A full day-trip to Ninh Binh in the north of Vietnam offers a perfect opportunity to get away from the noise and crowds of the capital city, Hanoi.
Ninh Binh is rich in wonderful views of rural life, landscapes and many attractions, such as the Van Long nature reserve. The journey to reach the Nature Reserve of Van Long is relatively easy with a travel time in the region of two hours. Compared to the most popular attractions like Trang An and Tam Coc, a visit to Van Long is certain to seem quite primitive and mostly untouched.
What is the best time to visit?
The Van Long Nature Reserve is easily explored at anytime, but travel in the afternoon (between 3:30PM and 4:30PM) will give greater access to the local birds who will be flying back to source food.
Explore the impressive landscapes
The Van Long nature reserve is not only appreciated for its fascinating landscape of grottos and mountains, but for the vast wetland that is rich in flora and fauna. Also, there is plenty of unique wildlife, including the very rare Delacour langurs. The diverse nature of the landscape has made this reserve a popular ecotourism destination for tourists on the package holidays to Vietnam.
The total area of the Van Long nature reserve is in the region of 30,000 hectares and its calm waters are best explored on a bamboo boat ride. A row boat tour of this stunning wetland is certain to appeal to nature lovers that wish to see the diverse features of the region, such as the limestone pinnacles and wildlife. A typical boat ride is likely to take in the region of 90 minutes with up to two passengers on each row-boat. It is a very relaxed ride that is a lot more peaceful compared to Tam Coc, which can have issues with hawkers. A typical boat ride includes rowing along the small streams that have plenty of high reeds.
Beyond the sight of the impressive mountains, there are also many different grottos that have their own natural beauty, such as Chanh Grotto, Rua Grotto, Bong Grotto, Ca Grotto and Ca grotto which is one of the most fascinating. Many of the grottos are large with some at 250 metres or more in length and over 8 metres in height.
Rich in biodiversity
This vast wetland is a perfect destination for tourists on the Vietnam holiday that appreciate nature. This nature reserve has 722 flora species and 39 fauna species with many noted on the endangered species list. Also, this is a great place for bird-watchers because it is a home for migratory birds. Night herons, white stork, grey heron, and pheasants are a few of the common species. On a boat ride through the Van Long reserve, there is the opportunity to see the local wildlife with the naked eye, including the Delacour langurs.
A typical tour of Van Long takes in the region of two hours to complete and is great to visit in the afternoon. A day tour can include other relatively nearby places like Kenh Ga hot spring, Hoa Lu – Tam Coc, Trang An and Bai Dinh pagoda.