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Van Long natural reserve in Northern Vietnam

Mon, 04 May 2015 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:06

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Van Long natural reserve is considered the largest wetland nature reserve in the Red River Delta. In 2010, Vietkings recognized this area as the place with the largest number of Delacour’s langurs in Vietnam and the biggest natural picture in Vietnam.

Getting on small boats, we started our journey to explore the largest wetland nature reserve in the North. Boats are the only means of transport for visitors to explore the reserve. Van Long natural reserve stretches across 7 communes in Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. The reserve covers an area of more than 3,000 hectares. It is the largest wetland reserve in the Red River delta region. The largest number of Delacour’s langurs in Vietnam is found here over 100. In the reserve, there is the biggest natural picture in Vietnam: Meo Cao Mountain. There are 722 species of plants in the reserve. In addition, the reserve is home to 39 species of animals and 100 species of birds.

Opened in 1998, Van Long is now a national tourist area of Vietnam. In 1999, it became a natural reserve. The Government of the Netherlands, the Global Environment Facility and the Endangered Primate Rescue Center are helping Van Long tourist area protect rare species of animals. The forest provides a habitat for a large herb of storks. They were resting after a hard day hunting for food. As believed by scientists, Van Long tourist area can become a bird park as the tourist area is home to many species of birds and storks.

Van Long tourist area has breathtaking beauty. It is called a “waveless bay” because the surface of the river is calm, looking like a huge mirror. However, the surface of the river is not blue but extremely clear. Van Long’s tourism is always ecologically friendly. The evidence is that local people use simple boats instead of motor ones for carrying visitors. There are hundreds of mountains in the reserve which makes it more majestic. The surface of the river is very calm.

The reserve is also home to various species of aquatic creatures. Unlike other tourist areas, the wildness of Van Long tourist area is kept relatively intact, which gives visitors a chance to commune with nature. The tourist area changes season after season. Each season offers a uniquely beautiful look to the area.

Admiring the Van Long wetland nature reserve, visitors feel as if they were enjoying an extremely beautiful natural work made of not only two materials of stone and water. The scenery changes in time and according to each visitor’s mood.

Kem Cham has a special terrain. It is flanked by two ranges of mountains and surrounded by 5mountains. The place is suitable for adventurous tourism. We visited the place with many secret drawings which remain unanswered. There are too many interesting things in this land for me to explore. You should visit Van Long, the largest wetland nature reserve in the North, to know more about the land and its people.

Legend has it that, in 1739, a woocutter discovered Dich Long cave and saw a stalactite which looks like a statue of the Buddha. He erected an altar in the cave to worship the Buddha. Until 1740, Dich Long pagoda was opened. First, we visited the garden of ancient towers and then the Lower compartments. The whole complex was built at the foot of the mountain in the form of the world “tam” (There), covering an area of over 1 hectare. In addition, there is another garden in which the statues of Avalokitesvara and Amitabha area placed.

After passing 105 steep stone steps, we reached the gate of Dich Long cave. The gate of the cave is flanked by 2 colossal statues. And there is a bell weighing about 1 ton which was cast in the Nguyen dynasty on the ceiling of the cave. There are 2 palaces in which Ba Chua Thuong Ngan (Princess of the Forest) and Duc Thanh Mau (Mother Goddess) are worshipped and 2 wells which are filled with waterdrops from stalactites all year round in the front yard in the cave. To the right, there is a pagoda with a lot of statues outside and inside.

Dich Long cave is located in the middle of the mountain, consisting of 3 caves: the first cave is used for worshipping the Buddha, the second cave is called Toi (Dark) cave in which there are many stalactites in different shapes and colors and the third one is called Sang (Light) cave. There is a hole on the wall of Dich Long cave and the gate of the cave is narrow and so whenever the wind blows into the cave, they hear the sound of the flute. Maybe, for this reason, the cave is named Dich Long (The sound of the sky flute).  Apart from Van Long tourist area, the Dich Long cave – pagoda is another good chance for visitors.

 

Source: VTC10 - NETVIET

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