U Minh Thượng National Park

U Minh Thượng National Park or National Park of Upper U Minh (Vietnamese language: Vườn quốc gia U Minh Thượng) is a national park in the province of Kiên Giang, Vietnam.[2]

U Minh Thượng National Park
U Minh Thượng National Park
Location in Vietnam
Locationmiền Nam Việt Nam
Nearest cityRạch Giá
Coordinates9°35′00″N 105°5′0″E
Area80.53 km2 (30 square miles)
Established14 January 2002
Governing bodyUBND of Kiên Giang Province
Official nameU Minh Thuong National Park
Designated30 April 2015
Reference no.2228[1]


It was established according to decision number 11/2002/QĐ-TTg, dated 14 January 2002, signed by then Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng. This decision turned the U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve into U Minh Thuong National Park.

Area and location

The park covers approximately 80.53 km2 (30 square miles) with the nearest city being Rạch Giá

Flora and fauna

U Minh Thuong National Park is widely considered the richest region of the Mekong delta in terms of plant and animal biodiversity.[3] It boasts of over 243 plant species.[2] The park has a rich and varied mammalian population, totaling an impressive 32 species, including hairy-nosed otters and fishing cats. U Minh Thuong National Park is a haven for rare and endangered birds. A total of 187 species of birds has been recorded here, including the oriental darter, spot-billed pelican, black-headed ibis, glossy ibis, greater spotted eagle and Asian golden weaver.[4] There are also a total of 39 amphibian species and 34 species of fish in the park. Both the saltwater crocodile and the Siamese crocodile were once found here, but a 2002 study concluded that both species were extinct in the park.[5]

First Indochina War and Vietnam War

During the First Indochina War the U Minh Forest was a Viet Minh stronghold. In 1952, 500 French paratroopers dropped into the U Ming forest to attack Viet Minh and were never heard from again.[6] During the Vietnam War it was a Vietcong base area.[7] Officers Humbert Roque Versace and James N. Rowe of the United States Army were captured by the Vietcong during a battle in the U Minh Forest in October 1963. Versace was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by American Military and Rowe escaped five years later.[8] American politician John Kerry commanded a Swift boat in the area during the Vietnam War, known as the American War in Vietnam.


  1. "U Minh Thuong National Park". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. "U Minh Thuong National Park". vietnamdiscovery.com. Retrieved 21 January 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "U Minh Thuong Tour". ExploringMekong. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. Lan, Nguyen. "U Minh Thuong National Park - the highest bird species richness among any sites visited". Vietnam Beauty. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  5. L. Stuart, Bryan; Hayes, Benjamin; Huu Manh, Bui; G. Platt, Steven (2002). "Status of crocodiles in the U Minh Thuong Nature Reserve, southern Vietnam". Pacific Conservation Biology. 8 (1): 62. doi:10.1071/PC020062.
  6. Pringle, James. "MEANWHILE : Closing the circle on Vietnam". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  7. Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. p. 528. ISBN 978-1555716257.
  8. David Eberhart (July 18, 2000). "Top Marine Endorses Medal of Honor for Army Hero". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
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