to become totally self-sufficient in the future. The owners are constantly expanding and have lots of ideas for new accommodations and activities in the area. Rates are between $10-$35 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Green Bamboo Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamMost rooms have views of the Dong Nai River like this, with the national park on the opposite bank

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Address: 2 Nam Cat Tien Commune, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $20-$70 | Contact: [email protected]


Owned by the same people as Cat Tien Jungle Lodge, the Farmstay is located in Nam Cat Tien village, about a kilometre up the road from the national park ferry crossing. The Farmstay comprises over a dozen rooms spread among a large and green garden on the banks of the Da Huoai River. Wooden tables and chairs are set up on the grass beneath canvas canopies and fruit trees, providing a romantic setting for evening meals in lamplight, with the sound of cicadas all around. The Farmstay doesn’t have as much riverfront access as other Cat Tien accommodations, but makes up for this with very homely, well-appointed rooms.

Cat Tien Farmstay, VietnamThe Farmstay has large, green gardens with picnic tables and chairs for al fresco dining

The two wood and brick bungalows closest to the river are spacious family rooms, which would also be perfect for a small group of travellers. The nicest garden-view rooms are housed in an attractive wooden structure with an open-sided ground floor living area. Rooms are positioned around a central stairwell: some have private bathrooms, others have shared. Furnished with floor-level mattresses, mosquito nets, bright sheets and pillows, and a lovely open-sided balcony looking over the garden, these rooms are great value for two people. Rates are between $15-$70 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Cat Tien Farmstay, VietnamRooms are tastefully furnished and very comfortable at Cat Tien Farmstay

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Address: Cat Tien National Park, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $25-$50 | Contact: [email protected]


After purchasing the park entrance and ferry ticket (40,000vnd), a wooden boat takes you across the Dong Nai River to the National Park Headquarters. The Park HQ accommodation is now known as Green Cat Tien. After disembarking the ferry, the green field on the left is the park’s campgrounds. You can pitch your own tent (50,000vnd) or rent a 2-person tent from the park (200,000vnd). It’s a good camping spot on green grass in the shade of tall trees, but the communal bathrooms are only OK. The park accommodation reception is housed in a grubby building on the left after the campgrounds. There’s a bamboo and thatch restaurant behind reception which offers a surprisingly wide range of Vietnamese dishes, but service is grumpy and reluctant. A variety of lodgings are arranged off the park road in neatly kept gardens.

Cat Tien National Park Headquarters, VietnamThe campsite at the National Park Headquaters is large with reasonable facilities

All rooms are tidy, clean and comfortable, but without any frills to justify the relatively high prices, which range from 480,000vnd to 1,100,000vnd a night. The most expensive rooms are slightly better furnished and come with bathtubs, but are still massively overpriced. The middle-priced rooms are perfectly fine, but this is the standard you’d expect to find in local guesthouses all over Vietnam for half of the park’s asking price. The most atmospheric rooms (and the cheapest) are the wooden stilt houses under huge trees by the river (480,000vnd). Beneath a dense jungle canopy, these rooms have a lot of character, but the furniture and bathrooms are a bit rustic. All park rooms have good, firm foam mattresses. The main reason to stay here is to get an early start for the popular Gibbon Trek, which starts at 5am. However, despite its significant shortfalls, the Park HQ is still a very shady, green place to be, with the smell of damp earth and flowers in the air, and the sound of gibbon calls coming from the jungle. Rates are between $25-$50 a night: you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Cat Tien National Park Headquarters, VietnamRooms are clean and good but overpriced at the National Park HQ

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Address: Cat Tien National Park, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Price: $75-$125 | Contact: [email protected]


A couple of kilometres north of the Park HQ along a paved lane, Forest Floor Lodge offers the most luxurious and most expensive accommodation in Cat Tien. Owned by a British entomologist and his Vietnamese wife, the first thing you notice when arriving at Forest Floor is the thundering roar of the rapids on the Dong Nai River. The 16 rooms are connected via stone pathways through the trees and raised walkways above the forest floor. The three canvas-and-wood safari tents are the most popular rooms here. These luxury tents have patios right above the rapids, looking across to Dao Tien Island, where you can see and hear gibbons in the morning. The tents have beautiful interiors of woven bamboo, wooden furniture and colourful textiles.

