Tràng An Landscape Complex- a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex was recognized by UNESCO as a Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage of the World for its natural beauty and historical importance. Its three major areas are the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, the caves of Tam Coc – Bich Dong, and the special-use Hoa Lu Forest. 

Over the past 250 million years, geological and climate changes have blessed the area with awe-inspiring limestone mountains reflected in emerald waters, stunningly complex cave systems, and a verdant ecosystem. The stones, waters, forests, and skies in Trang An merge into each other to a vibrant and charming natural world. Here, culture interacts with the mysterious marvel of nature, and is in turn transformed by nature. Notably, the first urban capital of Vietnam was established in Hoa Lu by the Dinh, until Emperor Ly Thai To moved the court to modern-day Hanoi in 1010. It was intended as a wartime capital with natural protection and treacherous terrain as defenses against invaders. 

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Today, these peaks watch over a peaceful land. The complex, nestled within four rivers, is home to historical sites from four dynasties: Dinh, Le, Ly, and Tran. The caves still bear traces of the prehistoric civilizations and cultures that once dwelled there. The imperial palace is, unfortunately, not as preserved as in Hanoi or Hue. Archaeologists have only discovered its foundations and some artifacts, including inscribed bricks. Extant historical buildings are mostly places of worship – temples to royalty and Buddhist pagodas – built long after the Dinh fell out of power. 
Moviegoers might also recognize this area from Kong: Skull Island, standing in for an uncharted, pristine area of the Pacific Ocean. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts intended to bring Vietnam’s enchanting wonders to international friends, just as Peter Jackson captured New Zealand’s beauty for the Lord of the Rings franchise.

Reviewed by

Diep Van

Phone: +84901166884

Email: diep.van@ftripvietnam.com

Diep Van

Founder & Photography Guide

Specialties: Culture, landscape, portrait, hiking, active and adventurous tour

Besides my unlimited passion for traveling, a professional tour guide for over a decade, I have been taking photographs since sitting at Hanoi of the University of Culture in the early 2000s. Photography started as a hobby but it was seriously taken due to my work relations and my significant passion for the beauty of our world, especially in Southeast Asian parts such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Within a few years of taking photographs, my works began to be recognized by many reliable international publications such as AFAR Travel, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In addition, I continuously add to my growing profile by winning numerous major awards: 3rd Position of The Independent Photographer 2018, 1st Position of Amateur Photographer of the year 2018, Grand Prize Winner of the AFAR Travel Photography 2019, and a Gold Award of San Francisco Bay International Photography 2020.

I photograph a wide variety of subjects, from travel to landscapes to street scenes. I enjoy documenting the East’s rich cultural heritage and its land soaked in glorious sunrise or sunset light in remote and secluded spots. And, I am very happy to share my knowledge and experience with you. You can visit Luminousvietnamtour to explore tour!


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