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Southeast Asia is the destination of today, a region rich with historic treasures, exotic cultures and amazing landscapes. Uniquely beautiful,...

Van Long nature reserve - NINH BINH

It is an interesting experience to sit in a basket boat rowed by local people to visit Van Long Nature Reserve and listen to the rower talking about the history and culture of this submerged area.

Van Long Nature Reserve covers 3,500ha and is surrounded by concrete dykes which are over 20km long. Around the reserve there are typical villages of the northern delta where foreign tourists like to explore by ox carts or bicycles to enjoy the tranquility of the rustic areas. To visit the reserve, people can only take a basket boat rowed by local people to go along the sole waterway from Van Long Wharf to the reserve.

The basket boat is versatile. In the past it was used to travel and catch fish and shrimp in the submerged areas. Since Van Long became an eco-tourist site, about 400 boats have been used to transport tourists. With a fare of VND 75 per passenger the boat brings a large income for the residents in the area.

Our boat rowed by local people run northward of the reserve and then along the foot of the mountain to the east. It got through a small rivulet towards the foot of the mountain. Around, there are green reed trees and we can see schools of fishing swimming among the green algae under the water’s surface.

We enjoy the cool wind from the east. In the distance, the fishing boats of the local people were silhouetted on the water and only a small fish coming to the surface to get air could make the small waves spread to a large area.

Like a tour guide told ­ guests the legend of the highest mountain in this area. In the old days, while passing this mountain, a fairy saw the charming landscape and stopped to behold it. She met and fell in love with a poor man who lived on the mountain to study. Due to their love they were punished by god and turned into two mountains, called Nghien and Fairy Mountains.These mountains stand side by side but they have never become husband and wife.

During the trip, we also pass mountains whose names are associated with interesting things, such as Meo Cao (scratching cat), Mam Xoi (tray of sticky rice), Hom Sach (box of books) and Da ban (slate). The most interesting place was the island of the storks at sun set. This is a submerged forest lying in the area of reed trees. It is the habitation of the migratory birds in winter. During that time many migratory birds from the north such as the Bonelli eagles, gray herons, great egrets, teals, Chinese pond herons and white storks hovered in the sky, creating a very beautiful painting.

Source: VGP

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