Cat Tien is easily one of the most abundant, biologically diverse reserves of its kind. This is remarkable in light of the fact that it was subjected to sustained bombardment by defoliants during the Vietnam War. Even further back in time, it was a place of pilgrimage, as evidenced by the discovery of ancient religious artifacts traced to both the Funan and Champa Empires.
Today, this 277 sq miles (718 sq km) park is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. There are more than 1,600 varieties of plants, but new ones continue to be dis covered. The park where the now- extinct Javan rhinoceros lived continues to be the home of many other animals, including deer, elephants, and over 360 species of birds that attract bird- watchers from all over the world. Colonies of monkeys, including rare douc langurs, populate the trees, while 440 species of butterfly flutter amid wild flowers. Not surprisingly, Cat Tien is one of the most popular adventure destinations in Vietnam. Accommodations in the park are minimal but adequate, and are reached by crossing the Dong Nai River.