Van Long Protected Area


 From Gian T-Junction (10 km from Ninh Binh city), drive West 5km, then turn right for 2km further, tourists will reach Van Long, the largest wetland reserve in the North of Vietnam with an area of 2,643 ha located in Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province. 

Despite its small size Van Long is home to a rich fauna and flora. 457 species of plants have been identified of which eight are listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam; Chukrasia, textured wood, fagaceae ... 39 species of mammals have been found in the area of which 12 are lsited in the Red Data Book of Vietnam. A small population of the very rare Delacour´s langur Trachypithecus delacouri lives in the protected area. This species is occurs only in a very small area in Northern Vietnam and nowhere else in the world and today there are only about 300 animals left of which about 40 live in Van Long. Van Long Protected Area has been specifically established to protect this endangered primate species. Other animals listed for Van Long Protected Area are the serow, lorises and macaques. Reptiles listed for the area comprise King cobra Ophiophagus hannah, python, chameleon and in particular a rare species of belostomatid. Another treasure of Van Long are a large variety of waterbirds. There are not only multiple residents but during the migrating season the wetland is a popular stopover for waterbirds on their way to and from China. 

Van Long has a system of pretty caverns named the Fish, Goby, Turtle and Lemon cavern. Each cave has a distinct shapes and the Fish Cave beneath Hoang Quyen Mountain is allegedly the most beautiful one. This cave has plenty of catfish, anabas, and cuttlefish and got his name because a a 45 kg cuttlefish is said to be once caught here. It is 250 m long, 8 m high and 10 m wide and its ceiling is covered with stalactites in various shapes, and it is up to the visitor´s imagination to name them tiger, buddha, crocodile.. 
Van Long is one of the last real natural treasures in the province, little spoiled by the the influences of tourism. If you visit Van Long Protected Area we would kindly ask you to treat the place with respect and responsibilty. Do not leave any rubbish, do not destroy the caves, stalactites or any plants and do not disturb the animals in particular not the nesting waterbirds.