Ba Vi National Park, Vietnam
Ba Vi National Park is about 50 kilometers west of Ha Noi. After leaving Ha Noi, the road to Son Tay is undergoing a long overdue reconstruction, making for a rough and dusty ride on our little Honda Wave.
In the middle of a plain rarely exceeding 30 metres in elevation stands Ba Vi mountain, a three-humped peak that rises steeply out of the surrounding plain. The three summits are Vua, the tallest at 1,296 metres, Tan Vien 1,227m and Ngoc Hoa 1,131m. Because of the mountainous topography, the climate at Ba Vi varies with altitude and fog enshrouds the peak’s upper slopes on most days.
As we enter the park we enjoy the fresh air, and as we ascend the mountain the air cools and we enter into the clouds, taking in the smell of the damp forest.
We finally walk to the summit of Tan Vien, where there stands a shrine built in the 11th century to commemorate the Mountain God. Even today Vietnamese still make the pilgrimage to this sacred place. Surprisingly this group of old people asked for us to take their photos.
And then as we ride back down the mountain we take in the views of the surrounding landscape. And then sadly for us it’s back to the bustle of Ha Noi – but what a great day out!