Xuan Thuy National Park is a beautiful mangrove forest, covering about 7,100 hectares. It is located approximately 150 km Southeast of Hanoi at the mouth of the Red River...

Its rich alluvium soil supports a rich diversity of wetland flora and fauna, particularly migratory birds.Moreover, Xuan Thuy was the first wetland area to become a Ramsar site in Southeast Asia. (The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources). This wetland area has local, national, and international significance as a migratory bird habitat and for its ecosystem services.

Additionally, Xuan Thuy has great economic value. The livelihood of the local people are intrinsically tied to the health of the mangrove forest. Consequently, the National Park is working to promote sustainable livelihood practices from agro-forestry to ecologically friendly shrimp ponds.


Xuan Thuy National Park is an area rich in biodiversity. It has 150 species of vascular plants, 120 of which thrive particularly well in the wetland habitat. The mangrove forest helps stabilize the alluvium soil as well as provides food and shelter for marine life and other fauna, storm and flood protection, and biochemical cycling, which greatly contributes to the ecological balance of the region as a whole.

111 aquatic plant species have been recorded. Certain species of seaweed in particular are of high economic value. Over 500 species of benthos and zooplankton (shrimp, fish, crab, oysters, etc.) have also been identified. Many of the local people depend on harvest of these resources for their livelihood.

Xuan Thuy is also home to 219 species of birds from 41 families and 13 orders. It is a significant resting and feeding sight for migratory waterbirds as they head from the north to the south, especially during November and December. Without stopping in Xuan Thuy, they would not be able to complete their flight, which is often thousands of kilometers long. In season, there are up to 30 or 40 thousand birds staying in Xuan Thuy before continuing their long migratory journey.

Importantly, nine species of birds designated as endangered by the International Red Book have been sighted in Xuan Thuy: Western Curlew, Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunder's Gull, Painted Stork, Asian Dowitcher, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spot-billed Pelican, Nordmann's Greenshank, and Chinese Egret.

Xuan Thuy also provides a habitat for other rare animal species. These include species of otter, porpoise, and whale. Furthermore, it has 30 species of reptiles and countless species of insects.


During a visit to this area, you can expect to see rustling waves of green rice stalks, the sky's reflection on the numerous rivers and ponds, as well as buffalo and cows sharing the road with local residents. This area has had a long history of wet rice cultivation as well as dike construction and land reclamation. The local land is also noted for the human ecological model of VAC (model of planting vegetable gardens, raising fish in ponds, and animal husbandry all in the home) and silvofishery models. Additionally, several pagodas and churches dot the landscape, adding to the eclectic beauty of the region.

People and Culture

There are five buffer communities surrrounding Xuan Thuy: Giao Thien, Giao An, Giao Lac, Giao Xuan, and Giao Hai. The local people in these communities are characterized by their honest, hospitable, and hard-working nature. Their livelihood is primarily tied to wet rice cultivation, animal husbandry, and aquatic product (fish, crab, shrimp, clam, etc.) cultivation and harvesting. These communities show a strong Catholic and/or Buddhist influence. Traditional performing arts include the art of Cheo and Chau Van as well as the dragon dance. Other notable cultural activities are sculling and cock fighting.


Twitchers Paradise  (10:01 | 16-03-2018)
Mangroves  (16:21 | 18-05-2011)

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