Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long Nature Reserve
4.5
About
Very beautiful landscape, they have about 9 wonderful caves.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
See what travelers are saying
  • Geraint L
    21 contributions
    Let your troubles drift away....
    A great way to spend an hour in the peace & quiet of gently being rowed through the dramatic scenary. We were lucky enough to see a monkey, climbing uo one of the sheer cliffs & then a real treat, a kingfisher, we saw a flash of blue as it flew away & then were lucky that it landed close by to give us a photo to treasure. Be sure to tip your boat capt well, they earn their money thats for sure
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 15, 2023
  • kenny.
    10 contributions
    Peaceful boat ride away from tourists
    Brought here by Ninh bình private day trip from Ha Noi as alternative boat ride in Trang an. Very calm, peaceful wetland surrounded by huge mountain range. On the ride we saw varieties of birds. We only met 2 other boats on the way back. Our guide said as it located a bit far from all the main sights in Ninh Binh so no tourist buses around. We didn’t see the langurs here but we heard the sound of them. So if you have time, recommend do this boat tour.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 11, 2023
  • Bodil M
    9 contributions
    Great experience
    Peaceful paddle- boat tour through this rare and wonderful nature. Was lucky to see a monkey sitting anong the trees and also a little snake. But more than that was the peacefulnes gliding through the nature this way the best. We only met a few other tourists here.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
676 reviews
Excellent
394
Very good
198
Average
54
Poor
22
Terrible
9

lorenzocaratti
Siem Reap, Cambodia10 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
Looking up lonely island, we thought it would be a great place to visit. The price is ok but the experience left us bored. The boat lady asked us money at the end (no added stuff). We gave her a tip and she continued to ask for more. Lost its spirit... honestly, we've seen much more beautiful with identical landscapes in the northern-eastern parts of vietnam.
Written September 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kenny.
10 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Brought here by Ninh bình private day trip from Ha Noi as alternative boat ride in Trang an. Very calm, peaceful wetland surrounded by huge mountain range. On the ride we saw varieties of birds. We only met 2 other boats on the way back. Our guide said as it located a bit far from all the main sights in Ninh Binh so no tourist buses around. We didn’t see the langurs here but we heard the sound of them. So if you have time, recommend do this boat tour.
Written October 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bodil M
9 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Peaceful paddle- boat tour through this rare and wonderful nature. Was lucky to see a monkey sitting anong the trees and also a little snake. But more than that was the peacefulnes gliding through the nature this way the best. We only met a few other tourists here.
Written November 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Viking1910
Birmingham, United Kingdom61 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
We walked the 500 m from our hotel to the "tourist marina". 20 m away is the ticket booth where you can buy tickets for the boat trip. Don't buy the trip through hotels or tour operators as they charge more. We got to the marina ( just a few steps leading to the boats from the road), at 8am and had the whole boat ride, one and a half hours without seeing another boat. We went through a beautiful cave, lotus flower beds and the most peaceful scenery. The dragonflies were spectacular.
Written August 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HTH17
Singapore, Singapore153 contributions
Apr 2012 • Family
Even as we drove into Ninh Binh area from Hanoi, we saw the roads and surroundings were covered with grayish dust. Our guide told us this is an area for cement factories. And where do they get the raw materials from? The limestones from those beautiful formations we came to see. Without judging whether it's right or wrong (maybe the local economy really needs this, and cement has to come from somewhere, I suppose), it still depressing seeing whole mountains-sides being carved and excavated.

Van Long was indeed less touristy - we saw only 3 other boats when we were there. The 1.5 hour boat trip to a little cave and back was nice enough if you ignore the smokes stacks from the nearby monstrous cement factory. The cave was only big enough for us to row about 30 meters in, before we had to turn back - so it was a bit of an anti-climax. We were told Van Long was a more natural tour because they used bamboo instead of steel boats which were used at Tam Coc. They just did not mentioned that the inside of the bamboo boat was covered in cement so it did not leak. So much for being natural.

We also stopped at the pier of Tam Coc as part of our tour. It was indeed more crowded and they did indeed use steel boats. But we saw very nice pictures of Tam Coc compared to what we saw in Van Long. So maybe Tam Coc was more touristy and crowded for a reason.

