Hanoi (VNA) - Domestic tourists prefer destinations that are not too far from Hanoi to spend their International Women’s Day holiday this year, which falls on weekend, amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.

Here are the top places to visit outside the capital city.

Cuc Phuong national park

Top places to visit outside Hanoi during weekend hinh anh 1Cuc Phuong national park hosts diverse flora and fauna

Established in 1962, the 22,400ha park is the very first national park of Vietnam and is located in Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa and Hoa Binh provinces.

The main entrance to the park is located in Ninh Binh province, 120km southwest of Hanoi, which is not only a tourism hub but also hosts diverse flora and fauna. Last year, Ninh Binh received some 7.2 million visitors.

The April-May period is butterfly season in the Cuc Phuong National Park, which is also the peak season for tourists at the site.

[National Tourism Year 2020 to be launched in Ninh Binh]

After long cold days, flocks of butterflies of all kinds seem to wake up, fly out from trees and dance under the sun, creating a wonderful scene.

Scientists have found 400 species of butterflies at the site with millions of individuals, helping give the area a beautiful vivid atmosphere.

Experienced travellers say the best season to visit the park is between December and May, the dry season to avoid the wet, insects and worms.

Mua Cave

Top places to visit outside Hanoi during weekend hinh anh 2Mua Cave in the northern province of Ninh Binh has become popular to domestic and foreign visitors thanks to the picturesque scenery of the surrounding area seen from its top.

Mua Cave in the northern province of Ninh Binh has become popular to domestic and foreign visitors thanks to the picturesque scenery of the surrounding area seen from its top.

The site surpassed other renowned spots in Ninh Binh like Trang An, Tam Coc – Bich Dong or Bai Dinh pagoda to be listed among top five must-see destinations in the province by international tourism website TripAdvisor.

The Mua Cave Complex - an area composed of intricate cave systems and limestone mountains – is located at the foot of Mua mountain within the eco-tourism area of Ninh Xuan commune in Hoa Lu district.

In the centre of the complex is a crystal moss-green coloured human-made lake, surrounded by rows of trees.

Legend has it that the Tran Kings used to visit the area to watch the imperial maids sing and dance, giving the area its name, Mua or ‘dancing’.

There is a rocky hill dotted with nearly 500 steps leading to the top. A winding road running around the mountain leads to the top, which is covered in towers, making it look like a miniature Great Wall. Two sides of the road are decorated with sophisticated stone statues of dragons and phoenixes that were built in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400)’s artistic style.

Mua Cave itself is not impressive, but panoramic views from the peak above. With absolute greenery on all the sides, visitors can see the rocky hills grouped leading up to the horizon, with the river navigating in between. They will feel so tranquil when they sit on a rock at the top.

Tourists to this place often try to conquer the peak of the mountain from where it could bring them up to the one of the most iconic views in Vietnam - an panoramic view of scenic limestone mountain ranges and paddy fields. In particular, to the west is Ngo Dong River winding through Tam Coc, the other sides afford a view of lush rice fields.

Visitors should not miss Mua Cave when visiting Tam Coc – Bich Dong. Climbing to the top of the mountain, they will see the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, which is solid and beautiful, and will understand why this place was chosen as the capital of the ancient Vietnam.

Moc Chau-Son La

Top places to visit outside Hanoi during weekend hinh anh 3Moc Chau plateau in Son La has become a popular destination for tourists nationwide over the recent past.

Moc Chau plateau in Son La has become a popular destination for tourists nationwide over the recent past. Coming to Moc Chau, tourists will have a chance to participate in communal cultural activities.

Moc Chau plateau is located 200km northeast of the capital Hanoi and has an average altitude of more than 1,000m above sea level. The area has a temperate climate and rich soil, which underpins the growth of the vegetable, tea, fruit and diary sectors in the area.

The 1,000sq.km district hosts a population of more than 100,000, with 62 percent from ethnic minority groups./.

VNA