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Vietnam’s first nature reserve in Green List

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Van Long Lagoon in Ninh Binh Province has become the first of its kind in Southeast Asia to receive the Green List certificate from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Green List Committee

Looking like a charming natural painting dotted with untapped landscapes, Van Long Lagoon used to be one of the filming locations for Hollywood blockbuster movie “Kong: Skull Island” in 2017. The beauty of destination appearing in the movie has attracted tourists from far and wide.

A gift from Mother Nature

Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve in Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, was established in December 2001. It is one of the three special use forests in the province and among Vietnam’s 100 special use forests.

The place has a cool climate all year round, whose surface is as crystal as a mirror. It is also home to 32 caves with age-old stalactites and stalagmites. Among them, Bong, Rua and Chanh caves are the most famed.

Moreover, Van Long is a place where visitors can see some rare animal and plant species. There are 457 plants and 39 inhabitants living in the reserve. About eight species of plants and nine reptiles are listed in Vietnam’s Red Data Book. Notably, ca cuong (Belostomatidae) can be found there. This extremely rare insect is believed to be part of the fresh environment in Van Long.

Experiences expected of Van Long

In each season, Van Long exposes different beauties. From November to April in the following year is the lotus blooming season in the wetland nature reserve. This is also the most beautiful season of the year in Van Long.

Travelers can take a boat trip around the lagoon to enjoy lotus flowers in full bloom and visit Ca (Fish) Cave, the largest cave there.

Futhermore, the largoon is ideal to pilgrims as on the mountains surrounding it are many religious complexes such as Thanh Mau Temple, King Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, Dich Long Pagoda, Thanh Son Pagoda, to name but a few.

Last but not least, local specialties abound, such as grilled wild fishes, nhech fish (Pisodonophis boro) salad, sour soup with Vietnamese eggplants, etc.

By Quynh Chau

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