NINH BINH

Bich Dong Pagoda, Vietnam

On land, the characteristic geological limestone features of Ha Long Bay, resurface to the south of Hanoi, in the geology of Ninh Binh, especially in the area around Tam Coc, where you can travel upriver through the visually dramatic scenery and drift beneath the mountains into its water level caves.

Landscape of Tam Coc, Vietnam 

Tam Coc’s profoundly visual landscape, along with other similarly stunning natural features in northern Vietnam, including Ha Long Bay itself, was the perfect location choice for evoking the otherworldly atmosphere used to provide the awesome backdrop to the film exploring the origins of the famous gigantic primate in the film ‘Kong: Skull Island’.

river at Tam Coc, Vietnam

Another area surrounding Ninh Binh is Trang Na, a lakeland scene of dramatic rock formations and caves.


CUC PHUONG NATIONAL PARK

Close to Ninh Binh lies Vietnam's first National Park, Cuc Phuong, inaugurated in 1962 to protect its two hundred square kilomtres of tropical forest and the diverse flora and fauna hidden beneath its leafy eaves. The Park has a range of available accommodation from comfortable to basic, rather than luxury, but compensates with trees in excess of 1000 years of age, tree ferns, over 300 bird species, and many animals, including bears, leopards, and the rare and endangered Delacour’s Langur. 

Cuc Phong Primate Rescue Centre, Vietnam 

The wonderful and hugely important Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, opened in 1993 to rescue endangered animals and return them to the wild is a great place to observe some truly remarkable and meaningful work and meet the ‘stars’ up close, including Delacour’s, Douc and Cat Ba langurs.

MAI CHAU

To the southeast of Hanoi, Mai Chau is a scenic valley of cliffs, rice fields and rural villages of the ethnic communities of White Thai, Muong, Zao, Tay, Hoa and H’mong.

The area offers opportunities for trekking or cycling among the shapely landscape, climbing the cliffs, kayaking on Hoa Binh reservoir, or visiting the four chambers of Mo Luong cave.

Mai Chau, Vietnam

Treks to visit the local villages of this rural idyll are popular, and homestays are available if you enjoy getting to know traditional ways. The various peoples are renowned for their weaving and craft skills, and a lesson in rustic weaving is an interesting way to spend a couple of hours.

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