Ba Vì Mountain offers a forest hideaway

16-Aug-2019

Minh Thu

I feel like Alice in Wonderland when I walk under the green canopy in the Ba Vì National Park. Humans seem to shrink in the face of nature. Trekking in the forest is more than a journey, it’s an escape from busy life to get closer to nature.

It takes an hour and a half to drive from Ha Noi city centre to Ba Vì National Park, the mountainous region of the capital. It’s a wonderful option for a weekend retreat.

ba vi

TUCKED AWAY: Melia Ba Vì Mountain Retreat has a perfect fusion of French colonial and traditional architecture of the northern region. It's a luxurious destination in the middle of nature. Photo courtesy of Melia Ba Vì Mountain Retreat

On a total area of over 10,000ha, Ba Vì National Park, which is 60km to the west of Hà Nội, has everything to offer – amazing biodiversity, luxurious and eco-friendly tourist resorts, as well as a selection of mysterious French architecture.

Trekkers can discover various routes through the forests. I booked a room at the Melia Ba Vì Mountain Retreat and climbed from Cote 600 to Cote 700 of Ngọc Hoa Mountain, a part of Ba Vì mountain range. It is a popular route which is 5km long and suitable for most tourists.

The tourist site welcomed us with cool and fresh air. The temperature here is about five degrees lower than at the foot of the mountain. The atmosphere is so pure that I felt refreshed when I breathed in. It’s another world as the trees like araceae, banana and ferns are much bigger in the forest. The rustling sound of leaves in the breeze and melodious sounds of birds created a peaceful rhythm.

Hoàng Công Nhật, a man from the Tày ethnic minority, distributed wooden sticks for us. With a knife in hand to clear the way, he led us into the forest.

“The trekking tours to discover Ba Vì National Park are very attractive to tourists, especially foreigners,” he said.

“They enjoy all the characteristics of a tropical forest, with waterfalls, streams and birds singing along the way.”

Nhật said he has taken the trip many times as a tour guide but the forest always surprises him, so he can understand why tourists enjoy trekking and discovering the beautiful nature and abundance of flora and fauna.

“Sometimes, we can see colourful spiders on the way, but be careful, because they are dangerous like colourful mushrooms. Other animals you may see are birds, butterflies, squirrels and lizards,” he said.

ba vi

A tourist attempts to pass through fallen bamboo trees on the trekking route.

The scenes change continuously like we were in a film. First, we walked beneath giant pine trees, and then we entered a forest of bamboo and other members of its genus.

We visited at the beginning of summer, when bamboo shoots were springing up around us like mushrooms after rain. We tried to find bamboo shoots which were the same height as us and took photos.

On the way, suddenly Nhật stopped because the path was blocked by bamboo trees that had fallen down after the heavy rain some days ago.

“Surprised? I told you. Though the route is very popular, many amazing things await us on the 5km-long path,” he said with a smile.

He chopped branches to clear the path but needed us to climb and wriggle between the tree trunks. At that moment, we felt like spies avoiding laser barriers.

Nhật said the waterfalls and streams are bigger in the rainy season (between July and September). The water from the mountain is cool and pure, so we can all wash our hands and faces. It was relaxing and eased our fatigue. However, drinking this water is not recommended.  

When we finished the awesome trekking trail, the spectacular view from Ngọc Hoa Peak was a worthy reward.

The next day, we took part in a buggy tour from Cote 600 to Cote 700 to visit French relics hidden deep inside the jungle including a church, cannon emplacement, helicopter pad, Ladies’ Camp, a mansion of a colonel and other villas scattered near the Melia Ba Vì Mountain Retreat.

ba vi

The trekking tours to discover Ba Vì National Park are very attractive to tourists, especially foreigners.   Photo courtesy of Melia Ba Vì Mountain Retreat  

The buggy tour to visit French vestiges on the mountain is offered for free for in-house guests of the resort. Other tourists can buy tickets at the entrance at VNĐ350,000 (US$15).

Big roots on the ruined architecture created a mystical scene. Some parts of the constructions are still intact showing the French architectural style such as the stairs, pillars and walls.

Wild sunflowers, or dã quỳ as local people say, are scattered around, but unfortunately, we didn’t come during the blossom season. If tourists visit in November, they will have excellent photos. 

The resort has a unique location between the natural beauty of Ba Vì Mountain Range. It blends a perfect fusion of French colonial and traditional architecture of the northern region.

