Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swampland Vân Long - Hạ Long bay on land in Ninh Bình

The swampland area lies in Gia Vân commune, Gia Viễn district, Ninh Bình province, at about 100km far from Hà Nội in the South. Nearly 3,500ha large, Vân Long swampland is home to thousands of fauna, flora and aquatic life, on rocks, in land or underwater.
Eco-tourism in Ninh Bình Photo: Nguyễn Thành Vinh
As sources of statistics, Vân Long has 457 species of high-grade botany, 8 of which are listed in Vietnam’s redbook, 39 species of animals, 32 species of amphibian reptiles, 44 fish species, 39 aquatic varieties, 79 insects, especially there are 12 animal species considered rare and precious: 72 units of white-short Voọc (one of five in monkey family seen as endangered species), 9 reptiles listed in Vietnam red-book:  hổ chúa (poisonous snakes), kỳ đà, trăn đất, rắn ráo trâu, tắc kè...). In dry season, Vân Long become winter habitat to many bird species: cò, mòng két, vạc... In May, July, visitors can find nests of le hôi bird and their eggs in grass.
There are 32 caves and grottoes in Vân Long. Some of them are very ideal for tourists: Cá, Bóng, Rùa... that are from 100 – 250m long. These are mutually linked caves with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. We can take a ride on boat in early morning when it’s still dewy. In a quiet and tranquil atmosphere sometimes, birds are suddenly seen soaring up. We arrive in Kẽm Trắm lake, a boundless lake in the mountain area, it’s really picturesquare. Cá grotto is the largest and we have to ride across the grasslands, small ponds. Story has it that, one upon a time, there was a man who caught such a big fish that it could only be brought by few men. So the cave was named “fish or Cá”. In the cave, there are varieties of fish: trê, rô, chuối... The cave is about 250m long, half underwater, half on land. It’s said to be millions-year-old and there are lots of stalactites and stalagmites. Vân Long is beautified by its many high mountains: Mèo Cào, Nghiên, Hòm Sách, Đá Bàn...
Please, don’t forget to have a look at 600-year-old  fig tree or cây thị and many pagodas: Chi Lễ, Mai Trung, temple of Nguyễn lord, Địch Lộng and the temple of king Đinh Tiên Hoàng, temples to worship Thánh Ngọ and 4 ladies (4 woman-generals of Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị).    

                                                                              SƠN HẢI

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