Ba Vi National Park is one of Vietnam’s most famous areas of outstanding natural beauty, and is centered around a three-peaked mountain jutting steeply out of the landscape. The national park offers a great escape from the city with cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest. There is also a spa resort nestled at the foot of the mountain offering a host of natural therapies in an absolutely stunning setting.
The three mountain summits are Dinh Vua which is the highest at 1,296m, Tan Vien which is 1,226m and Ngoc Hoa the smallest at 1,131m. Together they form a three humped crest which is often obscured by clouds at the highest point due to the varied climate at the park. Pilgrims and tourists alike usually make the walk to the summit of the Tan Vien peak where an 11th sacred century shrine stands in memory of the Mountain God.
There are also superb tropical forest views and vistas all the way to Hanoi to be enjoyed from this peak. The fast-flowing Da River is located on one side of the national park; there are also several streams running through the park.
Ba Vi National Park Highlights
Originally created as a hill station during the French Colonial era, Ba Vi National Park has always been an excellent source of medicinal plants for the Dao ethnic group. Walking and hiking opportunities are popular in this area of lush tropical foliage with plenty of forest trails and mountain slopes. In addition there is also a bird garden and an orchid garden, although the main attraction is the temple.
It takes about 30 minutes of hard climb to make it to the temple but you are additionally well rewarded with panoramic views of the Red River Valley and beyond. The outlook is best from April through to December when even Hanoi can be seen in the distance. The national park offers lodging at Tan Da Spa Resort where you can experience hot springs, mud baths, wet steam baths and herbal baths for individuals, couples or families. The resort is built in the style of an ancient palace and reminiscent of the houses once found in the Vietnamese northern delta region.
Good to Know: Ba Vi National Park takes about two hours to reach by car. The ride to the park can be a bit bumpy and it’s best avoiding the park in the rainy season when roads may be slippery – especially the hiking trails. The road leading to the summit’s car park is very steep and narrow although efforts to widen the road are on-going.
Location: 48 km west of Hanoi
Map of Ba Vi National Park