Yok Don National Park is Vietnam’s second-largest national park and offers the country’s first ethical elephant experience. The national park was established in 1992 and is a home to rich wildlife with around 90 species of mammals, 300 birds, and 50 reptiles.
The park borders a large part of protected forests in Cambodia, which means the wildlife is often moving over the borders.
Yok Don National Park is the first park in Vietnam that started a new model of ethical elephant tourism without any abuse.
They started this model in 2018 in cooperation with Animals Asia. You can join the elephant watching experience, where your only interaction is observing them in their natural habitat.
The elephant experience tour is the highlight of most visits to Yok Don National Park. You can observe the elephants being free, which is unfortunately very rare in most of Southeast Asia.
We also highly recommend taking a boat ride on the Srepok River which is a natural separation between the national park and the community. On the boat ride, you can get more insight into the local life
Yok Don National Park is also the perfect place for birdwatching as it’s home to more than 300 bird species. We saw a few birdwatchers hiding in the bushes with gigantic camera lenses poking out of their hiding place.
You can go trekking in the park’s unique ecosystem and even sleep overnight on one of the tours. There are a few different itineraries so that you can pick the best for you.
You can also go biking, camping, join a cooking class or watch a gong show.
You can stay at Yok Don National Park’s lodge for about 350.000 VND ($15) per night, including breakfast. The rooms are basic, but they have everything you need.