Known as the "Preserved Nature Area" of Ninh Binh, Van Long offers wonderful views of landscapes and rural life. Compared to Tamcoc - the used-to favorite site, Van Long is much more primitive and completely untouched. River, mountains, grottos, rice paddies, old houses, friendly locals, tiny-bamboo boat riding, ect., all contribute to make Van Long a must-see for the connoisseurs of traveling.
The Van Long Nature Reserve lies amidst the seven communes of Gia Vien District on the northeast section of the province and 17 km. from the town of Ninh Binh. The reserve extends over 3,000-hectares and is the largest in the northern plain.
Tourists who come to admire the reserve will have the opportunity to view rich flora and fauna within the most bio-diversified wetland in Vietnam, according to research by national and international scientists.
The eco-tourism destination was built by the Association of Forest Investigation and Zoning based on a community self-management model sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam.
This model has helped to promote community participation in terms of conservation and the sustainable use of biological resources to maintain the riverine wetland ecosystem of Van Long Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh.
The reserve boasts 457 higher order species of plants including eight species recorded in Vietnam’s Red Book. Van Long’s fauna includes 39 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Some of these species have been classified as globally endangered animals such as the white-breeched languor. There are currently only 50 languors in the world.
Distance: 90km from Hanoi
Access by bus/car: 2hrs
Tour: Full day tour
Time of visit: 2hr boat riding in Vanlong
Local guide: not compulsory