It's probably not worth going out of your way to get there especially if you have been to Halong Bay or Phang Nga caves in Thailand. But looking on the bright side, it was good educational value for our kids to see how nature can be destroyed by human development.
Written May 21, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Saskiaphilipp T
Amsterdam, The Netherlands51 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
The day we visited Van Long was pretty cold and rainy. Therefore we were not really in the mood for a boat ride but after having done it, we don't regret it at all. First of all it's probably one of the cheapest attractions around Ninh Binh with just about 45.000 VND admission fee per person and a little tip for the boat people. For that you get a 1.5 hour boat ride through an astonishing landscape that is pretty impressive and looks very mystic when it is foggy like on our rainy day. During the boat ride we were even able to spot some langurs (monkeys).
Great is also that there were almost no tourists or any people at all, compared to Trang An, which was pretty crowded as we passed it earlier that day.
Written March 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mostlyharmless
Singapore, Singapore1,261 contributions
Nov 2011
We traveled to the Van Long nature park from Hanoi, which was a 2 - 2 1/2 hour drive from Hanoi. The roads deteriorated the further away from Hanoi you were, so a reasonable tolerance for traveling is required. Once you arrive, the breathtaking scenery of the Van Long reserve takes your breath away. Aged limestone hills in a karst landscape, surrounded by fields of water and reeds. The pictures probably say more than any words would do. We boarded a bamboo boat, and were rowed through the landscape in peaceful serenity. The route taken was a circular route leading to a submerged limestone cave, and then returning to the embarkation point. It's obvious that the 1 hour row only scratched the surface of the area available, but it was still a lovely experience.
The site was much less touristy than many other sites we visited in Vietnam. Although, having said which, about 30 mins after we arrived, a larger group of visitors also embarked on the rowing expedition, which made it slightly less serene. My suggestion would be to arrive early in the morning!
We traveled here with Footprint Travel (http://www.footprintsvietnam.com), who organised everything from prompt pickup in Hanoi, the rowboat experience, a visit to Hoa Lu temple and return to Hanoi, all within a day. I have nothing but praise for Footprint Travel, who provided a really professional experience for us.
Recommended, but if you're traveling from Hanoi, remember the journey to and fro may be tiring.
Written December 10, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tuananhhoang
Hai Phong, Vietnam680 contributions
Sep 2015 • Family
I have been there sometime with colleagues for inspection but only recently, i took my family there in late September. This time is best for visiting the area because of the beauty of the weather of Autumn. We took a boat ride in a pure natural atmosphere, breathtaking surrounding, clear water, beautiful landscape, cheerful boat rowers. It it a memorable experience to my kids. Recommend this trip for natural lovers.
Written October 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma10801
New Rochelle, NY373 contributions
May 2015 • Couples
This is definitely a peaceful and beautiful setting for a row boat ride.

You ride up through a channel and then into a cave and out the other side. The woman that rowed our boat stopped at the other side of the cave, and I've seen from some recent postings that we probably could/should have continued on further. I thought that day perhaps we were supposed to go further because we passed someone coming back through from the other direction. But it was one of those "unseasonably hot" days and I'm not sure that it was horrible that we stopped.

I did think that day, though, that the ride was shorter than I had expected, and from looking at the photos I think we did actually miss a reasonable amount of scenery - so I wish we had continued. That said, instead of continuing on, the woman rowed into the shade just inside the cave and gave my wife a neck massage. Since her neck was particularly bad that day and she was really suffering from the heat, I think that she still would vote for the massage over the longer trip.

I have to say that I am torn in general about whether or not it was worth it to drive all the way from Hanoi to visit this area (even though we also had a really nice bike ride while we were in a nearby spot). I got swayed by the sites that call Tam Coc the "Halong Bay" of the interior -- but to be honest, this area doesn't hold a candle to Halong Bay. Perhaps I would have been less disappointed if we hadn't already seen Halong Bay, or if it was a little closer to Hanoi (ore we had been able to stop on our way to somewhere else), OR if it wasn't so near the end of our 3 week trip -- but in general, I was really pretty disappointed with this whole area.

I had the stereotypical Tam Coc photo of the multicolored rice fields along the river - but we never saw anything even close to that. I was thinking afterwards that maybe all those shots were taken from an airplane and that no one actually ever sees those scenes from the river level.

I think I was also overly swayed by a Trip Advisor writer who said that she had been on all 3 boat rides in this area and that this was the best and the least crowded with tourists. All other things being equal, we generally prefer to take the road less traveled -- but I feel like we might have just taken the wrong road on this one.
Written September 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pw0867
Saint-Lambert, Canada641 contributions
Dec 2014 • Family
This place is spectacular. Breathtaking (low) mountains and some caves that the river passes through. You ride on a skiff through crystal clear water and really drink in the tranquility and unspoiled nature of the place. Birds are abundant, and although we weren't lucky, apparently there are a species of monkey that live in the nature reserve. The water flows through some caves (looowww ceiling - watch your head) and the rower needs to use a stick to keep the skiff moving.

This was truly amazing, and really made you feel how special the area is. Thank goodness it's a reserve. There is no high pressure sales on the river (see Tam Coc review) - just polite service.

Some interesting facts - the fee you pay to get in goes to the government. The rowers exist pretty much on tips and although I may not have understood, I think get a salary of 35 000 VND every couple weeks. As well, there is a queue, and they are only allowed to work one day every 2 weeks, so this one day is pretty important to them to make money. Please tip well (our rower was 70 years old, and had to keep doing this to survive)
Written December 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 360
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Van Long Nature Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Van Long Nature Reserve




Van Long Nature Reserve Information

Excellent Reviews

392

Very Good Reviews

198

Van Long Nature Reserve Photos

740