Ba Vi National Park is always included in any Hanoi travel itinerary. With its spectacular landscape, cool climate, and biodiversity, this park is considered the “lung” of the capital city. It is a perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves in nature and leave all their stress and troubles behind. Read on to prepare for a wonderful trip to Ba Vi Park.
1. About Ba Vi National Park Vietnam
1.1. Location and map
- Location: Tan Linh Commune, Ba Vi District, Hanoi City
Located about 60 kilometers west on the outskirts of Hanoi (formerly Ha Tay Province), Ba Vi National Park is one of the most famous destinations of exceptional natural beauty in Vietnam. Spanning an area of 9,702.41 hectares, the Park shares the border with 2 districts of Hoa Binh Province, namely Luong Son and Ky Son. Many visitors are drawn to this attraction thanks to its diverse ecosystem and cool fresh mountain air in a mystical background of clouds and tropical rainforests.
The park is home to 2,181 different plant species, 64 of which are rare and included in the Red Book of Vietnam. There are also 54 species of mammals, 193 species of birds, 68 species of reptiles, and 26 species of amphibians, with many precious and rare species such as civet, large lobe, pheasant, etc.
The Park also has many historical and cultural sites to explore, such as Thuong Temple, Trung Temple, Ha Temple, Uncle Ho’s Temple, Bao Thien Tower, etc. Therefore, visitors should bring along a Ba Vi National Park map to have a complete exploration experience.
1.2. Entrance fee and prices of available services
At the entrance of the park, there is a counter where you will get a ticket to enter the park and its attractions inside. Ba Vi National Park entrance fees are categorized as follows:
- Adults: 60,000 VND/person
- The elderly and the disabled: 30,000 VND/person
- College students: 20,000 VND/person
- High school students: 10,000 VND/person
*Note: To receive the discounted prices, visitors need to provide their ID card or student card.
Other services available in the park include:
- Filming & photography: 800,000 VND/group/day for groups of below 10 people. For groups of 10-50 people, a surcharge of VND 50,000/person/day will be applied. If your group exceeds 50 people, you will be charged an extra VND 30,000/person/day.
- Guide services: 300,000 VND/group/site/route/day for groups of below 30 people. For groups of above 30 people, a surcharge of 5,000 VND/person/site/route will be applied.
2. Explore the top 7 attractions of Ba Vi National Park
There are many things to do at Ba Vi National Park, among which the followings are not-to-be-missed attractions:
2.1. The deep woodland
Ba Vi National Park covers a mountain range with 3 peaks jutting out of the landscape. The highest is Vua Peak at 1,296 meters, followed by Tan Vien Peak at 1,227 meters and Ngoc Hoa Peak at 1,131 meters high. Trekking through the forest, you will have a chance to explore the rich vegetation and animals here. The centenary trees will take you by surprise with their sizes and ages. Various types of mammals and birds also add to the beauty of the deep woodland. The deeper you go into the forest, the more breathtaking sceneries will appear.
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2.2. The ancient French church
Thanks to its beautiful scenery and pleasant climate, Ba Vi National Park used to be the destination for summer camps and holidays of the French during the colonial period. Today, the ruins of their works can be seen on the way up to the mountain road. A collapsed church is a highlight among those remnants.
The church is located about 800 meters above sea level, amid the forest. Abandoned for years, its roof has gone, leaving the bare church in the forest. The fog is always here, sometimes swooping down and engulfing the whole church. The silver color of the fog, the green color of the moss on the walls, and the gray color of the mold have created a nostalgic beauty that makes this place a favorite site for photographers.
2.3. Uncle Ho's Temple
Uncle Ho’s Temple is located on Vua Peak, the highest point of Ba Vi Mountain Range. It is said that when Uncle Ho was still alive, he wanted his bone ash to be placed in three locations, one of which was Ba Vi Mountain. Corresponding to his will, the temple started to be built in early March 1999 and was completed at the end of August 1999.
The temple has a traditional architectural style with 8 tiers of eaves, mounted on pillars standing on stone platforms. Here, pictures and other objects about Uncle Ho are solemnly displayed. Every year, people from around the country and foreigners come to this site to visit the late President Ho Chi Minh, especially at the end and beginning of the year.
2.4. Upper Temple (Den Thuong)
A Ba Vi Trip gives you a chance to not only immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of nature but also learn more about the culture of the locals. Upper Temple (Den Thuong), located at an altitude of 1227 meters on Tan Vien Peak, is a cultural and historical relic connected to the legend of Ba Vi National Park. Flocks of locals visit this temple all year round, especially in spring, to light incense and show their respect to Lord Tan Vien, the prime deity of the Four Immortals in Vietnamese legends.
It is well worth climbing up the stairs amid the green forest to reach this site when you come to Ba Vi Mountain. Despite its not-so-large scale, the Upper Temple has significant spiritual value to the locals. Also, from the mountain peak, you will have a breathtaking view that will undoubtedly amaze you.
2.5. Ao Vua Tourist Area
Coming to Ba Vi National Park, you should not miss out on Ao Vua Tourist Area, a sizable complex of entertainment areas, restaurants, and resorts located right at the foot of Tan Vien Mountain. Built amid the picturesque scenery of nature, Ao Vua offers modern amenities and great services. This perfect combination makes it a must-visit site for any Ba Vi trip.
Here, visitors can get immersed in the wild nature, capture tranquil moments, and find inner peace. Also, you can take part in several exciting games available at a waterpark to fill your trip with fun. If you are considering traveling to Ba Vi overnight, staying at a hotel in Ao Vua would be a great idea as the lodging here is fairly affordable.
