Tram Chim National Park in the Mekong Delta, the 2,000th Ramsar site globally, is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Besides colorful Sa Dec flower village, lotus-coated rivers, and vast golden fields, Dong Thap still has more to boast. A stunning biodiversity preserve, Tram Chim National Park will bring meaningful experience for explorers.
The place was formed in 1998 to represent a small in-land wetland model of the Plain of Reeds. Nowadays, it has successfully conveyed the unique traits of the Westside regions, alongside being the irreplaceable home to many nature beings.
Location & Terrain
Tram Chim National Park stretches over seven communes (Tan Cong Sinh, Phu Duc, Phu Tho, Phu Thanh A, Phu Thanh B, Phu Hiep) in Tam Nong District, Dong Thap. The park stays open in an outlying land, 35km separated from Cao Lanh City – the heart of Dong Thap province. It stands about 20km northwards to the Mekong River branch and 170km to the southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.
The spot has quite a unique terrain, which is flat, slightly lean to the West, and filled with canals thoroughly. Thanks to the canal formation, Tram Chim National Park’s flood period has reduced to 6 months a year. The remaining six are flood-free with an expected lower water rate. The water table in Tram Chim can also be human-generated through the canal-division of zones.
The history of Tram Chim National Park
In 1985, the area was established by Dong Thap People’s Committee with the main purpose of growing cajuput forests, capture fisheries and keep the image of Dong Thap in the past. The official name is Tram Chim agro-forestry-ﬁshery enterprise and it is own by the government.
In 1986, Seu Dau Do (Grus antigone sharpii, Sarus crane) was seen in Tram Chim. This precious and rare species of bird had been found in the area before.
In 1991, Tram Chim become a provincial nature reserve which is for reserving sarus crane.
In 1994, Tram Chim become a national nature reserve, with a total area of 7,313.
In 1994, this area was renamed Tram Chim National Park.
In 2012, Tram Chim National Park was recognized as the world’s Ramsar site by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. This is the 4th Ramsar site in Vietnam and the 2,000th Ramsar site in the world.
In 2016, Co Oc (Anastomus oscitans, Asian openbill stork) nested and laid their eggs in Tram Chim. There were about 1,000 nests. Read more and see great photos of Asian openbill storks in Tram Chim.
|Photo: Du lich mien Tay|
Flora and Fauna
The park has six main plant populations: lotus is a habitat for the sardinella, snails and wild duck; wild rice (Oryza rufipogon) society; nan societ; mom moc and melaleuca forest. The flora includes 130 high-class plant species. The fauna is greatly diversified with 55 species of freshwater fish, 185 species of phytoplankton, 93 species of zooplankton and 90 species of zoobenthos. It is also the habitat of 15 species of mammal, 44 species of amphibian reptile, and 198 species of birds, of them 16 are considered rare and endemic species, especially Sarus crane (crane with its distinctive red head and bare neck), an extremely rare species recorded in the Red Book.
Tram Chim National Park is one of the few natural landscapes found today in Dong Thap Muoi. This park meets the criterion on national ecological parks in terms of terrain, ecological landscape of the Mekong River floodplain and its lower basin.
The fish communities inhabited here also play a vital role in balancing ecosystems and providing food sources for the birds. They include a few Vietnam Red Book species such as clown featherback, hampala barb, and small-scale mud carp.
These invaluable natural properties have lured the study of many scientists and also the curiosity of common travelers. All thanks to the sustainable exploit that Tram Chim National Park preserved its biodiversity values.
A masterpiece of nature
In the dry season, between the 5th and the 12th lunar month, canoes glide through the canals, taking visitors around to admire the peaceful landscape of Tram Chim, where the grass fields and the breezes are soothing to one’s soul.
“Capujut trees cover approximately 3,000 hectares of Tram Chim National Park. The rest is covered with water chestnut, eleocharis, ferns, and flowers,” the guide reveals.
Sitting in a canoe creeping through the wetlands, visitors are mesmerized by darting birds, quickly hiding, then quickly showing themselves. Sometimes they may encounter just a few white storks in the trees.
Sometimes, a flock of hundreds of mallards may spread their wings in a red sunset sky. Such a marvelous scene is a great pay-off for those who wait patiently for the sun to go down.
|Photo: PYS Travel|
If visitors wake up early enough, they might see clusters of birds on top of the trees, preening their feathers before they scatter in search of food. Such gifts of nature are once in a lifetime sights for many.
Some visitors are lucky enough to see a red-crowned crane, which is listed in Vietnam’s red book of endangered species.
Tram Chim National Park is divided into five sub-regions. Tourism activities are allowed in only two of the five.
The other three sub-regions serve as a breeding ground for birds, a preservation zone for fish species, and a feeding ground for red-crowned cranes, who migrate when the water is high and return in the dry season.
Every year many visitors and scientists come to this park observe the cranes, to investigate the environment, and do their scientific research. Such an admiring visit could be combined with a trip by motorized boats to go through a network of canals to learn the customs and habits of the local residents of Dong Thap Muoi.