Ba Vi national park is well-known as the forest that embraces the three highest peaks of the Ba Vi range: the King Peak, the Tan Vien peak and the peak of Ngoc Hoa. The national park not only keeps many legends from the founding of the land and the founding of the nation but also is a beautiful world with interesting animal and plant systems.
It takes about 50km from Hanoi capital to Son Tay town, go along the direction of Suoi Hai lake for another 16km, then look at the left hand side it is easy to see the white gray of three peaks blurred in the clouds with cool fresh air and the scent of the mountains and forests, we know that we have started going into the great place.
Given the fact that, the scenery on both sides of the road is very fantastic, people try to walk slowly on the road to the National Park even though everyone is eager for explore. One side is many tall ancient trees covered by the moss silky at the foot of the tree, one side is empty to see clearly the blue sky, or even block of white crystal cloud of around the mountains far away. On the peaks of the mountain, the bright purple colors of giant crape-myrtle blooming look like purple clouds emerging in the dew.
From the entrance to the National Park, there are two directions, if you want to see the strange flowers and birds, turn to the bamboo forest. If you want to go to the top of the mountain, go deep into it, follow a slightly sloping and sinuous road. On this road, travelers who go higher and higher can feel a fantasy space of clouds, wind, birds singing in the forest…
The bamboo and cacti forest at the top is endemic forests with hundreds of species of grass and birds, exotic rare animals. The most unique are butterflies such as white dragon tail butterflies, papilio helenus butterflies, sword tail butterfly… From there, it is supposed to keep moving another 3km to the pine forest where it s great place to rest and have lunch. Through a beautiful street with high slopes and some bends, visitors can turn to a pristine forest named after the orchid. This place has ruins including churches, villas and resorts, orphanage, both the prison, the administrative mansion … that the French built nearly a hundred years ago. Here, the blue moss on the fallen walls with the beauty of ruin among the ancient trees is worth to visit.
The foot of Ba Vi range is far from the gate about 14km to a height of nearly 1,000m above sea level. Due to hundreds of ancient trees, it is also cool here. The King Peak is the highest peak, up to 779 new stone steps to the top – where there is Uncle Ho’s temple. The second highest is Tan Vien peak up to 225 step to the top with a supreme temple, which is said to be the place of the holy Tan Son Tinh. The lower Ngoc Hoa peak is associated with the immortals legends and Ngoc Hoa Princess – the 18th King Hung Vuong king’s daughter. Despite a hard journey to three peaks, everyone feels free and peaceful when arriving at the top, when people and clouds come into each other, listening to the scent of forest leaves wafting in the wind.
Time flies fast in the afternoon in the forest, it’s nearly 5 hours but the sky has let out the fuzzy purple mist, trees as seen through the fragile chiffon with the smog and wild beauty. After enjoying the bamboo rice and forest chicken, everyone buys some forest honey, pollen, bamboo shoots or pure milk cake as a gift of the mountain to bring to the city.
From the center of Hanoi to the West about 65km, looking towards the left hand in the thin white clouds, three peaks blur appear – that is Ba Vi, and the shimmering and fanciful space of the National Park is opened up in front of the eyes.
The road to the Ba Vi National Park is very poetic, on the one side are ancient trees covered with ancient moss, on one side is an open space with blue sky and clouds dancing around the gray mountain peaks in the far distance. When it comes to the Ba Vi National Park, tourists will be overwhelmed by high mountain, cliff slope and a vast green color in front of the eyes. The road is winding, an aisle between the two sides is a vast forest of trees that lasts forever.
The air is somewhat fresh and cool in the summer morning, which refreshes feeling for every one who comes here. Following the path from the entrance gate, the large pine and cedrus tree forest and pine forest is shown up. Everyone has their own feeling when standing and looking at the mist falling into the dim lake.
In the days when it is sunny and less cloudy, the sun is shining from the west, standing on the top of Ba Vi mountain, the whole of the beloved Hanoi capital could be seen clearly, and highlight blocks of high buildings in the city center.
Ba Vi National Park is covered by full of black like in the change of seasons at night shift. Instead of the sound of birds in the early dawn, there are the sound of insects in the night, or suddenly the howling of gibbon and the noise of the animals finding foods at night in the wild nature.
Mr. Do Huu The, Director of the Ba Vi Center for Ecotourism Service and Environmental Education, said that Ba Vi is considered as “the green lung of the Capital” in which there is a rich and diverse flora, recorded 812 higher species belonging to 99 families, 472 genera. Among them, some species are described in this area for the first time. Besides, in Ba Vi National Park, there are 503 medicinal plants and 45 precious animal species.
Tourists must climb up nearly 800 stone steps to the top of the King peak, which is 1,269 meters high (above sea level); there is a temple for Uncle Ho in the east of the top of the peak. Tan Vien peak is at the opposite side to the west, 1,226 meters high, climbing 225 steps with a supreme temple, which is said to be the place of the holy Tan – Son Tinh, one of the “four immortals” in Vietnamese spirituality.
Next is the peak of Ngoc Hoa princess (Legend of the 18th King Hung’s daughter), 1,120 meters high. Over 500 meters there is a fog covering the top of the mountain, which is a mountainous terrain thanks to climate changes in Ba Vi according to height changes. Although it is difficult and hard, but when putting feet on the top of the mountain, when there is a feeling like people and clouds blend into one, when it feels like being very close to the god, when listening to different mysteries, in the fantasy of heaven land and forest … everyone suddenly feel peaceful inside…
The ruins area of the church, the resort villas, orphanage and the prison of the French colonialists left nearly a hundred years ago with ancient moss is situated on a location that tourists need to follow the hereafter instructions to get here by going down the mountain, at a height of about 800 meters (right above sea level), then turning right, passing through a bend slope”. When it comes to here, people can perceive the wild beauty of the thousands years ago here.
Down to 600 meters high, is an Anti – French Resistance War relic area, which marked the historical battle of the Ba Vi Regiment on December 31st, 1951, severing the Da river line room of France, giving our troops victory over the Hoa Binh Campaign in 1952.
If you are finding out an ideal place for the holiday in outside of Hanoi, Ba Vi national park is absolutely great choice from Hanoi capital. In addition, you are also make a difference for you normal route. Crossing over Duong lam ancient village sounds great on the back way to Hanoi. I wish there is a lot of experience help you to have a better weekend holiday in Vietnam.