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“Disappointed in national parks staff-don't let them book your bus out!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cat Tien National Park Bungalows

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Cat Tien National Park Bungalows
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Disappointed in national parks staff-don't let them book your bus out!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2013

We travelled for five hours to get to the park to do the wild gibbon trek. Accomodation was ok. Not great, but what can you expect for the price, and the fact it is run by the national park, as apposed to a tourism operator. The gibbon trek was awesome though. We didn't see any gibbons, but the excitement and dedication of the guide was fabulous. It's nature and you never know your luck, but I think they are managing the tour itself quite well.
The lady at the desk said she would book our bus direct from the park to Saigon - nightmare - don't do it! I would highly recommend getting a taxi back to the main road and getting the big, official buses back to the city. Long story, but basically on an overloaded, not AC'd local bus that took two hours longer than it should, was filled with drinking, smoking locals, and then kicked us off the bus somewhere outside Saigon and shuffled us on to a publi bus where we had to pay again and had no idea where we were going. I get these experiences happen when you travel Asia, but the fact that the national park told us to get this bus, made I feel cheated and very disappointed.
Plus the lady that did my laundry didn't give me back all my clothes, bit disappointing when your travelling light an dryly on all the clothes you pack.
Wud only recommend a visit if you book the gibbon trek, but I think 1-2 days is plenty here.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank charliemc242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2013

We stayed at Forest Floor Lodge so cannot comment on the accommodation at the Park Headquarters but were disappointed with the park itself and the quality of the tours on offer by the park staff. It is a long journey to get to the park and we were expecting pristine forest but this is lowland forest and forest fringe vegetation. The bicycle tour was a joke, too long, bumpy and monotonous scenery. The night "safari" was a trip on the back of a vehicle with no cushioning on the seats, down the same path as the cycle tour to drop staff off after work. The river cruise was pleasant but apart from bird spotting, it was a non event and we never stopped at the local minority village which was part of the program and a part we were looking forward to as part of encouragement to local villages to move from snaring and poaching at the park to weaving and supporting tourist services. We were horrified by the so-called Bear Rehabilitation Centre which in our opinion should not be letting tourists see how they keep the bears in the afternoon in small cages. In contrast, the visit to the Primate Rehabilitation Centre started by Alison and Jim Cronin was informative and responsibly conducted, and the early morning Gibbon Tour was definitely the highlight of the visit. After all the clumsily conducted activities we had been subjected to, we thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of the Gibbon Tour - waking early in the morning, walking through the dark forest with torches. waiting silently in hammocks as the forest awakened and absorbing the sounds of the birds and forest as the light seeped in and then the gibbons started callings, thereafter it was a quick walk to search for them and watch them for a few minute to complete the experience. It was very sensitively put together and I would give this tour a 5 star rating for the experience and recommend that visitors to Cat Tien National Park make sure that they book for this tour.

Room Tip: As mentioned, the primate rehab centre and the Gibbon Tour were good tours to select but if you are...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MandyFreeman_Tenikwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cat Tien National Park hotels

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2013

We stayed at the Cat Tien National Park Bungalows because we couldn't afford to stay at the Forest Floor Lodge. It was not luxurious but we didn't expect it to be for the price. Our room was basic and a bit run down but functional--electricity, a/c, water, mosquito netting. (We used the netting; the bungalows aren't airtight and there are a lot of bugs, not a surprise given that they're at the edge of a jungle.) We enjoyed our meals at the dining hall furthest from the ferry; a traveling companion and I are vegetarian and they provided some delicious tofu dishes. The surrounding jungle is beautiful and there are many signs that it is a healthy ecosystem, which is impressive given its proximity to HCMC. We're glad we got to see it in a way we could afford.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kristin_Ilana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

Stayed at Afzelia bungalow for 1 night. Very basic equipment, clean beds, working AC and quite clean bathroom. Provided towels were clean. Room has a slight dank smell. Moskyto net was provided, however I have not heard any moskytos or seen any insects inside of the room. Dining facilities - the one behind reception is better quality, the other one is basic. Our colleague having vegetarian diet had stomach problems (after lunch and dinner in the other one), we (eating meat) were ok. Caught a leech just after 5 minutes in the park, so watch yourself from time to time. I would spend night again considering alternative in Forrest Floor Lodge I don't think the latter is worth of the money - considering you're going to the wild nature this accommodation is more than sufficient.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jindrich P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2012 via mobile

