Ninh Binh, located a mere 100 km from Hanoi, is easily accessible with just a two-hour drive. Regarded as one of the premier attractions in North Vietnam, Ninh Binh offers a captivating experience for visitors. While a day trip to Ninh Binh allows for a glimpse of its wonders, for more than two-day trip will provide a more leisurely and immersive journey, granting you the opportunity to truly appreciate the breathtaking natural landscapes, limestone rock formations, and hidden caves, as well as gain insights into the daily lives of the local people.
These are the best things to do in Ninh Binh for your reference
Boat trips in Ninh Binh are truly unforgettable experiences that should not be missed. There are numerous breathtaking destinations where visitors can indulge in the beauty of serene boat rides.
Van Long Nature Reserve is an immensely popular ecotourism destination in Northern Vietnam. Renowned for its remarkable biodiversity and abundance of rare animals, Van Long Nature Reserve has captured the hearts of countless foreign and domestic tourists, as well as garnered attention from esteemed researchers and global nature conservation organizations. Notably, in 2017, the awe-inspiring landscapes of Van Long Nature Reserve served as a backdrop for scenes in the renowned film "King Kong Skull Island," showcasing the majestic and unspoiled beauty of this remarkable land.
Authentic boat trip in Van Long Nature Reserve
Embark on the remarkable Trang An boat tour, which navigates through the awe-inspiring karst mountains that define the region. You have the privilege of choosing from three distinct routes, each of them encompassing the grandeur of these colossal mountains. What sets them apart is the inclusion of other captivating sites, such as pagodas, temples, and caves, including the longest water cave in Ninh Binh and a section of the movie set from Kong: Skull Island.
Boat trip in Tran An
This boat trip offers a remarkable fusion of breathtaking mountain scenery and opportunities to explore these attractions on foot. It undoubtedly presents an exceptional experience, quite possibly ranking as the finest boat tour in Ninh Binh.
Embarking on a boat trip in Tam Coc offers an extraordinary experience of pedaling through 3 caves and along the river, surrounded by breathtaking karst mountains. What sets the Tam Coc boat tour apart is the inclusion of picturesque rice fields, adding an enchanting element to the journey. During the harvest season, when the fields transform into a golden yellow hue, or just before the harvest when they radiate a vibrant green, the view becomes truly magnificent as you pedal alongside them.
Boat trip in Tam Coc
The boat trip itself lasts a maximum of two hours, with the return journey allowing you to pass through the same rice fields once again, offering a chance to fully immerse yourself in their captivating beauty.
Thung Nham Bird Garden is a heaven for bird enthusiasts, offering an unparalleled opportunity for bird watching. Particularly during the late afternoon, witnessing hundreds of storks gracefully returning to their nests provides a captivating spectacle. While the surrounding area may not boast the same grandeur as Tam Coc and Trang An, this lesser-known aspect lends itself to a more serene and intimate experience. The tranquility and reduced visitor traffic in Thung Nham Bird Garden serve as distinct advantages, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of nature undisturbed.
Boat trip in Thung Nham Bird Park
Take a captivating boat tour to Thien Ha Cave, also known as the 'galaxy grotto.' Prepare to be mesmerized as you explore this 700-meter-long cave, marveling at its stunning stalactite formations that adorn both its dry and wet sections. The rich history of Thien Ha Cave becomes evident as signs of ancient Vietnamese habitation have been discovered within its depths. Immerse yourself in the wonders of this remarkable cave and uncover the secrets of its past as you journey through its mystical passages.
Boat trip in Thien Ha Galaxy cave
Cycling in Ninh Binh is an absolute must-do activity. Undoubtedly, this province stands out as one of Vietnam's premier destinations for cycling enthusiasts. Nestled amidst majestic limestone mountains, Ninh Binh offers a picturesque setting with expansive flat valleys and minimal traffic, making it an idyllic haven for cyclists looking to immerse themselves in the breathtaking rice field or countryside.
Immerse yourself in the local culture as you pedal through charming villages and encounter friendly locals who warmly welcome visitors. Indulge in the authentic flavors of the region by stopping at local eateries, where you can sample delicious traditional cuisine and refreshing beverages.
Ninh Binh's allure extends beyond its natural beauty. With a rich history dating back centuries, the province boasts an array of historical and cultural landmarks. As you cycle between destinations, you'll have the chance to visit ancient temples, pagodas, and historical sites, each carrying a unique story that adds depth to your journey.
Biking is one of the best things to do in Ninh Binh
There are some route that you can have reference for biking in Ninh Binh:
- Biking from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc
- Biking in the countryside in Tam Coc
- Biking along the Van Long Dyke
Van Lam lace embroidery village, nestled within the scenic Ninh Hai Commune of Hoa Lu District, forms an integral part of the Tam Coc - Bich Dong tourism site. This historic village has proudly nurtured the art of lace embroidery for approximately 800 years, tracing its origins back to the illustrious Tran dynasty. It was Ms. Tran Thi Dung, the esteemed wife of Mandarin Tran Thu Do, who introduced and propagated the art of lace embroidery among the local populace.
