Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma, Hue, Vietnam
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Bach Ma National Park is a protected area in central Vietnam, near the city of Hue. It covers 220 km² and comprises three zones: a strictly protected core area, an administrative area and a buffer zone.
In 1932, the summit of Bach Ma selected by the French chief engineer Girard to become a hill station for the colonial administration of Hue. In the following years, a village including 139 villas and hotels was created. For accommodating holiday makers and to avoid commuting on the steep, 19 km long road to the next major town, there were even a post office, a market, and a hospital.By 1937 the number of holiday homes had reached 139 and it became known as the ‘Dalat of central Vietnam’. Most of the visitors were high-ranking French VIPs. Not surprisingly the Viet Minh tried hard to spoil the holiday – the area saw some heavy fighting in the early 1950s. After independence from the French, Bach Ma was soon forgotten and the villas abandoned; today they are in total ruin and only a few stone walls remain. At an elevation of 1250 metres above sea level, the National Park is a popular summer retreat for the Vietnamese, who come to relieve the cooler temperatures of Bach Ma. The area around the National Park was first protected as a series of forest reserves in 1937, and was declared a protected area by the government of South Vietnam in 1962. In 1986 the area was established as a national park. The forests of the park, like Cat Tien National Park, suffered from the use of defoliants like Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

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