Worst spot in vietnam. Gibbon trek was ok Nice but short in half day you can see everything. So much struggle to come and get out from this place. Quite expensive for bad service. No electricity and water on 2 nd day due to weather they said but it is a lie coz just some rainfalls. They are lack of maintenance Of the facilities. what a pity. Food in the park is also bad. Mainly the one near the reception. Minibus arranged for Saigon is not as promised, no aircon stops everywhere and we have to pay 33% more than normal price 80000vnd. They try to increase price of leech socks from 30000 to 50000 in fact only 5000 on the price list. Watch out and control your bill. I will not recommend to go here even the gibbon and bear rescue center are very nice.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lissa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012

Cat Tien hotel
We found the accommodation a little disappointing since it was the same as if not worse than places we had stayed in for much less. It was a shame really because it wouldn’t take too much to spruce it up, a bit a bleach and scrubbing in the bathroom and a lick of paint it would be good. Everything worked though, mosquito net, lights, shower (although it did have a crack in it so spurted out in 2 directions. Really pleasant, calm area to stay in with a half decent restaurant. The women at reception could be a little prickly at times though. Not somewhere I would stay again but I think that is the only option in Cat Tien national park. Overall not great but fine for a night or two.

Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank AndyH09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Randers
Level Contributor
260 reviews
146 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

This place is at 600.000 dong (30 USD) not cheap by Vietnam standard, but it is not worth the money. The toilet is flooded due to a strange constructiion - water from the AC runs directly out on the toilet floor!?

We knew it was bad, but even though we were prepared, it was still not good enough. We arrived at 2 pm, but they were not finished cleaning any of the rooms!

The doors are not fit well, so mosqutioes can enter the room. They can also go through the bathroom window which cannot be closed. Only one of the two beds had mossie net (with minor holes). The pillow was rock hard, the AC remote did not work, so it could not be adjusted. There was only one source of light - a huge fluorescent light, that gave the room an allmost scary appearance.

Breakfast is included, but very poor. Its choice of egg and bread with tee/coffee. I asked for black coffee with an omelet, and was served coffee with sugar and to toasted eggs!!! We only tried the restaurant closest to the HQ, and that CANNOT be recommended. On the first evening, we asked for two chicken noodles. The gave us two noodles with beef!! I ate mine, which I should not have done. The meat was like eating leather, but the cat at the table loved it. At the restaurant they do not speak a word of english, so ordering is difficult as you can see.

There is no place to sit an relax in the room or outside the rooms. In the evening, the restaurant turnes into a gaming- and drinking party for the locals and the guides. At 9 pm we were forced to leave the restaurant due to the locals singing and playing music, while drinking heavily.

It is ok if you are on a tight budget, and looking for a party and cheap beer. If you are here to see animals and have a nature experience - go to the forrest floor.

Btw. we did the gibbon trip. That was a disappointment. It is 60 USD pp. You get up and have breakfast (!?) at 4.15 am. It is dried shrimp noodles with 3-in-1 coffee and a small youghurt. Then you go inside the parc, and from 5.30 you sits on the ground and waite. We waited for 1 hour without any info. Then they start to sing, and we rushed to see them. We got a glimpse of then. Then we sat down again for an hour and 30 minutes while the ranger was trying to find them. He did not, so at 8 am we went back. That was 2,5 hours of sitting on the forrest floor, without any info of any kind. Our guide was a volunteer at the center, who studies engineering. He knew nothing about the sounds we herd or the forrest. So the time was completely wasted. I know, you might not see the Gibbons, but there must be other interesting fact about the parc that we could have been told or seen.

The only great part was the visit to the rehabilitation center, where a great guide, Steph, saved the day for us. Very enthuiastic. Lonely Planet was here, and was treated to the sights by Steph. This is why they recommend it. Otherwise, it is not worth the money. Note, that the crodile lake might be drained of water due to dam construction in 2014.

Dont trust the info in the HQ. You will be back at 08.30 at the latest, and there are no hammocks. Bring a small fishing chair if you have one.

Room Tip: We stayed at Hornbill 5. Other rooms might be better.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EnClair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cat Tien National Park Bungalows

Property: Cat Tien National Park Bungalows
Address: Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Lam Dong Province > Cat Tien National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Cat Tien National Park
Number of rooms: 7

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