Away from the noisy and bustling urban area, after the trips in Hanoi, tourists can take the time to visit the sights near Hanoi. About 80km from Hanoi, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve located in Gia Van, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province is the ideal destination, very suitable for those who have less time and can only travel sightseeing in one day.
If Trang An eco-tourism complex is the leading renowned destination for many visitors travelling to Ninh Binh, Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve is not a less famous place with beautiful natural scenery and quiet atmosphere along with rich flora and fauna. Van Long is not a natural lagoon which was formed from building a dike with over 30km long in the left bank of Day River to prevent flooding. Since then, it has turned Van Long into a vast wetland with rock islands and beautiful caves. Covering the area of nearly 3.500 hectares, Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve in the northern plain. Van Long currently has thousands of animals and plants, aquatic flora and fauna, which highlights the primate – white-shorts langur (which is in danger of extinction in the world). The lagoon is the habitat of many rare plant and animal species. In addition to the value of the flora and fauna, Van Long also owns the beautiful paintings of landscape.
Coming to Van Long, the bamboo boat leaves wharf and brings tourists to explore around Van Long. The whole tourist area is situated in a valley where four surfaces are limestone mountains and the characteristic vegetation of the largest wetland in northern plain. Idyllic landscape makes each person feel relaxed and peaceful. Guests will have the feel of a bay with no waves and in flat and clear water surface like a mirror displaying apparently the moss layer below. Under the clear water, numerous algae and moss reflect the sparkling light of the sun and the clouds are drifting slowly in the sky. Grass and sedge grow equally and intermittently move with the waves, and a herd of white storks is leisurely finding prey on grass. The boat is slowly going deeply inside. The image of the sky and the sun reflected in the cool and clear water associated with scenes of birds flying, some kingfishers finding prey and then quickly plunging into the water, and the metal dragonfly, colorful dragonflies flying over the water surface make Van Long more vivid and brilliant. Moreover, guests can explore a lots beauty in the lagoon. First, the boat passes through the ravine, flanked by tall rows of grass to caves. Van Long has over 30 beautiful caves such as Fish cave, Shadow cave, Turtle Cave. After going through the cave, to the other side, you will see a small valley surrounded by mountains, if lucky – usually, in the afternoon, you will see langur and herbs of storks. Besides, there is also some limestone massif in the shape of their names like Cat Scratch (on the slopes of mountains has a “picture” as scratch marks of cat’s claws on rocks).
Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve attracts tourists by the natural secluded and quiet beauty. It is the appropriate destination for the visitors after the tours in prosperous, noisy and rushed urban places.