Learn to know how an amazing embroidery picture is created
Visiting Van Lam embroidery village offers a remarkable opportunity to learn about the time-honored traditions and meticulous craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations. As you delve into the village's rich tapestry of artistry, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the skill and dedication involved in creating these mesmerizing lace embroidery pieces. Don't miss the chance to bring home a treasured memento, a testament to the village's enduring legacy and the timeless beauty of lace embroidery.
Ninh Binh is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Vietnam thanks to its wide range of cultural and natural heritages. Among these heritages, Mua Cave (Hang Múa in Vietnamese) or Dancing Cave stands out for its elegant natural beauty, because of which Mua Cave has been regarded as “The Great Wall of Vietnam” or “Tam Coc’s Muse”. This is also considered the most beautiful viewpoint in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. To reach the top we need to climb 486 stone steps. It is not easy, but it is worth it after you conquer it, you will hike to the top of Mua Cave and immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery.
Bich Dong pagoda means "Emerald Green Grotto Pagoda," derives its name from the serene surroundings of lush greenery that once enveloped the pagoda. The ancient settlers aptly named it for the peaceful ambiance it exuded.
There are three-layered structures known as Chua Ha (Lower Pagoda), Chua Trung (Middle Pagoda), and Chua Thuong (Upper Pagoda). Ascending to each level requires climbing a series of stairs, starting with approximately 120 steps from Chua Ha to Chua Trung. From Chua Trung, visitors must navigate 40 stone steps along the mountainside, passing through Dark Cave.
Hiking up to Chua Trung (Middle Pagoda) at Bich Dong Pagoda
Once reaching Chua Thuong Pagoda, offering a vantage point to behold the panoramic and poetic scenery of the Tam Coc - Bich Dong region.
Located approximately 130 km southwest of Hanoi and 50 km northwest of Tam Coc - Bich Dong, Cuc Phuong National Park stretches across an expansive area of 22,200 hectares.
This national park offers a haven for hiking enthusiasts, providing excellent opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural wonders of the forest. The park boasts a plethora of captivating trails that can keep you engaged for days on end. As you traverse these well-trodden paths, you'll encounter ancient trees, fascinating caves, and quaint Muong villages, each contributing to the park's rich tapestry of biodiversity and cultural heritage. To ensure a smooth trekking experience, the park's staff can provide you with basic maps that lead to easily identifiable trailheads.
Trekking in Cuc Phuong is one of amazing things to do in Ninh Binh
The best time for trekking in Cuc Phuong national park is from November to February.
From April to June, the temperature tends to rise, creating hot and humid conditions. The trails may become muddy during this period, so proper footwear and preparation are crucial.
Additionally, from July to October, the region experiences a significant increase in rainfall. While the lush greenery and rejuvenated waterfalls offer a mesmerizing sight, be prepared for encounters with leeches that thrive in the wet environment.
Ninh Binh is an ideal place for capturing breathtaking photos. With its stunning natural landscapes, including towering limestone mountains, meandering rivers, and lush green fields, this province offers an abundance of picturesque scenes that are perfect for photography enthusiasts.
For photographers - Ninh Binh is a great place for photo tour
Whether you're capturing the serene beauty of Tam Coc - Trang An, the mesmerizing views from Mua Cave, or the intricate architecture of ancient pagodas, Ninh Binh provides endless opportunities to create remarkable images that showcase the beauty and charm of Vietnam.
Northern Vietnam's serene and idyllic landscapes provide an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture by staying overnight with the welcoming inhabitants.
Enjoying a homestay experience will promise a truly unique and memorable adventure.
You'll gain a deeper understanding of the local lifestyle and forge unforgettable connections with the community.
Even a single night spent in this immersive experience will leave an indelible mark on your memory, ensuring it remains etched as a cherished and extraordinary part of your journey.
Recommended homestay in Ninh Binh:
- Tam Coc Sunshine Homestay
- Van Long Family Homestay
- Chez Hiep Tam Coc Homestay
- Ninh Binh Nature Homestay
- Trang An Bungalow Homestay
Ninh Binh is renowned not only for its breathtaking landscapes but also for its exceptional and delectable cuisine.
One must-try delicacy is "Com Chay" (Rice Crust). Thin slices of steamed rice are skillfully fried in hot oil until they acquire a delectable golden-yellow hue and a satisfying crisp texture. This delightful treat can be enjoyed as a flavorful snack or dipped into warm sauce for an extra burst of taste.
Rice crust and Gost meat are the specialties in Ninh Binh
Another culinary specialty of Ninh Binh is goat meat. Known for its distinct gaminess, goat meat takes center stage in various delectable dishes, such as fermented goat meat, steamed goat meat, grilled goat meat, and rare goat meat preparations. Each dish offers a unique and flavorful experience that showcases the region's culinary expertise.