Van Long Nature Reserve - a Halong Bay on land

Van Long Nature Reserve (in Gia Van, Gia Vien, Ninh Binh) is the largest submerged conservation area in the Northern delta with thousands of animals, plants, aquatic organisms…which are staying and growing on the cliff side, on the coast or underwater. Among them, the notable species are water birds immigrating in winter, rare kind of swim-leg Belostomatidae was brought into the Red Book and particularly primate species of Delacour langur being threatened extinct all over the world.

On a bamboo boat floating all over the lagoon area, among that amazing rocky mountain ranges, you can closely observe the abundant aquatic species fermented under water, and watch the stork wings flying on eleocharis, sedge compact grass-blade grown on lagoon, or do a wriggled expeditions into cool caves. They are especially interesting in Van Long.
The rare and worthy birds in Van Long. You must be very lucky to see them
The rare and worthy birds in Van Long Nature Reserve. You must be very lucky to see them

With nearly 3,500 ha area, Van Long has 457 kinds of higher plants, especially 8 species recorded in Vietnam Red Book: Lat Hoa, Kien, Tue broadleaf, Cot Toai Boi, Sang Bach Bo, Ma Tien Hoa Tan. Besides, there are 39 species of mammals, 72 species of birds, 32 species of reptiles, amphibians, 44 species of fish, 39 species of aquatic animals, 79 species of insects. There are 12 rare animals living here that include Delacour langur with 72 individuals, most crowded in Vietnam; one in five species of primates have been threaten of global extinction (bear, horse, antelope, big coolie, red face monkeys).
Trachypithecus delacouri - A rare monkey in the red book
Trachypithecus delacouri - A rare monkey in the red book

Coming to Van Long, you can visit 600 years old Ebenaceae tree. Surfing bamboo boats through the rice fields to visit Chi Le temple, Mai Trung temple, then Duc Thanh Nguyen temple, temple scenic area and Lich Dong cave, next monuments of Dinh Tien Hoang temple, the shrine of Saint Horse, after that the temple to worship four Hong Nuong - four generals of Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, Thanh Son temple on halfway up the mountain, Tap Ninh temple, etc.

3 Days Ninh Binh tour from Hanoi travels with you to Van Long, Cuc Phuong forest, Tam Coc - Bich Dong... Click to see now!

Small bamboo boats gently glide over vast water lagoon. The lagoon’s face is flat as a giant screen, clearly mirrors each powerful stroke of carving on limestone blocks that their name are correct with shape like Meo Cao (cat-scratch mountain), Mam Xoi (raspberry mountain), Hom Sach (book-ark), Da Ban (table-stone) ... Beautiful scenery makes travelers reminiscent of the world’s famous landscape – Ha Long Bay. The only difference thing here is no blue water of the sea but clear and pure water. Van Long is not only a submerged nature reserve zone but also a place with many scenic and cultural relics. Van Long area has 32 beautiful caves, many valuable tourism development caves such as Fish cave, Shadow cave, Turtle cave with a length of 100 - 250 meters.
Take a bamboo boat in the port, you will have several hours to admire Van Long
Take a bamboo boat in the port, you will have several hours to admire Van Long

Meo Cao Mountain’s shape (Cat-scratch Mountain) is similar to its name: the sheer cliff is "scratched" from top to bottom along as a giant cat did. Besides, when entering Bong Cave (Shadow cave) we will go through a place called Dong Thay (Teacher rice field). Because in the past there was a famous teacher came here to teach the children in this area. The villagers here had not enough money to pay him so they dedicated him place for planting water-rice, from then on that place is called Dong Thay.
A natural karst cave in Van Long
A natural karst cave in Van Long

It takes about 2 hours traveling from Hanoi to Van Long. There is a management board selling tickets for hiring boats following 2 directions. The first direction is to go to Kem Tram (Bong Cave). The second direction is reasonable for tourists who hope to meet all kinds of rare animals like langur. Each direction takes about 1h-1,5 hour with adult fare about $2 / 1 person. Group of tourists often hire 1 boat for 2 people. In the dry season, Van Long is a wintering place of many migratory birds from the North. There are dozens of pheasants, gray herons, hundreds of Eastern Great Egret, teal, and thousands white stork, cauldrons come to feed.

Travel Tips To Visit Van Long Lagoon

  • You should bring a hat because the summer weather is often very hot.
  • Should take a boat with 3-4 people, should not take many people that will not be safe.
  • Should show a happy attitude with boatman they will take you to all spots in Van Long lagoon. In addition, you can tip them about 40,000 - 50,000 VND / boat.

Experience more: Package holidays with 7 day itinerary: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Danang - Hoian.

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