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Paul Dudley | profile | all galleries >> Vietnam 2007 (18 albums) >> 11: Bach Ma National Park tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

1: Hanoi | 2: Around Sa Pa | 3: Bac Ha Market | 4: Halong Bay | 5: On the way to somewhere else | 6: Villages for Ceramics, Silk or Furniture | 7: Phat Diem, a very Vietnamese Cathedral | 8: Tam Coc: A rowboat through caves | 9: Hué – Kings, Wars and Recovery | 10: South from Hué | 11: Bach Ma National Park | 12: Hoi An | 13: Nha Trang | 14: Buon Ma Thuot, an elephant, and a waterfall | 15: Saigon | 16: The Cao Dai Great Temple | 17: The Mekong Delta | 18: Saigon Water Gardens

11: Bach Ma National Park

The top of Bach Ma is 1450 m above sea level and only 18 Km from the sea. The road up was built by the French in about 1932; they had a "hill station" up here for their administrators and military officers to escape from the heat, with villas, hotels, and a hospital. The buildings were abandoned when the French left; there is hardly a trace of them now, except for a fine octagonal lookout building on the summit. It has lost its shutters and most of its glass, but still has its staircase and roof. The 1930s road has been resurrected and repaired; it is steep, winding and so narrow that before cars can pass, the drivers usually need to get out and confer.

It's all national park now, with a few small places for tourists to stay within a few kilometres of the summit. The road must have gone right to the top once, and we saw workers with a motorbike up there. But we had to walk the last bit – the Lonely Planet book says it's a 500m walk but it feels much more. The views are worth it.

The other walk we did was the "Rhododendron Trail" which leads to the top of a spectacular waterfall. If you are fitter than we are, you can continue to the bottom of the falls and back.
Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre
Our hotel
Our hotel
Pool just above the waterfall
Pool just above the waterfall
At the top of the waterfall
At the top of the waterfall
Distant view from the waterfall
Distant view from the waterfall
Frances and Thuong
Frances and Thuong
Stream just before the waterfall
Stream just before the waterfall
Waterfall rim
Waterfall rim
Last tumble
Last tumble
The top of  a 300 m fall
The top of a 300 m fall
Last glimpse of falling water
Last glimpse of falling water
Forest Pool
Forest Pool
Rhododendron Walk
Rhododendron Walk
Flower seen along the Rhododendron Walk
Flower seen along the Rhododendron Walk
Four flowers seen on Rhododendron Walk
Four flowers seen on Rhododendron Walk
South from the mountain lookout
South from the mountain lookout
Waiting for sunset
Waiting for sunset
Long view south
Long view south
Clouds rising
Clouds rising
Large moth at breakfast
Large moth at breakfast
Example of mimicry
Example of mimicry