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With its natural treasures of waterfalls, lakes and mountains, Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourism area has become a favourite weekend retreat for both local and foreign visitors.
The resort, some 60km west of the capital city, is located on the east side of the Ba Vi Mountain Range in former Ha Tay province (now merged into Hanoi). The mountain range features a stunning landscape of rolling green and limpid waterfalls pouring from the Tan Mountain and densely forested mountains rising out of layers of cloud and fog.
Legend has it that the eastern part of Ba Vi Mountain Range, usually called Tan Vien Son (Tan Vien Mountain) is the place where two gods, Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh, representing the power of the mountain and the sea, respectively, fought to win the hand of beautiful daughter of the 18th Hung King some 4,000 years ago.
After Thuy Tinh withdrew from the fight, he took revenge by raising water and gathering storms at the mountaintop where Son Tinh and Princess My Nuong lived.
The Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourism area is divided into three sections, around two kilometers apart from each other. The Ha Son (the lower part of the mountain) section has the Tam Cap Waterfall and Ha Son Lake, which is fed by two other waterfalls.
Tourists can board small swan-shaped boats to cruise the lake and rest in villas built on stilts. Several local dishes are served, including the ga ri (local chicken) and banh te (a kind of rice cake).
To get to the Trung Son (the middle part of the mountain) section, tourists are led on a winding road that skirts clean, blue lakes.
Another stone path under luxuriant trees leads to the Cong Troi (Heaven’s Gate) Waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Ba Vi National Park, which drops from a height of about 100 meters.
The Ngoan Son (which means “enjoying the scenery of the mountain”) section is where tourists can get panoramic views of the Ba Vi Mountain Range. It is also an ideal place for fishing from lakeside paths and bridges built over the water.
The area provides for a day full of outdoor fun – climbing mountains, wading across streams, swimming in the lakes, watching the waterfalls and fishing. Visitors would be well-advised to spend the night in the cool mountainous ambience and head back to Hanoi the next day. Along the way back are several historical relics worth visiting such as the Son Tay ancient citadel and Mia Pagoda.
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