When we prepared to check out, the children wanted to stay longer because they enjoyed the infinity swimming pool overlooking the mountains, the tree-houses in the play area and above all, the tropical forest where they have plenty to discover. We promised them we would return to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and experience relaxation in the middle of the clouds.

Related
Clients say about us

“Please find enclosed the questionnaire filled in and commented. Sorry for the delay. I would like to thank you for all the efforts you have done, we really appreciate your support regarding the organization of our trip. All members of my small group are really satisfied and keep many pleasant memories...”

 Susan Nou
Susan Nou
05 Sep 2019

“We had an absolutely fantastic time! I think the absolute best tour we’ve ever been on. You made everything incredibly easy and smooth for us and we really appreciate everyone’s responsiveness. The guides were great and young and fun and energetic which is exactly what we needed. Few random thoughts: Really...”

 Steven Beckman
Steven Beckman
23 Aug 2019

“What can I say about this tour operator, but FANTASTIC!! From the time it took us to decide where and when to tour up until the actual tour Ms. Phuong kept us so well informed with great suggestions and quick responses to all questions mailed to her (and there were many). Nothing was too much trouble...”

 Engelstad Tom & Engelstad Ingrid
Engelstad Tom & Engelstad Ingrid
09 Jul 2019

“I wanted to praise JTA Tours for they commendable services. From trip planning to services on the our Vietnam holiday, it was meticulously planned. A show of appreciation to Ms Nhung for your outstanding service, I really appreciated all your hard work as the trip turned out really really well. It was...”

 Nancroix
Nancroix
22 Jun 2019

“We are returning from a journey for 17 days in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam which we had entrusted the organization, JTA Tours. Knowing that we wanted to avoid the places invaded by too many tourists, they have prepared a dream itinerary with very good hotels and very competent guides. We were well...”

 Mrs Bassanetti Marta
Mrs Bassanetti Marta
19 May 2019

“With 3 weeks to discover Vietnam, everyone was surprised that we had seen so much. No double thanks to the travel agency that had organized everything from the smallest detail. The price was very reasonable. During the trip, we would have revised some routes, days to take the time for visit other...”

 Piotr and Grzegorz
Piotr and Grzegorz
23 Apr 2019

“Quite frankly, we were bowled over from start to finish, the itinerary is jam-packed but it was an entirely stress free trip. JTA Tours ensured all airport meetings and transfers were seamless, private travel arrangements and guides were of a high standard. We began our trip in Siem Reap, and travelled...”

 Richard Michael
Richard Michael
28 Mar 2019

“We corresponded extensively before booking the trip and were given lots of suggestions and alternatives to this tailor made holiday. We started in Hanoi where we were met at the airport and taken to our Hotel as a tour guide. The guides have a good grasp of English and extensive knowledge of their country....”

 Bouchard Line & Dradet Denis
Bouchard Line & Dradet Denis
08 Mar 2019

“Hello Nguyen, Yes we are all settled back home in Australia now. Thank you so much for organising this tour for us. We were very well looked after. While all the accommodation in Vietnam was really good, I wouldn’t recommend the Juliana hotel in Phnom Penh, it was too far away to walk to...”

 Lisa and Lance
Lisa and Lance
17 Feb 2019

“We have had great experience with JTA Tours. When we had private tour: Highlights Of Vietnam Tour - 11 Day arranged by Ms. Phuong. We had a long e-mail correspondence prior to it with her, she being highly professional and helpful. The tour itself was exactly what we wanted, hotels were to our satisfaction,...”

 Mrs. Thibault France
Mrs. Thibault France
05 Jan 2019

“Booked this tour in Myanmar through internet. Must admit when first booked we were a little worried, but from the moment we arrived in Yangon everything ran smoothly with JTA Tours. Tour guides in all areas were very helpful and informative especially "Khin Thet Mar" our guide in Bagan. All hotels...”

 Mr. Stanisław Mikulski
Mr. Stanisław Mikulski
22 Nov 2018

“Our family of 4 people just finished a 2 weeks holiday from vietnam to cambodia, we honestly highly valuate the professional organization & meticulous cares of JTA Tours. From the beginning, we emailed to them to customize a suitable trip with a combination between sightseeing & beach relaxation...”

