About 80km from Hanoi, about 2 hours by car, Van Long Lake (Gia Vân commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh Vietnam) is very suitable for those who like travelling but are short on time, can only go sightseeing in one day.
Van Long lagoon is not a natural lagoon but formed from the embankment of more than 30km long on the left bank of the Day River to prevent flooding. From there, Van Long turned into an immense wetland, with beautiful rocky islands and caves.
Van Long Lagoon covers an area of nearly 3,500 ha, is considered as the largest reserve in the Northern Delta. Van Long is home to thousands of animals, plants, and aquatic lives, of which, the most prominent species is Delacour’s langur – the globally endangered Primate.
To reach Van Long Lagoon, from Ha Noi you follow the highway 1A, through Phu Ly to Gian Khau junction, turn left to Nho Quan junction to Gia Van commune, Gia Vien district. Van Long Dam is located at the foot of the dyke (there is a guide board here).
Here, you can buy a ticket and rent the boat to visit in two directions. The main direction is to go to Kem Tram – Hang Bong with many beautiful scenes. On the second one, if you are a lover of creatures you can see the rare Delacour’s langur going outside to drink water or passing branches.
Each direction takes you about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, adult ticket price about 75,000 VND / person. Since the boat is small and light, so each boat can only carry two people.
If you are on vacation, you can choose a vacation spot in Van Long ecological area. From this resort, you can go to Ke Ga Hot Spring, Cuc Phuong National Park, Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Trang An … by car.
Coming to Van Long, you will have a chance to be immersed in a no-wave bay with tranquil and clear water as the mirror. Visitors on amazing Ninh Binh tour can admire the layers of moss under the water. If you take a boat, in about an hour, you can admire the whole lagoon in a summary manner. Firstly, you will go by boat through the ravine with the majestic scenery and are tall grass on the two sides. Van Long has over 30 beautiful caves, in which, many large caves are put into tourist attractions (in the high water season, there are some unreachable caves) such as Ca (Fish) Cave, Bong Cave, Rua (Tortoise) Cave, Chanh (Lemon) Cave, etc.
After going through the mountains, you will go to Ca cave, which is 250m long, 8m high, 10m wide. The cave is located at the foot of the mountain, so after crossing the cave, to the other side you will see a small valley surrounded by mountains, if you lucky – usually in the afternoon (about 15:30 – 16:30), you will have the chance to see Delacour’s langur and the herds of storks flying higher than that in the morning.
In addition, there are some limestone mountains with the shape as its named “Meo Cao” (on the side of the mountain there is a “picture” like a cat scratch on the stone), Mam Xoi, Da Ban(Stone Table), Hom Sach (Book coffin)…
Van Long Lagoon attracts visitors on Ninh Binh tour by its natural beauty, tranquillity and peace, so when you come here, you should not laugh, make noise, break the quiet landscape of the lagoon. If you are a photo enthusiast, you should talk to the boatman so that they can help you get to the beautiful points in Van Long (this trip will take you about 2 hours).
For more information/details: Hoa Lu Tam Coc tour, Bai Dinh – Trang An 1 day tour, Bai Dinh pagoda tours, Ninh Binh 2 days 1 night, Cuc Phuong national park