Edit Blog Post
Published: April 7th 2009
Tràng An nature reserve
We left our boats to walk up 350 steps for visiting Trần temple on the mountain.
Saturday 4 April 2009 - It was our national holiday. I booked a one day trip (VND 320,000, about US$18) with Vietravel Company to visit Bái Đính pagoda and Tràng An nature reserve in Ninh Bình province (110km from Hanoi). Both places are new tourist destinations, so some road sections and work items are still under construction. I was at Bái Đính pagoda (which is the biggest pagoda in Vietnam) last year, so this time I took only some photos at the site. My major interest on this trip was Tràng An nature reserve as I'd not been there yet.
After lunch, we started a boat ride at Tràng An nature reserve. For 3 hours, we went along the streams through 10 grottoes (from 70m to 320m in length) with beautiful stalactites. We also visited 3 temples on the way, at one of which (đền Trần) we had to walk up and down a total of 700 steps. Even though there were small lights in the grottoes, they were very dark inside. So dark indeed that my camera flash didn't work very well. My photos were mainly taken at the entrances or exits of the grottoes. I've never been to
Hang Tối (dark grotto)
We are going into the longest grotto (320m long).
so many grottoes at any one site and it was very relaxing while sitting on the boat and feeling myself surrounded by the mountains. We call these areas "thung" (valley).
I sat on the boat with our tour guide, while other people on my tour were on another boat. Our rower is a local woman and there were 3 boys on my boat who are also local residents in Ninh Bình province. The boys joked and the rower replied in a funny way, so we all laughed together. Inside a grotto, it was noisy as some students on another boat going from opposite direction sang a children's song.
"Beside the rower, there is her family to consider", I said to our tour guide, when I was going to give her a tip. There are 400-500 boats at the site and the rowers are local farmers. They have to wait for their turn, so it may take a week or two until they can meet with tourists again. A ticket to the site cost VND 60,000 (US$3.6), but the rowers receive only VND 10,000 (60 cents) per guest. If there are 4 guests on the boat, they can earn
Tràng An nature reserve
We are going out one of the grottoes at the site.
VND 40,000 (US$2.4). Tips are expected, about US$1-2 per person or more depending on the guests. After a 3-hour boat ride which is a hard work, a rower can earn about US$5-6 for both wages and tips. I asked the rower whether there were foreign tourists visiting this site. She said "only a few". The reason is that the locals cannot speak English, so they cannot warn the tourists of being careful with their heads that may be hit into stalactites. Also the daily tours for the tourists from Hanoi only focus on Hoa Lư and Tam Cốc sites.
This is my 3rd visit to Ninh Bình province during the last 6 months. This province is called "Hạ Long bay in land", as there are many limestone mountains in rice paddies or by streams etc. So far, I have visited some major sites in this province: Hoa Lư temple, Tam Cốc grottoes, Bích Động grottoes, Vân Long nature reserve, Tràng An nature reserve, Bái Đính pagoda and Phát Diệm stone cathedral. Next time I will go back to Cúc Phương national park.
Below is the link to my other entries about some sites in Ninh Bình province:
On the way to Trần temple Vân Long nature reserve Bái Đính pagoda under construction (2008, 2009) and re-visited in 2015 The 4th trip to Phát Diệm cathedral Khu du lịch sinh thái Tràng An, tỉnh Ninh Bình
This is the place where tourists rest before walking up the mountain.
(cách Hà Nội 110km)
Tên 10 hang động đến thăm trong tour: hang Địa Linh (dài 315m), hang Tối (dài nhất, 320m), hang Sáng (dài 70m), hang Nấu Rượu, hang Ba Giọt, hang Seo, hang Sơn Dương, hang Khống, hang Trần và hang Quy Hậu. Còn 2 hang động khác đang trong quá trình chuẩn bị để đưa vào sử dụng.
Đền Trình thờ 2 vị tướng của triều đại nhà Đinh.
Đền Trần thờ Thánh Quý Minh Đại Vương - thời Vua Hùng thứ XVIII. Đền được xây vào năm 968.
Phủ Khống thờ Tướng Đinh Công Thiết Chế và 7 vị quan tướng chôn Vua Đinh (năm 979).
Tot: 2.565s; Tpl: 0.102s; cc: 14; qc: 35; dbt: 0.0403s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb