Van Long Nature Reserve Ninh Binh - Map & Guide for Amazing Discovery

Phuong Uyen - Updated August 01, 2019

Van Long Nature Reserve - Such an Amazing Discovery in Ninh Binh

Whenever mentioning to Ninh Binh, tourists remember the famous names such as Trang An, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Tam Coc - Bich Dong or Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.

But now you will know about Van Long Nature Reserve, considered no less attractive than other reputable destinations in Ninh Binh. If you are a true nature lover, Van Long Nature Reserve is specifically suitable for you since it seems to maintain all its pristine features.

Van Long Reserve

Take a look at Van Long Nature Reserve

If you are considering the reason why it is highly appreciated, let’s find out all of the interesting things in Van Long Nature Reserve and answer yourself. Yet, at first, have some brief of Van Long wetland and know how to plan for a day trip to Van Long.

Table of Contents

1. Van Long Natural Reserve Overview - Wonderful Beauty of Wild Nature

Located about 90 kilometers far from Hanoi, in Gia Van Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, Van Long Nature Reserve is known as not only a natural reserve of wetland but also a cultural relic.

the river flow through Van Long

You can have a chance to see locals go fishing or crab-catching on the river flow through Van Long

Established in 1998, the nature reserve of Van Long wetland has received 2 records of Vietnam, which are home to the biggest community of Delacour's langur and the largest natural painting. Although open for such early tourism, Van Long wetland still remains its primitive appearance and original characters as it used to be.

Therefore, it has a great attraction to both native and international tourists. If you have an intention of finding a peaceful place to relax and escape from the hustling and bustling life of the crowded city, the wetland of Van Long is exactly proper for its tranquil atmosphere and undamaged beauty.

Quiet, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for your soul

(video: terjou)

Van Long is a legendary land, a beautiful area and the largest natural reserve of wetlands. Here, guests can sit on a boat to visit Van Long. A large space with spectacular mountain ranges creates a natural wall surrounded by a vast expanse of water.

Along with Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex and Tam Coc-Bich Dong National Park in the province, Van Long Nature Reserve is considered an overland equivalent of Halong Bay with imposing cliffs and mountains and vast lakes which form a stunning scene.

With an area of 30 square kilometers, Van Long natural reserve Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve in Red River Delta and is considered as “Waveless bay” with tranquil water surface like a giant mirror reflecting spectacular natural sceneries.  It has 32 beautiful grottoes such as: Ca Grotto, Bong Grotto, Rua Grotto, Chanh Grotto. Each grotto has a unique beauty.

Besides, Van Long nature reserve has its highlight of diverse system of fauna and flora, including endangered species and a range of valuable plants.

You may want to visit:

2. Van Long Nature Reserve Map and Ticket Price


 From Hanoi Station to Van Long Nature Reserve

Ticket price

Row-boat rides take about 90 minutes, maximum of two people. The price is 60.000 VND for boat ride and 20.000 VND for admission.

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3. How To Get To Van Long Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh? Helpful tips

It is not difficult to find a means of transport to go to Van Long nature reserve. In general, there are 4 main types of transportation for you to choose from.

By car or taxi

If you go to Van Long wetland in Ninh Binh, it takes you about one and half an hour to get there. Traveling by car or taxi will help you be more proactive in time and more comfortable, comparing to by bus or train.

However, if you only have a limited budget, car or taxi is not an ideal option for its high expense. Yet, you can get reference from the following means of transport.

By bus

Van Long Bus

Going to Ninh Binh by bus

Going to Ninh Binh by bus is quite a reasonable choice. You can easily find a bus in My Dinh station or Giap Bat station, 2 biggest bus stations in Hanoi, where you can directly buy tickets or you can book in advance. Also, the ticket price on ranges from only 60.000 to 100.000 VND, depending on the quality and types of bus.

By train

If you go by train, it can take you about 3-4 hours. However, it is the safest way to go in such hard traffic in Vietnam. Remember to catch the early train since there are not as many regular trains as bus, so that you can have much time to discover Van Long nature reserve.

By motorbike

If you love challenge and adventure, going by motorbike can be an exciting experience for you to explore Vietnam. In contrast, if you are not confident of driving in rough road and prefer safety, motorbike is not a good choice for you since Vietnamese roads and topography are craggy that may scare you.

4. What To Do in Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve? - List of Interesting Things and Places

  • Take a 2-hour boat trip

In Van Long, you can join a boat ride with local people lasting for 2 hours on the river. You will have a good chance to explore the cave systems, observe stunning beauty of picturesque landscape and life of wild animals.

Viewing Van Long wonderful scenery on a boat is a must-try

  • Bike along the dyke

After a boat trip exploring this spectacular wetland, you can participate in a biking route along the dyke. From here you can have a view of Van Long and enjoy the tranquil space and fresh air of nature.

  • Visit local families

More than experience on natural space in the nature reserve, tourists can also involve in the authentic daily life of Vietnamese people. Therefore, visitors can gain more understanding about the culture and lifestyle of Vietnamese in the countryside.

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Here are the most popular places in Van Long you can be interested in.

  • Ca Cave - The most beautiful cave in the wetland

Located in Hoang Quyen Mountain, Ca Cave is considered the prettiest grotto in Van Long nature reserve. Ca cave owns its height of 8 meters, 250 meters length and 10 meters width. The ceiling contains stalactites with strange shapes like animal or fish.

The grotto also includes plenty of catfish and tilapia. The special name of Ca cave was originated from an ancient legend that there was a fish weighing 45 kilograms caught in the cave so that it is called “Ca cave”.

  • A range of unique grottos and mountains

Thung Doi makes an impression on visitors with its height of 210 meters above ground, whereas the largest grotto is Bong grotto (16 meters). Mountains’ strange names consist of  Nghien Mountain, Hom Sach Mountain, Da Ban Mountain, Meo Cao Mountain, Tien Co Mountain, Voi Dung Mountain, Canh Cong Mountain or Mo Coi Mountain.

Van Long Grotto

The largest Bong grotto in Van Long Nature Reserve

  • Van Long Forest - Highlight in the wetland

In the Van Long forest, there are 457 species of higher plants. In particular, it has 8 species recorded in Vietnam Red list.

Animals have 39 species, 12 species of rare animals such as white shorts langur accounted largest number in Vietnam, chamois, Bengal slow Loris, Asian black bear or stump-tailed macaque. In the 9 species recorded in Vietnam List such as king cobra, water monitor, oriental Rat snake, lizards.

Van Long Forest

You may accidently see some buffaloes taking a bath in the river near Van Long Forest

In the dry season, Van Long is the wintering place of migratory birds from the North. There are dozens of pheasants, grey heron, teal and hundreds of white stork and night herons.

  • Historical sites

Van Long nature reserve not only remains natural features but also maintains a variety of historical sites. Coming to Van Long nature reserve, tourists should visit the “Thi tree”-600 years old, Chi Le Temple, Mai Trung Temple, Dich Long cave, historic relic of Dinh Tien Hoang


5. Van Long Ninh Binh quick tips for first-time visitors

If you join biking route and visit family in this area, you should book private tours in advance so that you can pay for a reasonable price and know which is the best things to do in Van Long.

Besides, time is also an important factor. The best time to visit Van Long nature reserve is September to April.

Let’s together find out all of the interesting things in Van Long Nature Reserve!

If you want more information or have any further questions, feel free to contact us, the AZ Local Team. We are always at your service!

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