Ba Vi National Park is one of Vietnam’s most famous areas of outstanding natural beauty with cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest. The park attracts a lot of both domestic and international tourists, especially young people who always look for an escape from the city.
The three mountain summits are Dinh Vua which is the highest at 1,296m, Tan Vien which is 1,226m and Ngoc Hoa the smallest at 1,131m. Together they form a three humped crest which is often obscured by clouds at the highest point due to the varied climate at the park. Pilgrims and tourists alike usually make the walk to the summit of the Tan Vien peak where an 11th sacred century shrine stands in memory of the Mountain God.
Ba Vi National Park Highlights
Originally created as a hill station during the French Colonial era, Ba Vi National Park has always been an excellent source of medicinal plants for the Dao ethnic group. Walking and hiking opportunities are popular in this area of lush tropical foliage with plenty of forest trails and mountain slopes. In addition there is also a bird garden and an orchid garden, although the main attraction is the temple.
It takes about 30 minutes of hard climb to make it to the temple but you are additionally well rewarded with panoramic views of the Red River Valley and beyond. The outlook is best from April through to December when even Hanoi can be seen in the distance. The national park offers lodging at Tan Da Spa Resort where you can experience hot springs, mud baths, wet steam baths and herbal baths for individuals, couples or families. The resort is built in the style of an ancient palace and reminiscent of the houses once found in the Vietnamese northern delta region.
There’s a cactus garden and a bird garden, and hiking opportunities through the forested slopes. A temple dedicated to Ho Chi Minh sits at the mountain’s summit (1276m) – it’s a difficult but beautiful 30-minute climb up 1229 steps through the trees. Fog often shrouds the peak, but despite the damp and mist it’s eerily atmospheric – visit between April and December for the best chance of clear views down to the Song Hong valley and Hanoi in the distance.
Ba Vi National Park takes about two hours to reach by car. The ride to the park can be a bit bumpy and it’s best avoiding the park in the rainy season when roads may be slippery – especially the hiking trails. The road leading to the summit’s car park is very steep and narrow although efforts to widen the road are on-going.
Location: 48 km west of Hanoi
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