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Ba Na -Nui Chua Nature Reserve

Alternative site name(s)
Ba Na
Da Nang City
38,210 ha
15°57' - 16°08'N, 107°49' - 108°04'E
From Da Nang City
From Hue City
Available. Contact us for more information

Topography and hydrology

Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve is centred on Mount Ba Na, a 1,487 metre-high mountain on the border between Da Nang city and Quang Nam province. Mount Ba Na is situated to the south-east of the mountain ridge that stretches across central Vietnam, from the Annamite mountains to the Hai Van pass. However, Mount Ban Na and the montane habitats it supports are isolated from this ridge by intervening areas of lower elevation.

Streams and rivers originating in the north-west of the nature reserve feed the Ca De river, which flows into the north of Da Nang bay, while those originating in the south and east of the nature reserve feed the Yen river, which flows into the south of the bay.

Biodiversity values

The main natural vegetation types present at Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve are lowland evergreen forest and lower montane evergreen forest. The lowland evergreen forest is characterised by the presence of tree species in the Dipterocarpaceae family, which are absent from the lower montane forest. The lower montane evergreen forest is dominated by species in the Lauraceae, Fagaceae and Podocarpaceae families. Areas which have been cleared of forest support secondary vegetation. The summit of Mount Ba Na was cleared of forest by the use of herbicides during the Second Indochina War and now supports grassland.

543 species of vascular plant have been recorded at Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve. These include 12 species listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam: including Dalbergia cochinchinensis, Decussocarpus fleuryi, Melanorrhoea usitata and Dipterocarpus grandiflorus.

61 mammal species, 178 bird species and 17 reptile species have been recorded at Ba Na-Nui Chua. Many of the species listed in the investment plan were also recorded during surveys by Frontier-Vietnam in 1994 and 1995, which recorded 472 vascular plant species, 29 mammal species, 106 bird species, 20 reptile species, six amphibian species, 33 fish species and 126 butterfly species. Further survey work is required, however, to determine the current status of species of conservation concern at the site.

Other documented values

The forest at Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve protects the watersheds of the Ca De and Yen rivers. These rivers are an important source of water for irrigation, and domestic and industrial use in Da Nang city.

In 1919, the French colonists established a hill station at the summit of Mount Ba Na. In recent years, a tourism resort has been re-established at the site, with hotels, guesthouses, a cable car and a road to the summit of Mount Ba Na.

The 8,838 hectare Ba Na natural preservation area has 8,800 hectares of forests and forestry land, including 6,942 ha of afforested land (5,976ha of natural forests and 966 ha of planted forests) and 1,858ha of treeless land.

The forests are rich in fauna and flora, and connect with the Bach Ma National Park of Thua Thien – Hue Province, the southern Hai Van special forest and the northern and northeastern natural forests of Quang Nam Province. This forms a unique forest chain from the Eastern Sea to the Vietnam - Laos border. The Ba Na - Nui Chua natural forest has many plants and animals reflecting a combination of northern and southern species and represent the faunas of the northern and southern Truong Son Range. With fresh, clean air and being the source of rivers, the area plays an important role in environmental protection and climate regulation. It is also a place for scientific research and eco-tourism development of Danang.

Ba Na Resort over one hundred years ago

In 1894, governor general of Indochina, Doumer, decided to build a hill station for French civil employees and military officers. A group of officers led by marine captain Debay and his colleagues, including lieutenants Baulmont, Duhamel and Vairel and sergeant-major Thirlon was assigned to carry out the plan. After many years of surveying various landscapes in central Vietnam, they failed to find a suitable place. In December 1900, Doumer organized a second mission led by Debay and three lieutenants, Becker, Decherl and Venel. In 1901, the mission discovered Mt. Ba Na in the east of the Truong Son mountain chain and found it to be ideal for the construction of a high standard resort.

The mission employed the local people to build a road to the mountain peak and wooden bridges across the streams. One of them, the Debay bridge, still exists. The officers made detailed records about the mount’s altitute, peaks, construction sites, water sources, rainfall, trees and animals.

The beauty and fresh air of Ba Na Resort encouraged a French doctor to build a resort here. The First World War broke out and the French military officers and civil employees could not return home on leave, so they finally decided to build a resort at Mt. Ba Na.

The main road to Mt. Ba Na peak was built in 1919. The land was used for the construction of public works and private houses. The first villa was built by lawyer Bession in May 1919. The first hotel in Ba Na, Morin, was built. Brick and wooden houses were also built and replaced the low, thatched roof houses. Modern facilities were installed, including electricity, water, pubic toilets, markets, a laundry, a bakery, an abattoir, a stadium, a medical station, hostels, a telegraph centers and security and police posts. Senior officials from Sai Gon, Hue and Ha Noi came and built their villas here, making it an ideal tourism destination. By the late 1940s, Ba Na resort had more than 200 private villas and lots of public works.

The August Revolution started in 1945 and the French military forces was defeated and withdrew. Vietnamese civil employees in Ba Na returned to their home towns and the beautiful tourist town became deserted.

During the national struggles against the French and American invaders and throughout the national economic crisis, the Ba Na Resort lay hidden in the old forest of the giant Truong Son mountain range.

In the early 1990s, when the Danang tourism sector began to develop, the city authorities began carrying out the master plan for the area, building roads and providing power to Ba Na. In 1998, the road was expanded and cars could travel to the mount. An 800-metre cable way was built to take tourists from Vong Nguyet hill to central Ba Na. Resorts, hotels, restaurants and other services have been developed to make Ba Na a special and attractive 'tourist town'.

Ba Na – religion and legends

For ages, residents in villages surrounding the foot of the mountain have thought that Ba Na - Chua Mount a holy place and the home of many deities. Their fear of the quiet and solitude of the mountains and forests has enshrouded it with mystery. This is a story about that:

When darkness falls, the calm Mount Chua becomes a mysterious place. The residents surrounding the mount consider it a sacred, strong and frightening place. Therefore they always worship and pray to the deities.

The fear is exaggerated by thousands of details, the solitude of the giant forest, a sudden sound, a dewdrop, the shadow of a strange tree or the noise of the winds and far distant chaos.

It seems that the most populous residents in the forest are the deities. Every plant has a god living in it.

Those who know the forest well say that in an isolated place along the streams, there is a cave with a stone overhang and a marble chess-table. The hostess of the temple is a deity called 'Madonna'. She is available whenever someone needs help and is honored for her kindness and trust. She gives the local people peaceful and properous lives and protects them from darkness and evil.




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