12 Interesting Animals in Vietnam – You Might Not Know

Vietnam boasts a diverse array of interesting animals, captivating wildlife enthusiasts globally. However, this rich biodiversity faces significant challenges, with numerous endangered and critically endangered species calling Vietnam home.

There are many interesting animals in Vietnam which ranges from the elusive Saola, one of the world’s rarest mammals, to the critically endangered Red River giant softshell turtle.

interesting animals in vietnam

Habitat loss due to deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, and climate change pose substantial challenges to the survival of many interesting animals in Vietnam. Conservation efforts in Vietnam strive to address these issues, with initiatives focusing on habitat protection, anti-poaching measures, and community involvement.

Despite the challenges, the commitment to preserving the unique wildlife underscores the importance of safeguarding these interesting animals, contributing to the global effort to protect biodiversity.

Places to Find 12 Interesting Wild Animals in Vietnam – (With Interesting Pictures)

Vietnam’s diverse landscapes provide a haven for an array of interesting wild animals, making it a compelling destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

The country’s national parks and protected areas offer unique opportunities to encounter fascinating species in their natural habitats. In this blog, we have listed 12 interesting animals in Vietnam and the best places to spot them.

Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park, nestled in the southern part of Vietnam, stands as a biodiversity hotspot and a haven for nature enthusiasts. In the park, there are mesmerizing landscapes such as tropical rainforests, wetlands, and diverse ecosystems.

Moreover, the park spans over 720 square kilometers and is home to a remarkable array of wildlife. One of its most iconic residents is the elusive Javan rhinoceros, among the rarest mammals globally.

Cat Tien National Park

Additionally, Cat Tien is inhabited by Asian elephants, sun bears, and various bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Visitors can explore its lush trails, traverse the Ben Cu Rapids, and visit the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Center, which focuses on the conservation of endangered primates.

The Gaur

The Gaur (Bos gaurus), a formidable wild ox, is among the interesting animals in Vietnam, particularly found in the country’s northern and central mountainous regions.

These interesting animals are also found in several countries across Asia. In Vietnam, these wild animals inhabit the lush forests of Cat Tien National Park and Yok Don National Park. Known for their robust build and distinctive curved horns, Gaurs are the largest wild cattle species, with males weighing up to 1,500 kilograms.

interesting animals in Vietnam

Despite their significance, Gaur populations face severe threats, predominantly due to habitat loss through deforestation and agricultural expansion. Additionally, illegal hunting and poaching further endanger their existence.

The Gaur is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, underscoring the urgency of conservation efforts.

Asian Elephant

Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), among the most interesting animals in Vietnam, roam the dense forests of several countries in Southeast Asia., including Vietnam. They are primarily found in national parks like Yok Don and Cat Tien in Vietnam.

Moreover, you can spot them at Bach Ma National Park in central Vietnam, which stands as a noteworthy spot for elephant sightings.

interesting animals in Vietnam

These are the biggest primates on the Asian continent and can be recognized by their large ears and distinctive trunks. Asian elephants exhibit a gentle demeanor despite their massive size, with males weighing up to five tons.

Sadly, their population faces numerous threats, including habitat loss due to deforestation, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching. They are classified as an “Endangered Species” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, concerted conservation efforts are crucial for their survival.

Sun Bear

The Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), one of the most interesting animals in Vietnam, is the smallest bear species and can be found in various countries across Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. These unique bears inhabit the dense tropical forests of national parks such as Cat Tien and Yok Don, Vietnam.

interesting animals in vietnam

Recognized by their sleek, dark fur and distinctive golden crescent-shaped mark on their chest, Sun Bears have a distinct appearance that captivates wildlife enthusiasts.

Sun Bears face numerous threats, primarily driven by habitat loss, deforestation, and illegal wildlife trade. The demand for their body parts and bile poses a significant risk to their population.

Sadly, the Sun Bear is listed as “Vulnerable species” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Conservation efforts focus on protecting their habitats, combating poaching, and raising awareness to ensure the survival of this unique bear species.


The Pangolins are interesting animals in Vietnam and found in various countries across Africa and Asia, including central and southern Vietnam.