Forest Floor Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamAll rooms at Forest Floor are beautifully furnished and very cosy

Garden view rooms are pretty bamboo-and-wood bungalows set back from the river. Although they lack a riverfront location, they are more spacious, airy, and cooler than the safari tents. Above the reception, the Hornbill Bar is a wonderful setting for breakfast – with jungle calls coming from across the river over the sound of the rapids – or a Gin and Tonic at dusk after a day of walking in the national park. Good meals are served here too. All the produce used in cooking, and all the building materials and furniture at Forest Floor, are locally sourced within a 10km radius of the lodge. All rooms have air-con and fans, but there is no electricity between 10pm and 6am, during which time there are battery-powered lights in all rooms. Make reservations in advance, because rooms are often fully booked during the peak winter months. Rates are between $75-$125 a night (low/high season): you can search availability, check current rates and BOOK HERE

Forest Floor Lodge, Cat Tien National Park, VietnamView of the rapids on the Dong Nai River from one of the safari tents at Forest Floor Lodge

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: I never write a review for money: all my content is free & all my reviews are independent. You can support the work I do by booking your hotels via the Agoda links & search boxes on my site, like the ones on this page. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Any money I make goes straight back into this site. Thank you.


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Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. I’ve written this review because I want to: I like this hotel and I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements here

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28 Responses to Cat Tien National Park: Where to Stay

  1. Luke says:

    Hi Tom
    Currently staying at Forest Call, which has changed significantly including the name. It is now called Xứ Sở La Vie Est Belle and is headed by a French yogs instructor named Phillipe. The accommodation is as described minus the aircon but there is no lomgerta dorm. This dorm space is occypied by volunteers who come for a minimum 3 months to run projects, work the garden and cook all vegetarian (not vegan) meals in return for meditation and yoga instruction. I think the garden is likely more run down than your description but nevertheless is stunningly natural and doing yoga / meditation outdoors here is a real treat – i also heard gibbons quite early. So, different than described but thoroughly enjoyable on a different plane – like a modern Vietnamese hippy commune of sorts! You can google their website for other info

    • Tom says:

      Hi Luke,

      Thanks for the update. I had heard from a friend who used to go there on yoga retreats about the change, but I haven’t got around to updating this guide yet.


  2. Tim de Graaff says:

    Hi Tom!
    Long time I havent commented, but that doesn’t mean I dont check your interesting articles.
    They were very helpful and I made some great discoveries in my last roadtrip. Which I started
    of with two nights at Cat Tien in the green Bamboo lodge. Great place, lively, beautifully situated along the river, nice staff. I was at the more modern triangle shaped houses on stilts in the back of their land. Too bad I cant share any pics in the comments. Would be a nice option maybe.
    The forest is just like a butterfly paradise with millions of them along the way on the bike. I didnt find the forest that exciting, compared to some awesome hikes I have done before in for example Khao Sok national park in Thailand. But it was still nice. Too bad that everything is quickly fully booked (I came during the 30/4 holiday) so no canoe nor trip was available for me. Bicycles are for rent for 30k per hour, 100 for 4 hours or 150k for all day at the HQ. They are normal city bikes. So you might want to rent a mountainbike from the lodge, but you have to pay 100k (!) to get it into the park.

    I will comment on some other articles related to my roadtrip as well later on! Keep up the good work Tom, and hit me up when you come to Vung Tau. Would be nice to have a beer! Cheers

    • Tim de Graaff says:

      to add something to my just posted comment:
      Jungle bar is a nice place for a great special beer, owner is a nice French guy. I was lucky enough to receive a beer for free from ticket purchase counter at the park’s entrance.
      As mentioned I was there 30/4 and it was pretty dry in the park. Everything dried up. Probably the lake at Ta Lai that you mentioned too, I wish I could have swum somewhere, I definitely missed that!. Have you ever been there during the wet season? I think it will be a complete different world, would love to visit with those tropical showers in the park, watching them for the lodge.

      • Tom says:

        Yep, this year has been one of the longest dry seasons anyone can remember. But the rains should be on their way now – May/June is usually the beginning of the rainy season.


    • Tom says:

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the updates.

