Ha Long on land

Source: Pano feed

One of the most attractive tourism destinations in the Red River Delta, Ninh Binh now boasts Vietnam’s newest UNESCO’s World heritage site, the Trang An landscape complex.

UNESCO has recognised Ninh Binh’s glorious Trang An landscape complex as Vietnam’s newest world heritage site, bringing the total number of world heritage sites in the country to eight. Situated in Ninh Binh province, the 10,000-plus hectare Trang An complex consists of the former capital at Hoa Lu, plus Tam Coc, Bich Dong and the Trang An ecological site.

The Trang An complex is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, many of them partly submerged and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. Exploration of caves at different altitudes has revealed archaeological traces of human activity over a continuous period of more than 30,000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by seasonal hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to major climatic and environmental changes, especially the landscape by the sea after the last ice age.

The story of human occupation continues through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the historical era. Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, was strategically established here in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. It contains temples, pagodas, paddy-fields and small villages.

The heritage site, which is well-known as ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, is a top choice for all types of tourist, especially as there now high-end properties which can satisfy even the most sophisticated traveller.

A great trip around the complex makes for various surprising, interesting and unforgettable experiences, as travellers pass between towering limestone peaks, rice fields, lotus flower ponds, ancient temples and local villages.

A they cycle along the paths between villages or float on the clear river between verdant mountains, they have the chance to meet local people, see their daily lives and even have a cup of tea and chat with them while sometimes seeing and hearing endangered animals.

Just 90km south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh can now be reached in just two hours via a new highway.

The firsts stop is normally Tam Coc-Bich Dong. After this, visitors drive back to Ninh Binh City and turn left towards Bai Dinh Pagoda. From Bai Dinh’s amazing pagoda, they can drive along the new wide and smooth road that runs between the imposing rocky mountain ranges towards Trang An caves.

The Trang An eco-tourism centre is large, covering a total area of 1566ha, including 980ha of protected mountains and forest with the remaining land set aside for building the necessary infrastructure to cater for growing tourism.


Floating on the crystal clear water are boasts in which local women wait for tourists. Once these local women were farmers, but their paddy fields were incorporated into the development of the Trang An ecotourism centre and now they survive by rowing tourists.

A row boat is definitely the perfect way to enjoy the scenery at Trang An. All around are more than 30 water-submerged valleys which are linked together by a blue river. It offers access to some caves that sit under the limestone mountains.

Floating on the waters, visitors bask in this poet’s paradise that is rich in rare and precious flora and fauna. Following this tourists can climb up the hundreds stone steps to the Tran temple, which was built in honour of the Tran dynasty in the 13th century, and is well-known for the Len Dong ceremony with the sweet voices of the Hat Van singers and the music of the dan nguyet – a form of lute.


After this, tourists can visit a site which is home to two of Vietnam’s oldest temples which worship King Dinh Tien Hoang who took the throne of Dai Co Viet in 968AD, and King Le Dai Hanh, who took the throne in 980AD. A walking visit around the village nearby the temples is very interesting as people can see local men making their bamboo baskets, women caring for their fields and children looking after water buffalos.

Beyond the main attractions there are various natural beauty spots you should not miss, such as Van Long Wetland, Cuc Phuong National Park and the Kenh Ga Hot spring. There are also many traditional craft-villages and the area is becoming more well-known for luxury and MICE tourism with the appearance of such local and international hospitality brands as Emeralda and The Reed. The province is now truly a hot spot for tourism which enchants local and international tourists of all ages.

Đăng ký: VietNam News