Destinations Magazine

A Visit to Van Long

By Wanderingjoshua

I was in Ninh Binh for a couple of days and was looking for places to visit. I stumbled upon Van Long Nature Reserve as I was browsing pictures and websites. I was sold and decided to include it in my itinerary.

A Visit to Van Long

This vast wetland is kind of low key, at least based on my experience and the time I went. The crowds went to Trang An and Tam Coc for their boat rides and views of the spectacular countryside. At more than 3000 hectares, this destination is recognized as one of the largest wetlands in the Red River Delta. It is also considered a 'waveless bay' because of its tranquil, glass-like waters that reflect the towering stone formations, mountains, boats and people.

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long


When I arrived from the hostel, I hardly saw any people. There were few tourists and the group I saw just left. I paid the entrance fee and hired a boatman to take me around. I didn't regret my decision because I got to enjoy the views without tourists sticking their selfie sticks out or overhearing their chatter.

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long


It was a foggy day but the clearness of the waters reflected everything around it. I didn't mind the fog because it meant I wasn't going to roast under the sunlight. Van Long earned its moniker as a waveless bay; the only waves were the ones created by the boatman's paddling.

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long


The nature reserve is also home to a variety of flora and fauna; from mammals to birds to reptile to amphibians. I didn't see much of them though.

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long


The boat went through a handful of caves that led to more beautiful views of the landscape.

A Visit to Van Long


Barely saw anyone when my boat followed the usual loop from the port and back.

A Visit to Van Long

A Visit to Van Long


Here's a video:


Van Long is a definite must-add for your trip to Ninh Binh, if you go at the right time and season (the crowds started to trickle in on my way back), you might even be the only tourist.

How to Get to Van Long Nature Reserve

Expenses:

*Everything's in Vietnam Dong

250,000 - Motorcycle taxi (includes: Hoa Lu and Trang An)
80,000 - Entrance fee and boatman

I rented a motorcycle with driver to get to Van Long, you could easily reach this destination on your. Just get a good map and be on your way.


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