In Vietnam, these scaly mammals inhabit forested regions, particularly in national parks like Cat Tien and Yok Don. Pangolins are characterized by their unique, overlapping scales covering their entire body.

interesting animals in Vietnam

These scales provide them with protection against predators, and when threatened, pangolins can curl into a tight ball, making them challenging to attack.

There are 8 different species, out of which, two species of Pangolin are thriving in Vietnam – The Sunda Pangolin in the central, and southern regions, and the Chinese Pangolin in the Northern parts of Vietnam.

interesting animals in Vietnam

Currently listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of ” Critically Endangered Species,” with varying degrees of vulnerability. Such as they are the most trafficked mammals, and the only mammal in the world, whose body is covered in scales.

Moreover, the demand for their scales in traditional medicine and their meat as a delicacy has led to a devastating decline in pangolin populations globally.

Saltwater Crocodiles – Dangerous Animals

Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), among the most interesting animals in Vietnam, are formidable reptiles inhabiting various countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. These crocodiles can be found in coastal areas, estuaries, and mangrove swamps, with notable populations along the Mekong Delta and coastal regions of southern Vietnam.

interesting animals in vietnam

Recognized as the world’s largest living crocodile species, they boast a robust build, powerful jaws, and a dark, often mottled, coloration, aiding in camouflaging within their aquatic environments.

Despite their crucial role in maintaining ecosystem balance, Saltwater Crocodile populations have faced threats such as habitat loss, pollution, and human-wildlife conflict. Historically, overhunting for their valuable hides and meat posed a significant risk, leading to declines in some regions.

Due to these challenges, their population has declined and they are classified as a “Vulnerable Species” on the IUCN Red List. The U Minh Ha National Park in Vietnam, particularly in its mangrove areas, stands out as a prime location to observe Saltwater Crocodiles in their natural habitat.

White-lipped Pit Viper

White-lipped Pit Viper are venomous snakes found in various countries across Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. In Vietnam, these striking reptiles inhabit dense forests, often residing in the lowland and mountainous regions.

interesting animals in vietnam

These snakes can be recognized by their vibrant coloration and distinct white lip scales, these pit vipers are a captivating yet venomous species, posing a potential threat to humans.

The white-lipped Pit Vipers face challenges in the form of habitat degradation, and deforestation. The impact of these factors caused the decline of their populations.

Fortunately, these interesting animals in Vietnam are listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The best spots in Vietnam to observe these interesting snakes are national parks and protected areas, such as Cat Tien National Park and Bach Ma National Park.

Burmese Python

These snakes are captivating species among the interesting animals in Vietnam, and native to Southeast Asia. They are also, found in various countries, including Vietnam. Its distribution spans from India, Nepal, Myanmar, to Thailand, and southern China.

interesting animals in vietnam

These pythons thrive in the dense jungles of the Mekong Delta and the southern regions of Vietnam. Known for their impressive size, Burmese Pythons can reach lengths exceeding 20 feet, making them one of the largest snake species globally.

They boast a striking pattern of dark blotches on a light background, providing effective camouflage in their natural habitats. Despite their adaptability, Burmese Pythons face threats in the form of habitat loss, poaching for the exotic pet trade, and conflicts with humans.

As a result, their population is declining, leading to their classification as “Vulnerable species” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For wildlife enthusiasts, one of the best locations to spot the Burmese Pythons in Vietnam is the Cat Tien National Park.

Snub-Nosed Monkey

The Snub-Nosed Monkey, an intriguing and interesting animal in Vietnam, particularly thrives in the northern mountainous regions of the country, primarily in Ha Giang, Lao Cai, and Son La provinces.

The population of snub-nosed monkeys is not limited to Vietnam – it’s also found in neighboring countries like China, Myanmar, and Laos. They are known for their distinct appearance, the Snub-Nosed Monkey possesses a short, upturned nose and a fur-covered face, adapted to withstand the harsh cold climates of its mountainous habitat.

interesting animals in vietnam

Snub-nosed monkeys face severe threats, mainly due to habitat loss caused by logging and agricultural expansion. Additionally, they are hunted for their fur and traditional medicine, contributing to their vulnerable status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

One of the best places to encounter these fascinating primates is in the remote high-altitude forests of Ha Giang Province, where conservation efforts play a crucial role in promoting the survival of the Snub-Nosed Monkey population.

