Ky Thuong commune, a marvelous retreat from Ha Long city

(VOVWORLD) - Nestled in Ky Thuong commune, 60 kilometers from downtown Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, the Đồng Sơn nature reserve boasts great biodiversity and colorful local ethnic culture, making it one of the likeliest places for tourism development in Vietnam’s northeast. It’s a great place to trek or cycle. 
The Dong Son nature reserve spans 15,600 hectares in Hoanh Bo district and will grow to 20,000 hectares in 2021. Of its 1,100 floral species (both woody and herbaceous) and 224 fauna species (birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians), 51 are listed in Vietnam’s red book of endangered species and one in the world red book. Two rare animals endemic to this habitat are the crocodile lizard and the Vietnamese snakehead fish.
Ky Thuong commune, a marvelous retreat from Ha Long city - ảnh 1Dong Son nature reserve (Photo:

Ban Van Vi, a village chief in Ky Thuong commune, is proud of Dong Son’s luxuriant bamboo thickets, oak, ironwood, and chestnut trees whose trunks are larger around than several armspans; and high mountain peaks, including the Thien Son peak, 1,000 meters above sea level, which provide a panoramic view of Ha Long and Cam Pha city. Vi describes Dong Son’s forests as a treasure of the local Dao ethnic minority because for generations it has provided them a livelihood and today is opening up new growth opportunities.

A giant stilt house will soon be inaugurated in Ky Thuong commune to display costumes and tools, and host coming-of-age rituals, New Year celebrations, and other traditional festivals. This stilt house and an herbal bath house are part of a tour that takes visitors through the Dong Son nature reserve. Vi noted how eagerly the local Dao people have embraced community-based tourism to show off their rich culture and ecological gems.

“People have changed their outlook. They used to keep their culture behind closed doors but now they are bringing it out in the open. Local authorities have introduced incentives to encourage us to promote our culture and preserve it for future generations,” said Vi.

According to Vi, Ky Thuong commune has been seeing a growing number of visitors lately. Two big projects, the Ha Long nature reserve and safari complex and improved transportation to Ky Thuong, are taking shape.

Ky Thuong commune, a marvelous retreat from Ha Long city - ảnh 2A reptile species of Dong Son nature reserve (Photo:

Linh Du Hong, Party Committee Secretary and People’s Committee Chairman of Ky Thuong commune, said the commune is compiling a dossier to seek official recognition as a new rural area. He briefed VOV on Ky Thuong’s planning.       

“Following the merger of Hoanh Bo district into Ha Long city in 2020, Ky Thuong commune has had to adhere to the standards of a municipal commune. We’re investing in our forests, the backbone of our ecological-cultural tourism,” said Hong.

The road linking Ky Thuong commune with downtown Ha Long city winds through green pine forests, whose ancient forms looming in the white mist will steal your heart.