Located in the Ninh Binh province, just over 100 km from the capital city of Hanoi, Trang An is a scenic landscape complex with countless breathtaking sights. Here, visitors can witness the magnificent winding mountain ranges and natural streams that lead to mysterious caves. Do not miss the opportunity to experience the “heavenly scenery on earth” that any tourists cannot stop raving about!
Highlight of Trang An
Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014, the Trang An Landscape Complex (Trang An) is a mixed cultural and natural property located within Ninh Binh Province in North Vietnam, near the southern margin of the Red River Delta. The complex is mostly contained within three protected areas, covering over 10,000 hectares: the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in the North, the Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong Scenic Landscape in the South, and the Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest in the central position.
Trang An is a unique and beautiful humid tropical karst landscape with classical karst cones and towers. It has a network of depressions connected by underground waterways that visitors can navigate through small boats. The area has been invaded by the sea several times in the past, but is now on land. The landscape features towering mountains with natural rainforests, internal basins, and narrow cave passages with flowing waters.
Archaeological deposits in caves reveal a sequence of human occupation and utilization spanning over 30,000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by seasonal hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to major climatic and environmental changes, especially the repeated inundation of the landscape by the sea after the last ice age. The story of human occupation continues through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the historical era. Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, was strategically established here in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. The property also contains temples, pagodas, paddy fields, and small villages.
With its picturesque scenery, famous spiritual tourism sites, unique festivals, and attractive specialties, Trang An (Ninh Binh) is becoming one of Vietnam’s most worth-visiting tourist destinations.
Where to go in Trang An
Trang An is of global significance in terms of cultural and natural values due to its three protected areas.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital was the capital of an ancient Vietnamese Kingdom called Dai Co Viet in the 10th century. The kingdom covered only an area of 300 hectares and reigned during the Dinh and Le dynasties until the 11th century, during the Ly Dynasty. The armor from the citadel wall and the Yen Ngua limestone hills provided strong defense against the Chinese for the kingdom. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is considered an important cultural and historical site of great value in Vietnam.
Tam Coc-Bich Dong Scenic Landscape
Among the many breathtaking tourist destinations near Hanoi, Tam Coc Bich Dong stands out as the most enchanting and romantic place to visit. Known as “Nam Thien De Nhi Dong” (The second most beautiful cave in Vietnam) or “Ha Long Bay on land,” Tam Coc-Bich Dong still maintains its authentic natural beauty with caves, limestone mountains, and rice paddies, all of which are complemented by unique architecture alternating with pagodas and caves such as Tam Coc, Thai Vi Temple, Bich Dong Pagoda, Tien Cave, and Mua Cave. Its wild yet romantic beauty attracts thousands of tourists daily who seek to immerse themselves in the peaceful atmosphere of this world-renowned destination.
Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest
As the link between the two areas above, the landscapes of Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest consist mainly of limestone mountains, rivers, lakes, and swamps. Due to this, the forest plays a crucial role in the region’s biodiversity. According to recent studies, the Trang An ecosystem is home to more than 600 species of plants and 200 species of animals, many of which are included in Vietnam’s red list and require high protection.
Time to visit
Throughout the year, travelers can discover something worth exploring in Trang An. However, the best time to visit Trang An (Ninh Binh) is from February to June. During this period, there are plenty of traditional festivals that showcase the rich culture of the locals.
Additionally, the landscapes are breathtaking; the paddy fields are lush green from February to March, and the color gradually changes to a bright yellow towards the harvest time from the end of May to the beginning of June. It is advisable to avoid the rainy season in Vietnam (July-August) to prevent any interference with your plan.
It’s no wonder why many tourists choose Trang An as their destination for eco-tourism and spiritual tourism every summer, holiday, or weekend. This destination truly lives up to its reputation as the “heavenly scenery on earth” that tourists often describe it as!