Ba Vi National Park - The Diversity and Unique of Tropical Forest Nature

Duc - October 28, 2018

I.Overview of Ba Vi National Park

Ba Vi National Park is considered as a green lung of Hanoi, the place hiding many mysterious and miraculous beauty. The diversity and unique of pristine nature attracts us magically, ranging from great lush tropical forest of South East Asia to green humid forest with many creepers.

Ba Vi National Park

Ba Vi National Park

Don’t forget contemplating the wild beauty of pine hill, too.

II. Basic information of Ba Vi National Park

  • Location: Tan Linh, Ba Vi, Hanoi
  • Opening hours: 6 a.m to 7 p.m
  • Price tickets: 60.000 VND
  • Parking fee: 3.000 VND for scooter
  • Entrance fee to Cactus glass house: 10.000 VND

III. Landscape of Ba Vi National Park

Ba Vi National Park is situated in the West of Hanoi, about 48 km (30 miles). The total area is 10,815 ha (26,720 acres), an immense forest for us to explore nature. We can discover rich, diverse tropical and subtropical species of flora and fauna in here.

It’s actually a majestic mountainous area in Hanoi, well-known for spectacular natural beauty. Look from afar, we already contemplate picturesque views of 3 mountains: Vua (1,296 m), Tan Vien (1,226 m) and Ngoc Hoa (1,120 m)

Ba Vi National Park is also a good reason for us to escape from the bustle city, to enjoy cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest.

Ba Vi National Park

Da river overview from Ba Vi

Coming to the park, we can’t miss the opportunity to see bird garden and orchid garden. With a wide variety of tropical and subtropical species of flora and fauna here, it’s been an excellent source for Dao ethnic group to get medicinal plants. Perhaps we feel very tired when climbing, but it’s all worth seeing panoramic views of Red river and beyond. We can even see Hanoi in the distance without the mystery of mist from April to December.

III.2. Pine hill:

Going along a trail from the entrance gate, we will enter soaring pine forests, and spacious spruce forests too. Just like we lost into a miraculous land of scenic, picturesque landscapes.

Ba Vi National Park Pine hill 

III.3. French ruins (Old French church)

Used to be a hill station during French Colonial era, therefore there is French ruins on the mountain. This place attracts the youth to take a photo or selfie because of mysterious and miraculous background.

On the latitude of 800m, among lush and pristine tropical foliage, unhibited for many years, roof of the church was gone.

III.4. Cactus glass house

There are more than 1200 different species of cacti, from tiny, pretty ones to types of giant, thorny.

Ba Vi National Park Cactus glass house

III.5. Ho Chi Minh temple on Vua peak:

We will see Vietnamese traditional architecture in the temple: 8 curved roofs on 4 corners, 1 round pillar on carved stone. The temple shows us the beauty of ancientry, majesty and solidity. The central chamber is open space without doors. On the stone altar, there is Ho Chi Minh statue, cast by copper in the sitting gesture. Horizontal lacquered board above is carved famous quote: “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”.

III.6. Bao Thien Tower:

This construction was built nearby Ho Chi Minh temple on Vua peak and completed in 2010 in the 1000-year anniversary Thang Long – Hanoi

Bao Thien TowerBa Vi National Park

Bao Thien tower overview

III.7. Thuong temple:

According to the legend, to build Thuong temple, feudal state mobilized a great number of people to transport materials from Da river bank to the peak of Tan Vien mountain.

IV. Where to eat:

Locals normally prepare foods before having a trip to Ba Vi National Park. In case, you forget bringing along food, don’t worry. There are some restaurants in national park area. You can try bamboo-tube rice that you are able to buy in the pavement along the road.

Ba Vi National Park Bamboo-tube rice

Or, if you have time, drop by the nearby commune Son Tay. Son Tay will offer you some popular and delicious dishes such as: pho, banh mi, bun cha,…

If you are looking for the special one, don’t miss the chance to taste de nuong (barbecued goat) or fishy rice. It can be the perfect ending of your trip with these decent dishes. Last but not least, don’t forget dropping by some milk stores on the way back to Hanoi. These stores scatters along so it’s quite easy to see one. You will taste the freshness of Ba Vi meadows, gentleness of wind and even pureness of atmosphere, just in one bottle of milk. Caramel and yogurt are also the best, with an affordable price you even can’t imagine.

V. Recommended time to visit Ba Vi National Park

It will be flower season on May, June, July and November. So, if you like nature and want to contemplate the beauty of colorful and vivid flowers, highly recommend going to Ba Vi National Park at that time

The weather in Ba Vi from April to October is very comfortable with cool and fresh air, in serene and peaceful ambience. You can see the view of Hanoi from afar without the hindering vision of mist. If you like mysterious scenery, you can visit in the winter, when fog shrouds the mountain and everywhere. If you are lucky, you can see snow.

VI. Local tips:

V.1. Transport:

V.1.1. By motorbike or scooter:

As usual, people like to travel by motorbike or scooter to get experience. It’s about one hour and a half or more, depending on your speed. There are 2 routes for you to choose:

  1. Firstly, go from The Old Quarter to Thang Long highway. Going along this highway about 30km to the end, then you will see an instruction to Ba Vi National Park. According to this instruction, turn right to meet Route 21, proceed 26km to the village of Son Tay. There you'll take a hairpin turn on the road towards Khoang Xanh and the entrance to the mountain is 10km further along. Ask locals to get there.

Highly recommend this route because of road quality, convenience on finding the way and safety.

  1. Get started from Cau Giay, follow Route 32 to intersection nearby Son Tay bus stop. Then turn left, go about 12.5 km to Tan Linh fork. Turn left again to Route 5 and Ba Vi welcomes you.

On the way to the mountain, it’s best avoiding rain day because the road will be slippery, especially the hiking trails. The road leading to car park is very steep and narrow, so be careful, particularly on the way down.

Remember asking locals if you are unsure about the road.

V.1.2. By bus:

Also two different routes:

  1. From Yen Nghia bus station, get on bus 214 and get off at Xuan Khanh bus stop. Then take a walk about 5km if you want.
  2. From My Dinh bus station, get on bus 74 and get off at Xuan Khanh bus stop too.

V.1.3. By taxi or grabbike:

It’s fine to get there by taxi, grabcar or grabbike, but it’s quite expensive. Maybe about 200.000 VND from The Old Quarter to Ba Vi National Park and another 200.000 VND to come back.

V.2. Other tips:

  • Avoid the leeches

Please stay away from any still water, muddy water and small waterfall inside Ba Vi. There is a chance some creepy creatures like leeches living in so don’t take a risk. Wear insect repellent too.

  • Prepare gear:

Due to the higher altitude, Ba Vi is colder than Hanoi so make sure to bring cold weather gear - but you might get hot in the sun or from walking so bring warm weather gear too.

  • Get a map when you enter at the base of the mountain

It will be much easier for you to explore all the destinations inside Ba Vi National Park area.