 Mr. Germain Marc
Mr. Germain Marc
05 Nov 2018

“We had an absolutely amazing time in Myanmar, thanks to JTA Tours and our Guide Aung Aung, the sites we saw were incredible. We want to thank Aung Aung for being so good to us and making this trip worth every minute we were on it. For his expertise in Myanmar history and for always doing his best in...”

 Cotton John David
Cotton John David
01 Nov 2018

“The tour was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the walking routes each day, with the mountain from Sapa, the walk at Lao Chai & Ta Van, and the day walk at Hoian/trip to Halong bay my personal highlights. The first nights meal at the winery, and the last 2 at the family at Mekong were amazing. Our...”

 Candler Marie Rosanna
Candler Marie Rosanna
11 Oct 2018

“This agency was recommended by my friend - Mr Jito and they really provide good service. Mr Thang helped us all the way from the moment we touch down the airport until the last day we go home, he never disappoint us and we really enjoy very much. all the itinerary they planed for us never go wrong. this...”

 Ms. Nur
Ms. Nur
29 Sep 2018

“Many thanks Jito for your kind support! My and husband's dream to visit Ha Long Bay was finally fulfilled. Tham from JTA Tours provided a good deal and clear itinerary during for visit Ha Long Bay. It was a last minute deal since we were already arrived in Hanoi and seems most good cruise was no longer...”

 Mr. Budi
Mr. Budi
10 Sep 2018

“Hi Suharjito, we are now fine in Indinesia. Thanks so much for amazing trip to the north of Vietnam including Hanoi, Halong& Ninh Binh also. Excellent experience and very high-level service. JTA Tours took amazing care of us from the moment we landed. Were very open for changes and for every...”

 Mr Gin Gunawan
Mr Gin Gunawan
21 Aug 2018

“Dear Thang, we have now returned back to Australia and the chores of work! – We have very pleasant memories of the sights, sounds, food and people of Vietnam….. We shall treasure for a lifetime I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our group to say we had a wonderful time – the...”

 David Jonathan
David Jonathan
07 Aug 2018

“Hi Thang, I do apologize that it has take me so long to email you and thank you for yet another super lot of organization on your part which helped to make our time in Vietnam so enjoyable. We really do appreciate so much your professional and reliable services which make our job in taking our small...”

 Annie Garrett
Annie Garrett
28 Jul 2018

““Our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia was superbly organised by JTA Tours. We were met promptly and efficiently by very friendly and helpful guides at each stage of our holiday. Our hotel in Seam Reap, Hoian & Hanoi was lovely. The trips were well organised and in formative. The floating villages were...”

 Ingham Sally - Ann
Ingham Sally - Ann
14 Jul 2018

““We wanted to write to you personally to let you know how much we enjoyed our holiday in Myanmar and to thank you for organizing this memorable trip. We had such an amazing time discovering your diverse and beautiful country, it's people and of course the strange food. We found your tour was...”

 Mr. Edward Francis John Doyle
Mr. Edward Francis John Doyle
01 Jul 2018

“Hi Mr. Thang, “BEST SELLING VIETNAM FAMILY TOUR - 17 DAYS" with JTA Tours, just a quick note to say thank you for an amazing experience! Our participants commented on how wonderfully it was organized and we received lots of positive feedback (along with a few suggestions but it was overwhelmingly...”

 Kristel & Depuyt Paul
Kristel & Depuyt Paul
25 Jun 2018

“I search into Goggle for Vietnam & Cambodia tours, I contacted approximately 5 different companies, it was my contact with Ms Na Na that made me select your agency. She was superb in every way and a pleasure to work with, she had excellent suggestion for myself and three Granddaughters. She is truly...”

 Mrs. Mary Madison
Mrs. Mary Madison
18 Jun 2018

“Hi, thank you for your note. I would also like to make special mention of two of your staff – Mr Thang who prepared the tour for us and the second tour guide that we had, who I only knew as Phuong (he was our guide in both Dalat and Nha Trang). The service we received from both of these people was...”

 Karen Denman
Karen Denman
06 Jun 2018

“Hi Mr. Thang, We are doing fine. We want to let you know that our guide Mr Nam was excellent. He saw to all of our needs and had us back to our hotel on time for our dinner with or tour group. I would highly recommend Mr Nam to anyone that needed a private guide while visiting Vietnam. And, thank...”

 Mr. Rodgers Thomas
Mr. Rodgers Thomas
23 May 2018