Back to nature

25/10/2019 11:23

Join Heritage and explore some green destinations around Hanoi

Lush forests

There are many options if you want to go into the forests to enjoy everything “the lungs of the earth” have to offer. Closest to the center of Hanoi lies Ba Vi National Park, only 60km away from the capital, or an hour's drive by car on the wide Lang – Hoa Lac Highway before turning onto National Highway No. 32. Offering a mild and cool climate with streams that flow all year round, Ba Vi boasts many interesting destinations. You can take a walk in the pine forest, bathe in a stream, or go trekking up the mountains to breathe in the clean fresh air and enjoy views of the vast rice fields on the prosperous plain below.

A little further away, at about 80km from Hanoi, lies Tam Dao National Park of Vinh Phuc Province, famously dubbed the “foggy town”. The roads leading to the peaceful green nature of Tam Dao town present a moderate challenge to drivers with their winding bends. For that effort, you can enjoy spectacular scenery when walking in the untouched primeval forests and visit interesting sites like the Silver Waterfall, Xa Huong Lake, Rung Rinh Peak, and the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center, located in this National Park. Tam Dao is a developed tourist destination with a range of hotels and homestays. You can choose to spend the day here or stay overnight to enjoy "four seasons in one day".

Good locations for a two-day trip include Xuan Son National Park (Phu Tho Province) or Cuc Phuong National Park (Ninh Binh Province). Both parks lie around 120km from Hanoi and may be reached via good roads. At Xuan Son National Park, asphalt roads lead into the middle of the forest, where tourists can stay in stilt houses, which are modest but filled with the love of local ethnic minority people. If you have been here, you will never forget the feeling of strolling down a road with tall old trees to one side and a clear stream on the other, which seems to wash away your everyday worries.

Green mysteries

Many other day-trip destinations are close to Hanoi but not yet well-known, except among the backpacker community. These include Ham Lon Mountain, Me Linh Station for Biodiversity, and Quan Son Lake.

Ham Lon Mountain (Soc Son district) stands only 40 km from central Hanoi and has long been a favorite destination for hikers, long-distance runners, and model car enthusiasts. This place boasts peaceful, poetic views with stretches of green grass and pine forests. It is not unusual to visit Ham Lon and see many tents erected by young campers.

Me Linh Station for Biodiversity in Vinh Phuc province, located around 45km from Hanoi, is ideal for a weekend getaway. A great place to explore nature, it offers a range of scientific and educational experiences. You can explore the forest, and observe rescued species in their natural habitat.

Another destination under 50km from central Hanoi is Quan Son Lake in My Duc commune (Hanoi). This is a scenic ecological area with nearly 20 mountains of all sizes jutting out around a turquoise lake. Visitors often rent boats to cruise the lake and admire the natural rock formations or visit orchards owned by local people.

Many other green mysteries await your discovery and can be covered in two days, although they lie a bit further away. These include Da Bac (Hoa Binh), which is 120km from Hanoi; Mu Waterfall and stream in the Ngoc Son – Ngo Luong Nature Reserve, 140km from Hanoi; and the wonderful clean and green environment of the Trang An Complex, 120km from Hanoi. Going here, you will feel peaceful and recharged by the simple joys of nature.

Le Anh

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