Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long Nature Reserve
4.5
About
Very beautiful landscape, they have about 9 wonderful caves.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • kenny.
    27 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 October 2023
  • Bodil M
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 November 2023
  • Guide53752047682
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing time
    We went here instead of Tam coc and Trang An as wildlife is more for us and we were not disappointed. Took a private car from Tam Coc. Our lady boat rower was lovely and when she knew we loved wildlife and were not there for Instagram selfies she slowed down and stopped at all the little animals and birds that we could see this included Langurs, we had them right next to the boat for about half an hour, we could not believe how lucky we were. She never rushed us to move on. She even got excited at seeing them so close.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 February 2024
  • Ellie M
    Murray Bridge, Australia43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beat the crowds!
    Van Long Wetland was an amazing boat trip, 1 hr for $100,000 each. Only 3-4 other boats on the water. Many times we were the only boat we could see. Felt like having a private tour of the beautiful rock formations and water. We did a similar boat tour at Trang An, where there were hundreds of boats and unfortunately it was not peaceful at all. I would recommend Van Long, for a more private & less touristy option! Apparently there are free walks you can do instead of the boat ride, but we couldn't find where to access those
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 May 2024
  • Matthew L
    Brisbane, Australia11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sit back and Chill
    Expectations are funny things. If you were expecting to see monkeys or defined bird watching success by how many birds there were then you could easily be disappointed. We really enjoyed this boat trip. We heard the monkeys and might have seen the tail of a departing one. The bird life was scarce but beautiful and what is not too like about being paddled around a wetland. The trip was a peaceful contrast to the Tràng An experience- we were almost the only boat there. Coming across some locals diving for clams was a highlight. Tràng an was spectacular- this was quite beautiful in an understated way. I would go again.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 May 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles685 reviews
Excellent
397
Very good
201
Average
56
Poor
22
Terrible
9

DaveO
Bath, UK14 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
Van Long wetlands boat trip didn't meet my expectations. One hour gentle row among the cliffs. You don't get far from the road - we were in sight of the road for half the time. Saw distant monkeys. The main impression of cranes were the industrial kind (pic). To avoid the crowds, i went late, got started on rowboat at 16:10, one of the last boats out. We were always in sight of other boats, sometimes a mini armada. There was no feeling of remote jungle. I thought the Tam Coc and Trang An boat trips were better - more crowded but better scenery.
Boats cost minimum 200k, or 100k per person, whichever is greater. Plenty of boats carried 3 touristos.As a friendless solo it was thus, quite expensive for me. The location on google and maps.me is problematic. If going by scooter, aim for Gia Van: the dock is at the top (north) end of that village. Loads of restaurants, shops etc. Driving via Trang An is by far the most pleasant route. I wish I'd gone earlier in the day and driven more of the little roads heading in to the karst from around GV - they were more promising, as yoozh, than the tourist destination. I never seem to learn.
Written 31 March 2024
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.

Geraint L
25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
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
Written 15 March 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.

lorenzocaratti
Siem Reap, Cambodia11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 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 20 September 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.
27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 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 12 October 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
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 29 November 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.

Matthew L
Brisbane, Australia11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Expectations are funny things. If you were expecting to see monkeys or defined bird watching success by how many birds there were then you could easily be disappointed. We really enjoyed this boat trip. We heard the monkeys and might have seen the tail of a departing one. The bird life was scarce but beautiful and what is not too like about being paddled around a wetland. The trip was a peaceful contrast to the Tràng An experience- we were almost the only boat there. Coming across some locals diving for clams was a highlight. Tràng an was spectacular- this was quite beautiful in an understated way. I would go again.
Written 22 May 2024
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.

Guide53752047682
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We went here instead of Tam coc and Trang An as wildlife is more for us and we were not disappointed.
Took a private car from Tam Coc.
Our lady boat rower was lovely and when she knew we loved wildlife and were not there for Instagram selfies she slowed down and stopped at all the little animals and birds that we could see this included Langurs, we had them right next to the boat for about half an hour, we could not believe how lucky we were. She never rushed us to move on. She even got excited at seeing them so close.
Written 19 February 2024
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.

Your Travel Buddy SG
Singapore, Singapore31,992 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Couples
Very leisure boat ride along the river. It was a pretty long journey as it took us around 1.5hrs to and fro sailing through the river. The boat lady was rowing the boat using her feet which was an amazing feat. Along the river, we passed by many scenic sites and paid fields. Do wear a hat if possible as it can get really hot in the summer. Thankfully the boat lady offered us an umbrella which was really useful. During the boat ride, we passed through some limestone caves as well. A must do in ninh binh.
Written 20 June 2024
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 Kingdom57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 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 9 August 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, Singapore151 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
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 21 May 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.

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Van Long Nature Reserve - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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