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2.6. Thien Son Suoi Nga
Located to the east of Ba Vi Mountain Range, Thien Son Suoi Nga is a stunning eco-tourism destination that has forests, lakes, streams, Ba Vi Waterfalls, and entertainment services. Here, you can take in the magnificent natural beauty and unwind in the fresh air of the forests. This area includes 3 main sites, which are Ha Son at the foot of the mountain, Trung Son in the middle, and Ngoa Son at the top.
- Ha Son: You can paddle a swan boat on a pristine lake in Ha Son to move around the wild mountain. On the mountainsides, there are stilt houses where you may take a rest and soak in the tranquility of the area.
- Trung Son: To explore the untouched nature, you can hike to reach Nga Stream. Here there is an artificial lake where children can play fantastic water games.
- Ngoa Son: Situated at the peak of the mountain, this place has a famous waterfall named Cong Troi, where tourists can soak up in a natural swimming pool. You can also get a panoramic view of the legendary Ba Vi Mountain by hiking up to the top.
2.7. Cactus Greenhouse
Cactus Garden is definitely a must-see in Ba Vi National Park if you enjoy taking pictures. Located only 1 kilometer away from the Park’s entrance, the garden is one of the crowdest destinations in Ba Vi. Here, there is a large greenhouse that is home to up to 1,200 cactus plants of various types. The greenhouse is constructed specifically to protect the cacti. You will be amazed by all the types and shapes of the cacti here. Some are as tall as a person, while some are so small that you can hold them in your hand.
3. The ultimate guide for your Ba Vi National Park day trip
To be well-prepared for the trip to Ba Vi, you should take notes of the followings:
3.1. How to get to Ba Vi National Park from Hanoi center?
Ba Vi National Park is about 60 kilometers away from Hanoi’s city center, so it takes only about an hour drive from Hanoi to Ba Vi.
There are 3 popular ways to get to this park from Hanoi: by motorbike, by taxi, and by bus. If you choose a motorbike tour, you can kick-start your journey at one of the two starting points: Big C Thang Long (near Tran Duy Hung - Khuat Duy Tien Intersection) or Cau Giay Street:
- From Big C Thang Long: Go for roughly 30 kilometers via Thang Long Boulevard (Lang Hoa Lac Highway) to get to Hoa Lac Overpass. After that, head to the area near Yen Bai Commune and Dong Mo Cultural Village before continuing on to Ba Vi Mountain.
- From Cau Giay Street: Drive along National Road 32 for about 37 kilometers to reach an intersection near Son Tay Bus Station. Then, turn left and go until you reach an intersection near 105 Hospital. Go straight for 9 kilometers to Tan Linh Crossroad, then turn left and continue for 3.5 kilometers more to reach Ba Vi National Park's entrance.
If you want to reach Ba Vi by car or taxi, you can still follow the same route. You can also choose to take a bus from My Dinh Bus Station (No. 71) or Yen Nghia Bus Station (No. 77) to get to Son Tay Bus Station. From here, you catch bus No. 110 to reach Ba Vi National Park, which is only 5 kilometers away.
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3.2. What to eat during the Ba Vi National Park tour?
Visiting Ba Vi National Park, you can not only feast your eyes but also delight your taste buds. Listed below are some mouth-watering delicacies that you should try here:
- Com lam (Bamboo-tube rice): This is a traditional food of the ethnic people in many mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam. To make this dish, the locals will put glutinous rice into a bamboo tube, then cook it over fire. The combination of fresh bamboo and rice creates an irresistible aroma. Com lam is often served with salted roasted sesame or grilled chicken and pork.
- Grilled chicken: Chickens in Ba Vi are not raised in coops, rather, they run freely on the farm and hill. That is why their meat is very firm. After being marinated, the meat will be grilled directly on charcoal, creating an enticing flavor and eye-catching look.
- Grilled mountain goat: Just like chickens, Ba Vi goats are let to run freely in the mountains. The goats here are very well known for their lean and juicy meat. The meat is often roasted slightly after being marinated in basil and cedar. After that, it can be served in many different ways, including raw with lemon, grilled with citronella, or cooked with wine.
- Dairy products: Known as ‘The White Milky Land’, Ba Vi is home to many cow and goat farms. Produced from premium milk, the dairy products in Ba Vi are noticeably rich and fragrant. Fresh milk, yogurt, creme caramel, and milk cakes are some tasty treats sold around Ba Vi.
3.3. Some tips for a perfect excursion to Ba Vi National Park
To have a complete trip to Ba Vi National Park, you should be aware of the followings:
- Be careful when riding your motorcycle at Ba Vi National Park as the road here is quite steep with sharp turns. Lower your speed on chilly, foggy days as visibility may be very limited.
- As you are expected to walk a lot on this trip, put on a pair of sneakers instead of high heels and the like.
- Protect yourself with long clothing and insect spray against mosquitoes and insects.
- Be careful if you have a BBQ party or campfire, especially on hot and dry days.
- Ba Vi National Park weather is cooler when the night comes, so remember to bring a coat if you are going to stay overnight.
- Refrain from littering to preserve the beauty of the Park.
During your journey in Hanoi, in addition to Ba Vi National Park, you should visit other tourist attractions in the capital city as well, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi Old Quarter, Presidential Palace, and especially VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium - an ideal place of a family outing.
As one of the largest and most modern aquariums in Vietnam, Vinpearl Aquarium leads you to a miniature underwater world, where you can see more than 30,000 different freshwater and saltwater marine specimens. Meanwhile, VinKE offers a large “learn and play” space for kids, where they can have fun while learning about their dream jobs.
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With its spectacular landscape and important historical and cultural values, Ba Vi National Park is an ideal getaway for those who want to immerse themselves in nature while learning about Vietnamese history and culture. Hopefully, this article will help you plan a fulfilling trip to this Park!