Where to go to see gibbon and langur in Vietnam?

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With 25 species of primates, including monkeys, gibbons, and langurs, Vietnam is a land of special attraction for tourists when they want to experience wildlife tourism, especially seeing with their own eyes the gibbons and langurs living in the wild.

Some species are well protected and they are very friendly to humans. But some species are very difficult to approach because their habitat has been reduced by deforestation, the number of individuals is less than 100 individuals, making them very shy and wary of people.

25 primates species in Vietnam – by Prof Hoang Minh Duc
25 primates species in Vietnam – by Prof Hoang Minh Duc

The gibbons and langurs in the north of Vietnam are mostly difficult to access. Because they are located in protected areas related to border security. Where you want to go, you must have a separate permit from the governing body in that province issued to you. This is not possible if you are not a researcher.

Fortunately, we still have a more accessible target in the north: Delacour’s langur in Van Long NR, which is the most accessible, you can come here for a day and catch them feeding and moving in a couple of places. on high jagged limestone mountains surrounded by lagoons. You can only reach this area by small boat.

Delacour’s langur
Delacour’s langur

In central Vietnam, you can go to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park to see Ha Tinh Langur, a beautiful primate with a white beard that stands out against a black face. In addition, this National Park is also the paradise of the Red-shanked Douc, a species of langur that is said to be the “beauty queen” among primates in Vietnam. Compared to other langurs, the Red-shanked Douc is the easiest to encounter and also the most accessible to photograph.

In Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, you will also encounter the Southern White-cheeked Gibbon on your itinerary. If you are lucky, it must be said because this macaque is very rare in Vietnam, very few people see it in the wild, it is the Assam Macaque species. However, Stump-tailed Macaque is more common here than elsewhere in Vietnam.

Hatinh Langur
Hatinh Langur
Red-shanked Douc
Red-shanked Douc
Stump-tailed Macaque
Stump-tailed Macaque

Nearby, an hour away by car, is the Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang City. Where you can be bothered by monkeys of the Rhesus Macaque species – this is case rare in Vietnam – In this country, Monkeys are not treated as friendly as in India or Thailand, people here watch monkeys as more of a threat than an animal. Most of them will find a way to kill them or capture them to sell to the pet shops. Therefore, being bothered by monkeys is also a happy thing when you come to Vietnam. It’s not a funny story!

At Son Tra peninsula, you will have beautiful photos of the Red-shanked Douc species.

Red-shanked Douc in Son Tra peninsula

There is a small population, of less than 100 individuals, of the Grey-shanked Douc, which has been hunted and destroyed to such an extent that it is on the brink of extinction. They are not as lucky as their Red-shanked brethren. To see Grey-shanked Douc, you have to go to Quang Nam province, about an hour by car from Da Nang city.

Grey-shanked Douc
Grey-shanked Douc

The southern central and central highlands of Vietnam are home to the Black-shanked Douc species, which is the langur with the widest distribution, scattered throughout the provinces. You can find them in many national parks and protected areas in the south of Vietnam such as Cat Tien National Park, Bu Gia Map National Park, Nui Chua National Park, Konkakinh National Park, and many other protected areas. However, to take good photos of this langur is another story. They are not as approachable as the Red-shanked Douc. Most of the time they spend sitting on the tops of tall trees, when they detect people approaching, they run around and find leafy shelters in foliage.

Cat Tien National Park is probably the most attractive destination if you like to observe primates, here there are 6 species you can meet as Pygmy loris, Yellow-cheeked Gibbon, Black-shanked Douc, Annamese Silver Langur, Long-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque. In particular, the loris is active at night, so visitors must be guided by a guide to organizing a trip at night to look for this cute primate.

Long-tailed macaque
Long-tailed macaque
Black-shanked Douc
Black-shanked Douc
Yellow-cheeked Gibblon
Yellow-cheeked Gibblon
Pygmy Loris
Pygmy Loris

Con Dao and Ha Tien are the two farthest destinations to the south. While Ha Tien is easier to go, you can travel by plane from Ho Chi Minh City then take about 1 car, you can see the Indochinese Silver Langur in a narrow protected area. The second destination is Con Dao, an island about 100km from the mainland with a national park of the same name, here you will meet the long-tailed Macaque species of Macaque, a species of macaque closely related to the Long-tailed species. Macaque but geographically separated, over millions of years of evolution, has made this difference. In addition, another reason for you to have a trip to Con Dao is that the island is very beautiful, with rare birds such as Nicobar Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Brown Bobby

Picture of the trail in Bach Ma National Park – Hoang Nhu Phuong
Picture of the trail in Bach Ma National Park – Hoang Nhu Phuong

In central Vietnam, you can enter the forest at night in Bach Ma National Park and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, but this requires a professional herp guide to accompany you, the NP management does not allow visitors to enter the forest at night to find the snakes by yourself.

In the North, helps is available in Hoang Lien National Park, there are rest stops for visitors here. However, the very cold climate at night requires you to have enough health and passion to dispel the cold.

The trail on the Fansipan mountain , Hoang Lien National park.
The trail on the Fansipan mountain , Hoang Lien National park.

Visit for more:

>> Wildlife Tours in Vietnam

>> Birdwatching trips in Vietnam!

>> Promising Destinations for Birding

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