      April/May is the best time for the butterflies – beautiful!

      Unfortunately, the park does get pretty overcrowded on weekends and public holidays – everyone is desperate to escape the city.


  3. Brian says:

    Also, I’m not sure if this is what’s being referred to in Simon’s August 27, 2019 comment, but there is a bridge in Cat Tien that is not shown on Google Maps. It shaves off a couple dozen kilometers from the trip to/from Dalat, and was a scenic ride. It’s near the aptly named Cat Tien Bridge Homestay, and you can confirm its existence with Google Satellite View. Bridge is for pedestrians and motorbikes only. (Props to the young man of the family at Green Hope Lodge for the info.)

    • Tom says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for the update about the bridge. I’ve taken that shortcut a few times and it’s good, but occasionally the bridge has been blocked (even for motorbikes).


  4. Brian says:

    For those interested, Green Hope Lodge has a four-course, set-menu dinner for just 90,000 dong- that’s less than US$4. I had sweet potato fries, chicken sauted in ginger, pumpkin soup with rice (curry style), and seasonal veggies, with bonus watermelon wedges for dessert. It was delicious. This was perhaps the best value I’ve found in Vietnam so far!

  5. Simon Worden says:

    Hi Tom

    I’d like to first just recommend Nam Cat Tien Homestay as good accommodation for people riding through and using Cat Tien as a night stop. It’s right where the road bends round to the ferry crossing and is easily walk-able to it as well. The brick rooms cost around 250,000 VND a night and were clean, comfortable and air conditioned. It was that last part that made me choose it several times, bikes are secure as well.

    If anyone was looking for an alternate route to or from Cat Tien, I wouldn’t recommend DT761 which runs below the park and above the lake as it is essentially just sand or mud depending on the season. However, Sao Bong – Dang Ha road which runs from QL14 above Dong Xoai through to Da Teh is an easy ride through fields and mountains. You can also cut down the Nam Cat Tien- Da Teh back road and use the suspension bridge to cut a fair few KM off the ride. However after numerous car drivers (including one violent incident I saw first hand) tried to drive over the light bridge the locals have installed concrete barriers and dug up the road on the opposite side of the river to Nam Cat Tien. It’s only a few hundred meters of difficult terrain and if riders are careful not a problem.

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, road DT761 is famous for being a mess – but dirt bikers love it.

      Thanks for the road suggestion about the Sao Bong-Dang Ha road – sounds great.

      And it’s a shame about the short cut – riders have been using that for years as a way into the park: now, I suppose, cars have been trying to do the same.


  6. Mild Delirium says:

    Hey Tom,

    I’m at Ta Lai Longhouse at the moment, the staff, albeit very nice and friendly, are adamant that as per company policy they cannot allow me to camp. Something about the camping being in a different area and therefore requiring special things, like a security guard. They say the camping area is mostly for groups and they open it when there are at least 45 people camping. Which, as far as most people are concerned, means that camping is not possible (anymore?)

    • Hi,

      Thank you for the update – that’s a shame. I suppose it makes sense if they have to employ more staff to watch the campsite, then it’s only worth it with large groups. But that’s not good news for independent campers 🙁


  7. Winnie S says:

    hi Tom, Just want to say thanks for your post on Cat Tien. I had a 3 day break from a work project in Singapore and didn’t want to spend the whole time in HCMC. I found your site and was intrigued by your description of Cat Tien and so off I went! I stayed at the Jungle Lodge which was great, super warm and helpful staff (I used your link). I read other readers’ questions about getting around and to let you/them know that the Jungle Lodge arranged my transport from/to HCMC for 1.5 million dong. One of the staff also gave me a scooter tour of Cat Tien hamlet and that’s really special, you get to see the scenic farmlands, we visited a small fruit farm and a small silkworm farm. I also really enjoyed the Dao Tien primate rescue centre and would highly recommend it to anyone – they do great work. I didn’t visit the Mekong delta which I think more people visit than Cat Tien so I can’t compare, but I think Cat Tien is worth visiting in its own right. Thanks for the tip and keep up the wonderful writing! Warmest,…

    • Hi Winnie,

      Great that you enjoyed Cat Tien (and thanks for booking through my site).

