Introducing Ba Vi National Park
Centred on scenic Ba Vi Mountain (Nui Ba Vi), Ba Vi National Park (881 205; admission 10, 000d, motorbike 5000d) attracts Hanoians looking for a weekend escape from the city. The park has several rare and endangered plants in its protected forest, and its mammals include two species of rare ‘flying’ squirrel. Human encroachment on the area has made the chances of seeing any of these pretty rare.
There’s an orchid garden and a bird garden, and hiking opportunities through the forested slopes of the mountain. There’s a temple to Uncle Ho at the mountain’s summit (1276m) – it’s a hard but beautiful 30-minute climb up 1229 steps through the forest – with spectacular views of the Red River valley and Hanoi in the distance. At least there are views between April and December when the air is clear; at other times it’s damp and misty but eerily atmospheric. The road to the summit car park is seriously steep, slippery and narrow, but road widening is ongoing.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009