Remote Ba Vi, Hanoi, Vietnam Published on: 20-04-2017
Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Ba Vi National Park is special ?
Ba Vi Mountain (Núi Ba Vì), formerly a French hill station, has been attracting visitors for decades and remains a popular weekend escape for Hanoians. The national park offers a great escape from the city with cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest. The limestone mountain is now part of the Ba Vi National Park, which has several rare and endangered plants in its protected forest, as well as mammals, including two species of rare ‘flying’ squirrel and bountiful bird life. Ba Vi National Park is about 50 kilometers west of Ha Noi. It is well worth the ride to finally escape the noise, heat and dust of Ha Noi.
What to explore at Ba Vi National Park?
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.
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.
How to get to Ba Vi National Park?
Ba Vi National Park takes about two hours to reach by car. Head out of Hanoi to the southwest crossing the To Tich bridge onto Tran Duy Hung which becomes Duong Lang-Hoa Lac just outside the city limits. From there, it's 30km to where the road ends. Take a right there, on Route 21, and proceed 26km to the village of Son Tay. There you'll take a hairpin turn on the road towards Khoang Xanh and the entrance to the mountain is 10km further along. Resist taking the more northern route that leaves Hanoi on Cau Giay in Quan Cau Giay.
By bus, depart from My Dinh station or Kim Ma (No. 201 — it’s a local bus so might be a bit slow) for Son Tay and flag down a local bus from there toward Khoang Xanh. Or take local bus no. 214 from My Dinh which turns down the Khoang Xanh road. Alternatively try to book a xe om from Son Tay. It should cost about 200,000 dong to take you to the summit, have your driver wait for you while you visit a temple, and return.
- Lovely and under-used national park
- A good mix of scenery, very atmospheric
- Excellent national park with amazing trail
- Beautiful cool air, lovely scenery
- Fantastic national park, good choice for weekend
Ba Vi, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tips for you
Today we visited Ba Vi national park which is located some 65 kilometers away from Hanoi. Driving there takes around one hour, not counting driving up the mountain. Entrance fee for a car with two adults and two children is 140.000 vnd, just around 5 euro. The road leading to the main car park next to the top is good with some small parts but nothing scary. Once you make it to the car park you can climb another 200 meters on good rock stairs to get to the top. Admire the temple and the stunning views if it's not too cloudy. The temperature at the top is at least 5 degrees lower than at the entrance of the park which makes it quite refreshing. Recommended for a day trip if you did Ha Long bay and have a day extra when you are in Hanoi.