When standing on the dyke, visitors in Vietnam travel can see a vast area of mountains and a reservoir full of clear water. The high mountains constitute natural walls surrounding the reservoir. From Long Van wharf where hundreds of boats anchor close to one another, visitors can take a ride on a boat to discover the beauty of Van Long Nature Reserve.
On the vast water surface the space is so quiet that they can hear the sounds of whisking fish, moving oars and children’s voices from distant villages. In the rainy season, the water flows look like silk bands stretching between rows of clumped grass. The water surface is dotted with wild flowers of different colours, giving the reservoir a distinctive beauty. During the cruise, visitors not only contemplate ranges of splendid rocky mountains and surrounding beautiful landscape of the peaceful rural areas and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, but also have an opportunity to observe aquatic creatures and precious species of birds, learn about various indigenous animals and visit beautiful caves and grottoes.
With the total area of 3,000ha covering seven communes of Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, Van Long Nature Reserve has a rich and diverse flora and fauna, including 457 species of high-class flora, of which eight species have been listed in Vietnam’s Red Book, 39 species of animals including 12 precious and rare species, such as the white-breeched langur, white-collared bear and serow, particularly the belostoma, a precious species of insect that survives in small numbers throughout the world.
Van Long Nature Reserve is also known for many beautiful caves and grottos, such as the Ca Grotto and Rua, Chanh and Bong Caves. Besides, there are hundreds of mountains, such as the Meo Cao, Nghien, Voi Dung, Mo Coi, Hom Sach, Da Ban and Co Tien. Visitors are very interested in learning about a legend of the Ca (Fish) Cave. The story is that a black fish was caught at the foot of Hoang Quyen Mountain. It was so big that even several people could not carry it, hence the name Ca Grotto. Now Ca Grotto, 250m long and half submerged, is the habitat of many species of fish, such as the catfish, anabas and black fish. It runs through the mountain and has magnificent stalactites and stalagmites which have been created over hundreds of millions of years. Van Long Nature Reserve is more attractive with images of rural girls rowing simple bamboo boats with poles, and ox carts carrying visitors on a tour around the village to learn about the daily activities of the rural people and buy the local products.