Traveling in the steady rhythm of the rowing, going through reeds and caves, we can reach Nham valley in the last stage of the journey. People here call the home of white storks simply as Chim Valley.
Where there is good land, the birds will perch.
Nham valley is located in Ninh Hai ward, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. Two years ago, this place was still a valley of weed and reed. Maybe because of this wildness and fresh ground, birds gradually come here and make it become a large garden with an area of nearly 350 hectares, including 19 hectares of primary forest. While waiting for birds to return their nest, we went to the orchard on the hill of Nham valley to enjoy fruits served tourists throughout the year. We could eat whatever fruits we like depending on our taste and the season. We also visited the banyan tree aged hundreds year old, primary forest and aquaculture area. Click here to see Ninh Binh tour with Thung Nham cycling.
The ideal time to visit the bird garden and explore the wild life of birds is in the morning and late afternoon when the birds start finding food or flying back their nest. The bird valley now has about 50 species of birds with up to thousands birds such as vac, stork, teal, wild duck, starling, etc. Among them, there are some rare birds such as white stork and ground phoenix.
In the morning, the flock of white storks usually plays at Tien Lake in front of the thousands-year-old banyan tree. The garden is crowded most in the sunset with the birds flying back to find their shelters. The area is covered in white like the snowflakes in the forest. Sometimes there is a flock of birds soaring into the air and flying around, which makes the space move. The later, the clearer the sound of storks is. This sound harmonizes with the sound of the frogs creating a fun and lively atmosphere. At night, tourists can stay at the stilt house of Nham valley tourist attraction, do fishing or camping and enjoy the cuisine of the countryside together. In the next morning, they continue visiting the garden or climb the mountain.
To reach the bird garden, tourists have to take a boat from Thach Bich port across Nang and Nham valley. In the sunshine of the summer, the immense water and trees, the space here is full of green grass growing near the transparent river. When the boat comes across the cave, people will feel like they are lost into another cool world. The boatman often says that “specialty” of Tam Coc - Bich Dong is aquatic cave because all journeys are related to caves.
If traveling in the cave route, boat will reach the first destination Vai Gioi cave which is also known as Dan Te Troi. From the foot of the mountain, visitors have to climb 439 rock steps to reach the cave door. Vai Gioi cave is about 500 m2 wide with 3 floors namely Hell, World and Heaven. Hell is a floor of stalactites in countless shapes, World is flat and connected with Heaven by artificial steps. Heaven is the highest floor where tourists can have a panoramic view of sky and mountains. Passing Vai Gioi cave, the boat continues the excursion to the following caves: Ong But, Tien Ca, Thuy Cung and Ba Co and then Nham valley bird garden.
Entering the cave, the sparkling light of water reflects the light from the door, which makes the stalactites become lively. The ceiling is very low so that both boatman and tourists have to bend their heads in order not to touch the stalactites. The deeper they go, the darker the cave is. The boatman must use a flashlight to lighten up this amazing land. The stalactites hung down from the ceiling are is various shapes which are called “turtle” or “fairy”.
The scenery of the way to Bird Valley changes with the season. In spring, the wild flowers blossom. In the summer, the paddy fields are yellow while there are purple water lilies and reeds in the autumn and winter. Sometimes, people can hear the voice of birds and fish jumping out of the water. In the empty fields, the boat is stopped for us to enjoy the beautiful scenery and take photos. This place is suitable for those who want to rest, relax and immerge in the nature or liver slower in comfort. Exploring the bird garden of Nham valley is an interesting journey to live with nature and enjoy the untouched but amazing beauty.