Nature-loving Vietnam tourists on city breaks to Hanoi can find the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
Beautiful Ba Vi National Park awaits holidaymakers just 48 kilometres (30 miles) west of the capital, captivating across all four seasons:
- spring highlights the forest with fetching colours of wild peach blossoms and apricot flowers
- summer turns the dense forest dryer and brighter with light sunshine beaming down through thick layers of leaves
- autumn dresses most of the trees with yellow coats
- winter seems to bring a fresh cool air to the space.
Ancient legend says that Ba Vi (Three Peaks), situated in the heart of the northern plain, is Mountain God Tan Vien's final resting place.
There is a temple dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh on King Peak and another to pay homage to the Mountain God on Tan Vien Peak.
Tien Sa Tourism Site is at the park's entrance.
Here, a 20ha lake is surrounded by a 120ha forest where youngsters can enjoy boating or play tennis, football, volleyball and badminton.
Tracing the slanting, zigzagging 12km (7.4 mile) road from the park gate, visitors will have a chance to see the rich local flora and fauna.
The park is home to more than 1,200 kinds of plants and 63 species of animals.
A new route for tourists on trekking holidays has been launched, leading up to some of the parks oldest trees, mostly Bach Xanh.
Hundreds of them flourish at an altitude of 1,000m (3,280ft), with the tree offering fine wood with an unassuming fragrance which is simply converted into furniture and houses.
The end of the road, ascending more than 1,000 steps leading to the temples on King Peak or Tan Vien Peak is another memorable experience.
From King Peak, the landscape appears as a giant masterpiece with massive 'strokes' of green grass fields, yellow rice crops and the Da River twisting through the undulating hills.
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