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Kingdom of roses offers wonderful getaway

Update: March, 08/2019 - 09:00
Oink: A pig made from 10,500 fresh roses. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Viet Nam News

By Minh Minh

Paragon Hill in the outskirts of Hà Nội is a kingdom of roses, with some 600,000 rose trees growing in its terrace fields.

The resort is located in Muồng Cháu Village, Ba Vì District, 50km from the city centre and is an ideal destination for families and groups of friends for a weekend getaway.

The 3.5ha rose garden has been recognised as the largest in the country. Viet Kings, the Việt Nam Record Association, also recognised the resort for being home to the largest pig statue made of roses in the country. The 4m high pig statue made of 10,500 roses stands in front of the rose hill to celebrate the Year of Pig.

When we arrived, we immediately went to the rose garden to take pictures. Visitors can spend all day contemplating the flowers and enjoying their scent. However the scorching midday sun prompted us to go trekking to discover Đa (Banyan Tree) and Mây (Cloud) waterfalls on Ba Vì Mountain.

 

Thrills: Young people love to try zip lining at Paragon Hill.

As we visited in spring, the waterfalls didn’t have much water, so go in summer and the rainy season if you want to enjoy the spectacular sight of water cascading down.

The paths leading to the waterfalls are full of rocks with green moss. There are many century-old banyan trees around Đa Waterfall bringing the name for the waterfall. While Mây Waterfall with its white water bubbles looks like a cloud drifting between green canopies.    

Tourists can also walk to an observation deck and enjoy the stunning beauty of Ba Vì Mountain. Taking a breath in, we felt relaxed and refreshed because the air was so clean and cool.

Paragon Hill doesn’t offer beautiful scenes to view only, tourists can also join various games and experiences such as a zip line over Khải Hoàn Lake, making apricot wine, riding horses and learning to grow rose trees.

Nguyễn Tiến Sơn, head of the management board, said Paragon Hill has become an attractive destination. Positioned near Ba Vì National Park, it connects with other tourist sites such as Khoang Xanh – Suối Tiên, Thiên Sơn – Suối Ngà and Thượng Temple.

Snap snap: People love to pose for pictures in the rose garden.

“The site received thousands of tourists during the Lunar New Year holiday,” said Sơn. “We honour traditional values and natural scenes.

“While people concern about the air quality and pollution in the cities, we try to protect the environment here, clean the site and check the air quality index regularly,” Sơn said.

“As far as I know, there are few tourist sites that have air quality reports displayed openly. We want to make sure that tourists have a truly good time here after busy working days.”

Views for days: An observation deck gives a view over Ba Vì Mountain range.

Thang Văn Phúc, former deputy minister of Home Affairs, head of the Viet Kings, said Paragon Hill is an attractive destination with interesting tourism products.

“Beside the certifications for the largest rose garden and biggest pig made from fresh roses, we also recognised that Paragon Hill is the tourist site with most houses on stilts in Việt Nam,” said Phúc.

“The recognition is an encouragement for the management board and the investors of the site. Paragon Hill is suitable for relaxing, teambuilding and MICE tourism. It will help promote tourism in Ba Vì District in particular and Hà Nội in general.”

Stunning: Đa (Banyan Tree) Waterfall is surrounded by many banyan trees.

After a day discovering the site, we gathered at a party offered by local people who are Tày, Nùng and Mường ethnicities. We enjoyed cơm lam (rice cooked in bamboo tube), giò đà điểu (ostrich sausage), vegetables, boiled chicken and grilled pork.

The most impressive dish was the boiled ostrich sausage. In recent years, local people have raised ostriches as domestic animals. The finger-sized sausages were wrapped in lá dong, the leaves people use to wrap bánh chưng (glutinous square cake).

We were all surprised when we unwrapped the sausage. Inside many layers of leaves, the sausage was smaller than we thought it would be and the locals explained that they wrap the sausage in many leaves to preserve the tenderness and sweetness of the meat. It’s a good thing they did, as the sausage was unforgettable.

Charming: A replica of a market in the northern rural area at Paragon Hill. — VNS Photo Minh Thu

The traditional houses on stilt featured comfortable rooms inside and we rated the room with two to three stars because of the wooden furniture and convenient facilities.

We spent a tranquil night at Paragon Hill. On the next day, we rode bicycles to get closer to nature. — VNS

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