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.
Kenh Ga (Chicken Canal) Floating Village
Set on the banks of the Hoang Long River, Kenh Ga is a remarkable place, not only because it is surrounded by the same massive rocks that dominate Hoa Lu, but also because for most of the year the entire community lives on the water itself. The floating village of Kenh Ga receives relatively few visitors compared to nearby Hoa Lu and the peoples' aquatic way of life has changed little over the centuries.
The area is known as one of the most rural area in the Red River Delta. It offers a combination of unrugged countryside landscapes, traditional rural lifestyle and well-known friendly local folk. Touring the area would be really relaxing and fascinating as you are seated in a rowed-by-feet boat with scenes of people fishing, children rowing boats to school, simple houses clinging to limestone cliffs… along the canal.
The traditional lifestyle of the river folk in this area is unique, and the trip will present you with countless sights of the old Viet Nam
The principal reason for its lack of visitors is that the village is accessible only by boat. Gliding along the river and canals, weaving one's way through the boathouses and fishing vessels of Kenh Ga is a unique experience for there is no other place in Vietnam that combines the stunning backdrop of the limestone cliffs with an authentic floating village.
The village of Kenh Ga (Chicken Canal) gets its name apparently from the number of wild chickens that used to live in the area. It's essentially a floating village on the Hoang Long River, with just a few permanent buildings on the riverbanks. About the only other place in Vietnam where you can see anything like this is in the Mekong Delta. On the other hand, nowhere in the Mekong Delta will you find a stunning mountain backdrop like the one at Kenh Ga. Another difference: people in Kenh Ga row boats with their feet, leaning back and watching the world go by.
It's a lovely area, and one of the best places in northern Vietnam to see river life. People here seem to spend most of their lives floating on water: at their floating fish-breeding pens, harvesting river grass to feed the fish, trawling in the muddy shallows for shellfish or selling veggies boat-to-boat. Even the children commute to school by boat.
From the pier you can hire a motorboat to take you for an hour or so touring around the village for 40,000d per person. The boat trips are organised through the local government tourism agency and, thankfully, they've managed to keep the operation relatively low-key and hassle-free. How much longer can it last?
Itinerary in details:
AM : 8h00: Leave to Van Long then have a boat trip around natural caves and grottoes, admire the wonderful landscape of the tourist area.
12h00 Picnic Lunch.
PM : 12h30 :take about 3 hours road ride to the ferry-boarding a boat and cruising along Hoang Long river (that is mean the Dragon river), admits beautiful shaped limestone formation, rice paddies to visit the floating village Kenh Ga (Chicken Canals-see lonely page). Life and activities on the river watching is water puppet on the theatre (you can imagine). You can will to see Hot mineral-Spring (Natural stream).
15h30 Back to Hanoi.
Ø English speaking guide
Ø Private A/C Transportation
Ø Picnic Lunch
Ø Pick up and drop off at your hotel in Hanoi
Ø Boat trip as indicated
Ø All tours with entrance fees to indicated sights
Ø All government taxes and service charges
Ø A bottle of mineral water per person
Ø Airport taxes;
Ø Visas and visa arrangement
Ø Travel insurance;
Ø Food & drinks not mentioned;
Ø Personal expenses such as tips, bar bills, laundry and telephone charges
This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on number of people in your group and time of travel. Please contact us to customize this itinerary and price to meet your needs and budget.