Van Long Nature Reserve is one of the important nature reserves in Vietnam, located in the northeast of Gia Viễn district, Ninh Bình province. With an area of nearly 3,500 hectares, Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve in the Northern Delta region, possessing a rich and unique ecosystem, and is home to many rare animals and plants.
Van Long has been exploited for tourism since 1998 and is now a national tourism focus of Vietnam, owning two records of the Vietnam Record Center in 2010: “The place with the most white-buttocked langur individuals” and “The place with the largest natural painting”. In 1999, it became a nature reserve, listed in the list of special-use forests in Vietnam and recognized as a Ramsar site of the world.
Van Long is an area with a special formation process, due to a dike more than 30 km long built on the left bank to control the Day River, turning Van Long into a flooded area up to 3,500 hectares. The mountains isolated into rock islands in the middle of the vast water have “accidentally” become a refuge for many animals and plants to escape from human destruction.
Van Long’s most valuable discovery is when foreign experts discovered that Van Long has more than 40 white-buttocked langur individuals living. This discovery stunned the scientific community, as the white-buttocked langur is a species at high risk of extinction, listed in the world’s red book. Previously, this primate was only known at Cuc Phuong National Park.
Van Long is an area with a diverse and unique ecosystem, including two main ecosystems of flooded land and forest on limestone mountains, along with other ecosystems such as rice fields, grasslands, swidden fields, and villages. Van Long has more than 700 animal species, many of which are rare and endangered, such as white-buttocked langur, broad-leaved turtle, money turtle, flower turtle, horse bear, velvet leopard, flower lizard…
Van Long has more than 450 plant species, many of which have economic and medicinal value, such as Polyscias fruticosa, dandelion, earth ginseng, ginkgo… Especially, there is an insect species nearly considered extinct, that is the belostomatid insect of the swimming leg family. The place where this belostomatid insect lives must have a truly clean water environment.
Van Long is not only a historical relic, but also an attractive tourist destination, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists. Coming here, visitors can combine visiting other famous places of Ninh Binh. Van Long also has many interesting and attractive tourist activities… Van Long deserves to be an indispensable destination when traveling to Ninh Binh!