Best Things to Do & See in Ninh Binh

ninh binh province vietnam eco-tourism

Ninh Binh regarded as “Halong Bay on Land” boasts of the most majestic and impressive natural landscapes in Southeast Asia. Take time to discover lots of religious, historical, and natural sites through a wide range of activities such as enjoyable treks, interesting cycling routes, and scenic boat rides. If Ninh Binh does not lie in your own transport during Vietnam eco-tour, you will miss out tremendously due to the following 5 reasons.

Top 5 Reasons to Discover Ninh Binh

Convenient Location

Ninh Binh is about 95 kilometers away from Hanoi (approximately a 2-3 hour trip). It is considered a good first stop for those making their trip from the North to the South. You can also get here quite conveniently from Halong Bay and it’s easy to catch overnight buses from Ninh Binh to other cities.

ninh binh map from hanoi

A Day Trip Is Impossible

Ninh Binh can make a perfect day trip option from Hanoi or Halong Bay although it embeds a great array of breathtaking landscape. If you get to Ninh Binh early in the morning, you can totally discover a few highlight attractions such as Tam Coc, Trang An, and the pagodas scattered around them.

Plenty of Accommodations

It is best to spend more than one day here and finding accommodation is no hard feat. You can consider hotels, backpacker hostels, and homestays at a reasonable price.

Majestic Scenery

Trang An Eco-Tourism Complex

Trang An is a fascinating combination of natural and cultural heritage. To explore Trang An, you will take a two-hour boat trip that follows the route of the river. You can encounter the limestone mountain peaks, many spectacular cave systems, land excursions to visit ancient pagodas & temples, and green nature. When rowing the boat, you sometimes have to duck due to the fact that some walls aren’t high enough and some rock formations are pointy.

trang an ecotourism complex

Tam Coc

It offers some similarities of Trang An boat trip such as imposing mountains, rivers, cave, and pagodas. However, this site helps you enjoy being peddled through limestone mountains and endless rice paddle fields as well as breathe in the fresh air

Mua Cave

Mua Cave is known as “the Great Wall of Vietnam” is a great site to discover for trekking opportunities and the ability to conquer the mountain peak to fully get an elevated view of the area. Conquer around 400- step climb; you will certainly be rewarded on top with opportunities to take magnificent shots. The best time to see the perfect views from the peak is in late April and early May to admire the rice fields looking the most striking.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

The capital built in the 10th century is a historical witness of our history page. This site brings you opportunities to get a better understanding of Vietnam history and its ancient architecture of the palaces and temples.

hoa lu ancient capital in ninh binh

Van Long Nature Reserve

A Visit to the Van Long Nature Reserve gives you access to a vast area of wetland which is rich in the biodiversity to explore. A fascinating feature of this nature reserve is the limestone outcrops that rise from the swamps. Especially, a boat trip offers you a chance to see wild animals such as Delacour Langur (a type of monkey) and migrating birds. Be immersed in the peaceful and tranquil scenery in an authentic way.

A System of Pagodas and Churches

Lots of pagodas and churches scatter along Ninh Binh such as Bai Dinh, Bich Dong Pagodas, Phat Diem Church, etc. Bich Dong with 3 stories is built into a cave while Bai Dinh is the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia that’s famous for its Buddha and a millennium of Buddhist architecture.

bai dinh pagoda ninh binh

Cuisine in Ninh Binh

It is a pity if you miss the goat meat during Ninh Binh tours. The delicious dishes made from the goat attract you a lot since the goats here are fed naturally on limestone mountain, which makes their meat more fragrant and fresher than those in other regions. Restaurants also serve duck dishes.

Best Time to Visit Ninh Binh

Most any time of the year is good to explore Ninh Binh. As the weather in the North, May to October in Ninh Binh is hot, humid with high rainfall. November to April tends to be cooler and drier. It suggests that you should avoid September as it is vulnerable to typhoons.

Ninh Binh Travel Tips

Make Sure You Bring Enough Money

There are no ATMs in Tam Coc, so you should bring enough money. If you are staying there and need your cash, you have to go to Ninh Binh city (7km) to withdraw money.

Keep Your Calm When Driving

Vietnam traffic is so crazy because of Vietnamese wrong behavior when they drive. Thus, just keep calm to make sure of your safety. If you hear a lot of honks, you do not actually do anything wrong because they only announce their presence to you.

Wear elegant clothes when Visiting the Pagodas

Never wear shorts, dresses, skirts, or tops with bare shoulders when you tend to visit pagoda or church in Vietnam. It is believed that this action is quite rude.

Do not Wear High Heels If Conquering Mua Cave

As we mention above, you need to overcome 400 step climb to reach its peak, so put on sports shoes.

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