Thung Nai is located in Cao Phong District, Hoa Binh Province in the Northeast of Vietnam, about 110km to Hanoi. It is a complex of mountains, lakes and charming houses nestled in between the high hills.
The name Thung Nai appeared because this valley has many deers coming to live. Thung Nai was actually a valley covered by vast forest. Since the 1980s when the Da River hydropower plant was constructed, Thung Nai has become a huge lake containing the water served for the operation of this hydropower plant. All initial surrounding high mountains become floating green islands and create poetic and magnificent scenery which can enchant any tourist. Thung Nai is called “the second Ha Long Bay on land” in the North of Vietnam (the first position was taken by Tam Coc Bich Dong in Ninh Binh province).
Coming to Thung Nai, you will be surprise by its picturesque beauty of small islands floating on Da River, pure and turquoise water of Da River, poetic terrace fields and lovely stilt houses of ethnic minorities on the side of the mountains. Sitting on a boat to row around the lake in different times in the day will be an interesting experience, especially in the morning, under the sunrise, in the evening, under the sunset and at night, under the moon light. The cool fresh and peaceful space is attractive features of Thung Nai.
The boat will take you to other destinations in Thung Nai such as Ba Chua Thac Bo temple, Thac Bo grotto (with a lot of stalactite in various shapes), Ngoi Hoa village of Muong people. Especially, in the Saturday morning, there is a small floating market held on the lake, which sell local products such as fish, shrimp, etc.
You can enjoy local specialities such as grilled Muong pork, grilled Da river fishes, fish soup, Lam rice and straw wine. In particular, you must come to Windmill Restaurant with a huge windmill situated on a small island.
The best time to visit Thung Nai is in autumn when the water level reaches the highest and the valley is filled with the romantic lake water. It would be so amazing when you spend a weekend on Thung Nai.
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