The Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is a beautiful tourist complex located in Vietnam’s Ninh Binh province. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its unique beauty. In fact, it’s the first site in the country that has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a mixed cultural and natural heritage site. So if you’re someone who loves culture and nature, you should visit Trang An on your Vietnam adventure.
What Is Trang An Landscape Complex?
The Trang An Landscape Complex is a mixed natural and cultural place that consists of three different protected areas – the Trang An – Tam Coc – Bich Dong, the Hoa Lu Forest, and the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. It’s located in the province of Nin Binh in North Vietnam, near the Red River Delta. The complex is about 90 km away from Hanoi and covers an area of 2,168 acres.
The Trang An Landscape Complex is said to be the first capital of the country for around 10 centuries ago. Nowadays, it’s one of the most visited tourist sites in Vietnam, thanks to its beautiful scenery that consists of mountains, caves, waterfalls, lush forests, and some historical relics.
When you explore Trang An, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore the roots of human being and enjoy the pure beauty of nature. You also get to learn more about the history of Vietnam dating back to the reign of three kingdoms ruled by King Dinh Tien Hoang, King Ly Thai To, and King Le Dai Hanh.
What To Expect In Trang An Landscape Complex?
You’ll surely have a great time exploring Trang An since you get to discover different attractions that will surely blow you away! By simply rowing a boat into the river, you’ll find yourself lost in a beautiful wonderland. You’ll be surrounded with lush green jungles, scenic rice fields, Karst Mountains, and emerald rivers. Plus, you get to discover numerous points of interests such as the Hoa Lu ancient relic, which is located in the Hoa Lu limestone. The north and eastern portion of the limestone are flat fields, divided by the Day and Van rivers. The landscape complex has a system of limestone caves and small valleys that are about 10 km long, from north to south. Above the limestone karst, you’ll find the beautiful karst-kite shaped rocks.
In addition, Trang An showcases a stunning transition between plain karst and the unique cone-shaped mountains. Each scenery that you’ll see in Trang An represents different geological periods of the Earth. In fact, it’s the only place in the world that provides evidence of what the world is like while still in the higher sea level, millions of years ago!
Cultural Charm of Trang An Landscape Complex
Aside from discovering the unique beauty of nature, you’ll also uncover many human values upon exploring Trang An. In fact, the place is one of the most influential destinations for anthropology studies regarding human interaction and the evolution of nature in Southeast Asia. There has been evidence of human life in the caves that date back to 30,000 years ago. Relics from the feudal age have also been discovered in the area. Of course, there are also beautiful rice paddies and the sampan boats that are still a part of today’s local life. All these reflect how the locals have been adapting to climate change over the years and how they respond to the harsh geographical conditions in a 30,000-year period.
Aside from the mysterious caves that have been excavated and most of the relics are now kept in a museum, vivid interactions between humans and the wilderness all throughout the ages can also be seen in the temples and pagodas in Trang An. Furthermore, Trang An plays one of the most important roles in Vietnam’s history, as the first capital of the country.
How to Explore the Trang An Landscape Complex
The Trang An Ecological Park is the entrance to the complex and will also serve as your first destination. When you arrive, you’ll immediately find the tourism center. There will be three different boat trips that tourists can book to explore the park. Each of these trips will take you into the various caves where you get to view palaces and temples along the way. Of all the three trips, the most recommended is the route number one, which will take you to explore nine different caves and three temples. Each stop features cultural spotlights and interesting stories.
Unlike the other tourist places in Vietnam, Trang An is not too crowded, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty of nature. You’ll simply be on board a boat and your guide will slowly row through the streams, in between the stunning valleys and mountains, as you marvel to the spectacular beauty of nature along the way!