Van Long Lake: Delicate Beauty

Van Long Lake is a famous tourist destination because of its crystal clear water which looks like a giant mirror with the sky and mountains as its reflection. It earned the name “No Wave Bay” because of such flawless characteristic, but also possesses other charming features such as a rich flora and fauna which is why it is frequently visited by people all over the world.

Van Long Lake has a land area of more than 3,500 hectares, considered the largest wetland nature reserve in the Northern Delta Region of Vietnam. It is home to thousands of plants and animals, including rare species which are listed in the Vietnam Red Book and the World Red Book. There are 39 animal species, 100 bird species and 722 plant species. Some of the endangered animals found here are the king cobra, water monitor (Varanus salvator), python molurus, oriental rat snake (Pytas mucosa) and the red-headed krait which are all listed in the Vietnam Red Book.

Image by:

Image by:

One of the most important creatures at Van Long Lake is the Delacour Langur (Trachypithecus delacouri), a critically endangered species endemic to Vietnam. There are only 40 Delacour Langurs left and they are concentrated at Hoang Quyen Mountain. Early morning or in the afternoon is the best time to visit the area where they can be seen either sitting, eating or playing.

A thousand caves can also be found at Van Long Lake, all bearing meaningful names which originated from legends and other popular local tales of mountains. Bong (Shadow) Cave, Ca (Fish) Cave and Rua (Turtle) Cave are just some of the famous caves whose names came from the stories behind equally interesting mountain names like Ink-Slab Mountain, Book Ark Mountain, Table Mountain and Cat Scratching Mountain.

Cua Chua (Pagoda Gate) Mountain is a curious site at the lake because of its cliffs which are adorned with strange murals and paintings. The unique drawings were discovered by explorers and scientists more than hundreds of years ago who said they are figures of human beings and hieroglyphics which can only be seen clearly when they get wet.

Van Long Lake is located at Gian Van Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province. It can only be reached by small bamboo basket boats which add to the beauty and aid in the preservation of the place. Summer, between May and September, is the ideal time to visit when the lotus blooms in full beauty.

Van Long Lake’s sensitive environment is greatly supported by several international organizations, such as the Dutch Government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (EPRC). With many tourists regularly visiting the place, vandalism and even destruction are a great possibility. It is therefore imperative that strong conservation efforts be constantly implemented and maintained in the whole Van Long Lake area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *