Ba Vi is a district in the semi-mountainous region located to the northwest of the Hanoi capital. It borders Son Tay town to the east, Hoa Binh province to the south, Phu Tho province to the west, and Vinh Phuc province to the north. Ba Vi is endowed with charming natural landscapes with a rich ecosystem. The diverse terrain includes mountains, forests, waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes, and famous scenic spots.
What beautiful season is Ba Vi?
Ba Vi becomes an ideal “escape from the heat” from April to October when the summer sun is hotter. From October to November is the season of wild sunflowers blooming along the roads.
Tourists travel by private car to Thang Long Boulevard, Lang – Hoa Lac, and Yen Bai to Thien Son Suoi Nga. Another route many people choose is via Highway 32. Travel time is about an hour. If you take the bus, you choose bus 74 My Dinh – Xuan Khanh and route 71 My Dinh – Son Tay bus station. In the end, transfer to bus 110 to Ba Vi National Park.
Where to play?
Ba Vi National Park
With an area of nearly 11,000 hectares, Ba Vi National Park is considered the “green lung” west of the Hanoi capital. The national park has attractions such as an abandoned old church covered with mysterious moss or a cactus greenhouse.
Like Da Lat, Sa Pa, or Tam Dao, the French-built Ba Vi has many resort villas at 400, 600, and 1,000. The only difference is that they have been destroyed by the ups and downs of time and the same era. Therefore, visitors will be amazed at the architectural foundations from hundreds of years before going deep into the forest: the resorts, the stoves, and the walls, all covered with forest trees and mountain dew.
At 600, the colonel’s residence is a typical work of French architecture in Ba Vi, which is still relatively intact. This place has a barbed wire fence, a surrounding stone wall, more than 2 m high, 0.5 m thick, and several medium machine gun emplacements.
Going up a bit is the summer camp for the children of the French and the colonial government officials, including 4 level 4 houses built solidly of stone. This camp is in the middle of a natural forest with many large tree species such as oak, chestnut, eggplant, etc. There are hanging orchids creating a poetic and magical scene, attracting tourists to visit and explore to take a photo.
The church is located at an altitude of 800 m, in the middle of the old forest canopy. Abandoned for many years, the church’s roof is no longer there, leaving the murky church among the overgrown trees.
The cross is covered with a nostalgic color on the wall, reflecting the silver afternoon sunlight through the window. Here, the dew lurks, sometimes swooping down to cover the cathedral. The green color of the moss, the gray color of the mold, and the silver color of the fog create a fanciful space.
At core 800, the French also built an orphanage with typical doorways and domes. It is the desolate ruins left behind with the layer of lichen covering each cliff, the interstitial wall, adding the ancient moss to the works here.
Especially at an altitude of 1,000-1,100 m on the western slope of Tan Vien peak is a system of secret political prisons built solidly to imprison revolutionary soldiers. The prison is arranged into three zones: zone 1 is a place for corrections officers; zone 2, zone 3 is the place to keep prisoners. With a total of nearly 1,000 m2, the prison system in Ba Vi can hold 100-200 prisoners.
Visitors can also challenge themselves by climbing 500 steps to the top of the mountain to visit Thuong Temple. This place is to worship the Holy Spirit of Tan Vien Son Tinh mountain. In addition, Ba Vi also has attractions such as President Ho Chi Minh’s Temple, Ngoc Hoa cave, French military area.
If you do not ride to the top of the mountain, the trekking to explore the Ba Vi forest lasts 2-4 hours, which is suitable for those who like gentle trekking. The path leads through trails through dense primeval forests of soaring bamboo forests. The easiest route starts at core 600 and goes down to level 300, lasting more than 2 hours. Guests can also cycle to explore the forest via several concrete trails.
Khoang Xanh – Fairy Stream
Khoang Xanh is located on the eastern slope of Ba Vi mountain, in an area with ancient forest, and belongs to the Ba Vi national park population. Khoang Xanh has many ancient woodlands and over 2 km of natural streams. In the summer, beautiful waterfalls such as Mo waterfall, Hoa waterfall, Tran waterfall, and Mam Xoi waterfall pour down from the mountain day and night. In addition to natural streams and forests, Khoang Xanh has many other artificial areas such as a water park, mineral bath, play area for children and adults, and hot mineral mud.
King pond is located at the foot of Tan Vien mountain, in Bat Dam village, Tan Linh commune, Ba Vi district. King Pond is a small pond, but the four seasons are full of water. Legend has it that the water in the King’s pond was raised initially by the “King of water,” or Thuy Tinh, to fight Son Tinh. This place also has a Mui Sword well, associated with the legend of Son Tinh putting his sword into the mountain for soldiers to dig wells to get water when fighting Thuy Tinh. Currently, Ao Vua is being developed into a tourist area, with a space for relaxation, entertainment, and a water park with experiences of climbing, wading, and boating.
Thien Son – Suoi Nga
Located at the foot of Tan Linh mountain, the tourist area has a landscape of forests, lakes, streams, waterfalls, and entertainment services, divided into three regions: Ha Son, Trung Son, and Ngoan Son. Visitors should bring camping gear, tables, and chairs, sit by the stream, or walk in the green forest in Ha Son.
Up to Trung Son, visitors can stay in a stilt house and dine at a specialty restaurant with roasted chicken, stream fish, and grilled meat. Coming to Ngoan Son area, visitors will see Gate Troi waterfall at an altitude of more than 60 m. they poured down the mountainside to form a natural swimming pool 1.5-2 m deep.
Visitors who like to bathe in streams need to wear life jackets and pay attention to safety if they can’t swim. Because the experience in Thien Son – Suoi Nga is close to nature, visitors should apply insect repellent and observe to avoid snakes and centipedes. Address in Van Hoa, Ba Vi, Hanoi. The entrance ticket is 150,000 VND one time.
Bang Ta Forest
Bang Ta Forest is located in Cam Linh commune, Ba Vi district, about 65 km west of Hanoi city center. This nature reserve is nearly 27 hectares wide, with forests, lakes, lawns, and many species of wild animals such as monkeys, deer, and wild boar. Primary forest is exploited for tourism, with Dam Long – Bang Ta tourist area.
Dong Mo tourist area includes a lake of about 200 hectares at the foot of Ba Vi mountain, with resorts scattered on islands and golf courses.
According to legend, Dong Mo Lake is where the battle for Princess Mi Nuong took place between Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh. Thuy Tinh brought the water to rise in the struggle, and Son Tinh cast a spell to raise the mountain there. Finally, Thuy Tinh gave in. The vast lake remaining until now is the result of the old war.
Visitors who want to go to this place can rent a tourist car or drive it themselves. If you follow Thang Long Avenue, turn right onto Highway 21, and go straight until there is a sign to turn left into the Dong Mo tourist area.
If you follow Highway 32, turn left when you come to the intersection with Chua Thong street, Son Tay town. Continue going to Military Hospital 105 to turn onto Highway 21, and go straight until you see a sign introducing the Dong Mo tourist area. Tickets to enter the day cost 80,000 VND one way. You are renting an overnight camping tent for about 250,000 VND, depending on the number of people.
Cultural Village – Tourism of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups
As part of the Dong Mo tourist area, the village has a total area of 1544 hectares, including seven areas: Office management and administration area, General tourist service area, Cultural and entertainment center area, and Park area. Marina Park, Dong Mo lake water surface green area, World cultural heritage area, and Ethnic villages area.
Coming here, visitors will learn about the cultural space with traditional stilt houses, enjoy ethnic cuisine, and experience hands-on experiences with ethnic communities through activities such as cooking, folk games, and communication. You should contact to consult the activities and events of the cultural village before coming.
Vietnam’s Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village is open from 8 am to 4 pm from Monday to Sunday. The entrance fee is 30,000 VND for adults, 10,000 VND for students, and 5,000 VND for students. Children under six years old or under 1.2m in height are free of charge.
Visitors go straight toward Thang Long Boulevard for about 36 km to come here from Hanoi until they see the signboard “Village of Culture – Tourism of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups.” At the roundabout, take the first exit to arrive—address at Dong Mo tourist area, Son Tay, Hanoi.
Son Tinh Camp
The campsite is in the Dong Mo tourist area, in Muong Con village, Van Hoa commune, Ba Vi district. The terrain is diverse, from hills, valleys, and large lawns to organizing outdoor activities such as team building and family games. Here, visitors can organize camping, BBQ party, cycling, climbing, and playing at the swimming pool.
Admission for the day is 60,000 VND for adults and 30,000 children 3 – 10 years old. Overnight stay, adult ticket is 110,000 VND and children 60,000 VND. In addition, rental camps cost from 200,000 to 800,000 VND, from 2 people to 10 people. There are also family-friendly cottages, priced from 800,000 VND per night. Visitors can bring food, rent a grill, or book a campsite to prepare, from 150,000 VND per person.
From the center of Hanoi, visitors go by private vehicle along Thang Long Boulevard (there are two separate roads for motorbikes and cars). After going for about 55 km, visitors will see a signpost to turn left onto Van Hoa street and go directly about 500 m to the campsite.
Ban Xoi Valley
Right near Dong Mo is Ban Xoi valley, surrounded by green hills and lakes, with a superb year-round climate. Ban Xoi Lake was formed from water geysers on the Ba Vi range over 11ha wide.
Visitors can enjoy the new living space of nature and many local dishes such as earthen chicken, braised catfish with banana and beans, and rice lam with salt and sesame.
This place has high-class accommodation services, campsites, children’s play areas, and experiences zipline and kayaking. Address Chong village, Yen Bai commune, Ba Vi. Admission is 80,000 VND per adult and 50,000 VND per child.
Some farms that welcome visitors to experience farm life are Ba Vi Country Farm and Detrang Farm. Detrang Farm is about 12 hectares wide with goats, horses, camels, and ostriches. Visitors can immerse themselves in nature under many green trees, experience feeding animals, milking goats, or do folk activities such as jumping stalls, making floating cakes, and making pottery.
The glamping campground in the meadow caters to guests for lunch breaks or overnight stays. The campsite rents out a grill to prepare food so that you can organize an outdoor party and make a campfire. There will be live music performances on weekends. The tents here are set up, Mongolian style, with air cushions and pillows suitable for 2-4 people to rest. Address Ke Moi village, Ba Vi, Hanoi. Admission is 120,000 VND per person, free for children under 90 cm.
Tien Sa Lake
Tien Sa Lake tourist area is located at the foot of Tan Vien mountain, a charming landscape. You can sit fishing, relax at a floating house on the lake or rent a pontoon boat to enjoy the scenery. There is also a water park here; Speedboats serve tourists to windsurf and visit around the lake.
In addition, Ba Vi also has the Thac Da eco-tourism area, Tan Da tourist area, and Suoi Hai lake, suitable for weekend vacations.
What to Eat
Ba Vi goat meat is low in fat, tender and sweet. Yellowed and marinated with basil leaves, chrysanthemum, and goat meat can be processed into dishes such as lemongrass, grilled, stir-fried, steamed, drained, or stewed in wine. To make the dish more delicious, visitors can dip it in soy sauce and serve it with bamboo rice and fried vegetables of Ba Vi. Suggested addresses to enjoy mountain goats are Ba Vi culinary garden restaurant on Yen Bai – Ba Vi – Hanoi highway and La-Co restaurant in Tan Linh commune.
Accommodation services in Ba Vi are pretty developed, giving visitors many options from affordable to high-class. Most eco-tourism areas and farms provide accommodation services for about 400,000 VND.
If staying in the national park, the suggestion for visitors is Melia Bavi Mountain Retreat, built on the remnants of French ruins at 600, for about 4,000,000 VND per night; Ba Vi Resort is located on the 400 bases. The 400 core area also has a camping space in the pine forest.
You can refer to other resorts: Tan Da Spa Resort, Family Resort, Paragon Resort, Bavi Annam Garden, and Madela Ba Vi – House by the stream priced at about 1,000,000 VND per night.