Dong Nai Nature Preserve is also the destination of VLS’ charity field trip in September.
The butterflies’ breeding season is the best time for travelers to come to Mã Đà forest and take shots at nature’s most beautiful moments. You can find a lot of butterflies, especially when the sun light comes back after a rain.
From HCMC, follow the 1K Highway through Bình Dương to Biên Hòa, then take the ĐT768 road and you will reach the center of Vĩnh Cửu district. To find the place with most butterflies, after passing the Vĩnh Cửu General hospital, take a turn to the left through the ĐT767 road. On the way you will see the Trị An Hydroelectric Dam and the boards with directions to the Mã Đà Nature Preserve and Warzone D.
The road is beautiful as it runs through a green forest. Somewhere along the road, there will be a lot of butterflies gathering on the ground, making a picturesque scene that travelers can’t take their eyes off. Photography lovers should bring a camera with zoom lenses for beautiful pictures. The butterflies can very sensitive and may fly away when you get close to them.
When you reach the Warzone D’s statue, go straight ahead and you will find an area with red soil, which may be hard to go through if it rains. This area barely has a gas station so you might want to make sure that your tank is full before entering. The Warzone D is about 39 kilometers away from the Vĩnh Cửu district central. The road is beautiful for those traveling by motorbikes. Since there aren’t many restaurants deep inside the Warzone, you should bring your own lunch. The red soil road is where you will find colorful butterflies.
This one, whose wings are black and brown with white dots and turn blue under sunlight, is called a “Ghost butterfly”.
You are free to take as many butterfly pictures as you want, but don’t forget to stay away from the bushes, and beware of snakes. With this season’s weather, I would bring a lot of water, a raincoat, and a water-proof cover for my backpack if I were you.
Along with the butterflies’ photo shooting, during the day, you can also pay a visit and study about the history of Warzone D, where the armed force of East-Southern Vietnam was established in the Indochina Wars, or you can visit Trị An Lake. If you travel on weekends, you can even spend the night in the forest (you need to contact the Mã Đà forest management board for permission), or you can visit Đảo Ó (Hawk Island) for better experience.