      Yes, I agree: for a quick escape into nature from Saigon, Cat Tien is a better bet than the Mekong. The Mekong is great too, but you need to go further into it to get to the best places.


  8. Barbara Williams says:

    Hi Tom, your accommodation info looks very useful. A few questions… How do 2 people get from Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Tien? How do we get from our accommodation into the National Park? I’d rather not hire a car. A keen birdwatcher, I’d like to have a guide (who knows birds) for part of my stay. Is 1 night enough (allowing for travel to get to Cat Tien) or should I go for 2 nights? Hoping you can help

    • Hi Barbara,

      You can get a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Tien. All the buses that go to Dalat can drop you at the turning in Phu Lam for the national park. From there you can get a taxi. Or book your accommodation at the park in advance and ask for their help with transportation instead.

      Your accommodation will be able to arrange guides or you can do it from the park headquarters. Entrance to the park is on foot via a short ferry across the river. All accommodations in this list are just a few minutes walk from the ferry (except Ta Lai Longhouse).

      One night is enough if you get there in the morning, but 2 nights would be much more comfortable.

      I hope this helps,


  9. Jane Day says:

    Hi, your website is very informative. Thank you. Is it possible just to walk, unguided, in the park?

  10. Luke says:

    Hi Tom. Can one self drive / ride in the park? Or is it necessary to have a guide as in some other places. I’m happy to pay someone and am keen to hear from locals who know the place, but also would love the freedom to just go exploring as well.


    • Hi Luke,

      You can’t take motorbikes into the park, but you can ride bicycles and there are quite a few mountain biking trails. You can rent bikes from the park headquarters and some of the accommodations, and Ta Lai Longhouse has lots of biking route ideas.

      You can also arrange park guides from your accommodation or park HQ.

      I hope this helps,


  11. Sven says:

    Hi Tom,
    can you please let me know, what is the best way (most quiet and scenic) to Cat Tien from Saigon?
    Is it good to go via Cat Lai ferry?
    Thank you so much!!

    Best regards Sven

    • Hi Sven,

      Yes, you can go via the Cat Lai ferry. Take a look at this map. It starts from the Cat Lai ferry and goes on back-roads to Long Khanh then winds around to Cat Tien. I’ve done it like that before and it was fine. But there’s some construction on the road about 10km after passing through Long Thanh.

      I hope this helps,


  12. This article I throughly enjoyed. One of the reasons why I come to Vietnam is that I like to photograph. And I really like to photograph birds. Therefore I liked very well what you write here. I have long thought to go to Cat Tien, but have not been there yet. I do not like to travel in groups tour. It does not work when I want to be quiet photograping birds !!!! I could wish to stay so I could go out into the woods at sunrise. I have the name of two ornithologists who know Cat Tien, maybe I should ask one of them? I live in Go Vap and I have a little honda scooter so one day I go. Thanks for this article. If you have time one day, I would like to invite you to Pham van Chieu, Go Vap. We have a nice garden ( except from the noise ) where we could have a cup of caphe da and a chat ………. ?
    Stein Flaten

    • Hi Stein,

      Thanks. I’m glad you like this article. Yes, you can definitely get into the national park at dawn to see the birds – there are lots of interesting looking birds even in the gardens of the accommodations.

      Thanks for the invite, but I am often travelling around so I’m not sure when I will be in Saigon next time.


  13. Alan Murray says:

    Some amazing looking accommodation and I could almost be persuaded to visit the area again but my abiding memory was of the leeches which even got inside the protective leggings provided by the tour company. They sensed you approaching and popped their heads out of the ground as you got near, hoping to hitch a ride on a piece of bare flesh!
    Otherwise a great experience except that the wildlife was obviously on holiday when we visited as we didn’t see much of interest even on a ride through the forest at night. Next time perhaps?

    • Hi Alan,

      Yes, that’s funny, I felt the same way the first time I visited the park years ago. But when I went back recently I felt completely differently. I loved the lushness of it, and the sense of life all around (and, yes, not all of it is ‘nice’ or impressive, like the leeches!) and the accommodation made it better too. The people running and working in the accommodations and national park are very interesting to talk to also.

      Perhaps you’ll enjoy it more next time 🙂


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