The Red-Shanked Douc

The Red-Shanked Douc Monkey (Pygathrix nemaeus) stands out as one of the most captivating and interesting animals in Vietnam. Endemic to Southeast Asia, these vibrantly colored primates inhabit the lush forests of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

interesting animals in vietnam

Their primary range includes the central and southern regions of Vietnam, particularly in the Annamite Range. The Red-Shanked Douc Monkey is characterized by its striking appearance, featuring a vibrant mix of red, black, grey, and white fur.

Their unique coloration, coupled with distinctive facial patterns and long, red legs, makes them a visually stunning species. The Red-Shanked Douc Monkey faces numerous threats, primarily due to habitat loss caused by deforestation and human activities.

Additionally, they are vulnerable to hunting and the illegal pet trade. Consequently, their population has declined, leading to their classification as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The best spot to encounter these captivating primates in Vietnam is the Son Tra Peninsula near Da Nang, where conservation efforts are underway to protect their habitats.

Asian Water Monitor

The Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) is a fascinating reptile and one of the interesting animals in Vietnam. These monitors are widely distributed across Southeast Asia, and Vietnam. Their natural habitats include rivers, swamps, and mangrove forests.

These monitors exhibit a striking appearance with robust bodies, long tails, and distinctive patterns of light spots on their dark-colored skin. They are excellent swimmers and climbers, adapting well to their aquatic environments.

interesting animals in vietnam

Despite their adaptability, Asian Water Monitors face threats due to habitat destruction, pollution, and illegal wildlife trade. The IUCN is listed as “Least Concern,” reflecting a relatively stable population. In Vietnam, one of the best spots to observe these intriguing reptiles is the Cat Tien National Park.

Owston’s Civet

Owston’s Civets are one of the most interesting animals in Vietnam. It is a small weasel-like mammal residing in the northern parts of the country, particularly in the evergreen forests of Cuc Phuong National Park and adjacent areas.

interesting animals in vietnam

This elusive mammal is not exclusive to Vietnam – it also inhabits parts of Laos and potentially extends into China. They have a distinctive appearance, which includes a striking coat adorned with a mix of dark and light spots, contributing to their unique charm. The slender body and long tail further enhance its captivating look.

Unfortunately, the Owston’s Civets are facing significant threats such as habitat loss due to deforestation and illegal hunting, driven by demand for its distinctive fur.

Consequently, the IUCN listed Owston’s Civet asa “Vulnerable Species.” One of the best locations to spot them is Cuc Phuong National Park.

The Saola

The Saola, often referred to as the “Asian Unicorn,” is an enigmatic and captivating creature found in the dense forests of the Annamite Range in Vietnam and Laos. This elusive species are one of the most interesting animals in Vietnam, where it inhabits the border regions of Quang Nam Province.

interesting animals in vietnam

The Saola’s striking appearance is characterized by its long, straight horns, which can reach lengths of over 50 centimeters. With a chestnut-brown coat and white facial markings, this rare antelope-like mammal adds to the allure of Vietnam’s biodiversity.

The Saola faces severe threats, primarily stemming from habitat destruction due to logging, as well as hunting and the use of snares. The relentless pressure on its habitat has led to a critical decline in its population.

Consequently, they are classified as “Critically Endangered Species” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The best spot to find the Saola in Vietnam is within protected areas like Vu Quang National Park.

Conservation efforts are essential to preserve this intriguing and endangered species, emphasizing the need for habitat conservation and anti-poaching measures.

Frequently Asked Questions about Interesting Animals in Vietnam

What unusual animal is in Vietnam?

Saola also known as the “Asian Unicorn” is an unusual animal in Vietnam.

What animal is Vietnam known for?

The water buffalo is the national animal of Vietnam.

What large animals are in Vietnam?

Elephants, Saltwater crocodiles, Sun bears, and Gaur are some large animals in Vietnam.

Are there big cats in Vietnam?

Tigers, Leopards, and snow leopards are big cats thriving in the forests of Vietnam.

Olivia Kepner