To extend your Vietnam tour in Hanoi, you will be recommended from Vietnam tour company to visit Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh province (2-2.5 hours driving from Hanoi). It was officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, become Vietnam’s first site to be acknowledged as a mixed natural and cultural property. It is famous for both unique natural and cultural value. There is no reason to forget this outstanding attraction from your Viet tour itinerary.
Natural World Heritage Site
Viewing from above, it is like one “Halong bay on land”.
Praised by UNESCO as “a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs”, this complex is indeed breath-taking beautiful for your Vietnam tour. The region is scattered with different type of karst topography such as grottos, limestone mountains and lakes. Moreover, surrounded by primary forests there are variety of floral and fauna systems including 310 types of tracheophyta, many kinds of fungi, moss and algae, over 30 animals, 50 types of birds, reptiles, especially rare trees and animals in the World Red Book.
Cultural World Heritage Site
Besides its undeniable beauty, Trang An Complex is also in rich of cultural values illustrating proves of human adaptation to the geographical and environmental changes and conditions, trace back to the Earth history. According to UNESCO, “Exploration of some of the highest altitude caves dotted across the landscape has revealed archaeological traces of human activity dating back almost 30,000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to climatic and environmental changes”.
Explorations have been conducted and archaeologists found many oyster shells used as money and jewelry. Similar shells have been found in Lai Chau, Son La and Thanh Hoa and belonging to civilizations 7,000-8,000 years ago. Archaeologists also uncovered various work tools made from limestone – some relatively fragile but others harder than glass. The haul was completed with the discovery of pottery from the New Stone era – again bring hints and clues for new researches on life customs and habits of human in the very beginning era. Thousands of years later, it was Hoa Lu chosen as the capital as well as the economic, political and cultural center, in late 10th century. Hoa Lu included defensive earthen walls, palaces, temples and shrines, and was surrounded and protected by mountains of limestone. Though today, the ancient citadel no longer exists, and few vestiges of the 10th century remain, local Vietnamese still visit and honor the temples of the emperors Đinh Tiên Hoàng and Lê Đại Hành, and join an annual festival in the third month of the lunar year includes ceremonies, games and a fair, to commemorate the history of Vietnam between 968, the year in which Đinh Bộ Lĩnh proclaimed himself emperor, and 1010, the year in which Lý Công Uẩn moved the capital from Hoa Lư to the area of Hanoi.
Trang An Landscape Complex seems to have its all rich values in both culture and nature. Stories have been told, but to really take in the marvelous scenery, and also the great ambiance of the area’s history, we would not hesitate to recommend spending two days in Ninh Binh province for your Vietnam tour.