For travelers who don’t have much time but yet want to see the gorgeous landscape, Ninh Binh, which is just 100 miles from Hanoi, is the ideal option.
The best time to visit
You can travel to Ninh Binh at various periods of the year. However, you should come here in the spring (January – March) when the weather is cool, there are many festivals and summers (May-August) to see the golden rice fields or fragrant lotus ponds.
From Hanoi, it is possible to catch a bus at Giap Bat bus station or book a Limousine to Ninh Binh.
If you are from Ho Chi Minh City, visitors have to fly to Hanoi and take the bus to Ninh Binh with the above options. Vietnamese airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar, all operate flights from Ho Chi Minh City. HCM to Hanoi.
In addition, visitors from other provinces can come to Ninh Binh by train. The website of the Railroad Corporation allows booking tickets in advance or guests can buy at the station. Ninh Binh train station is located in the center.
If traveling by personal means, from Hanoi, visitors follow the Liberation Road, through Giap Bat bus station, turn into Phap Van – Cau Gie highway, from there go to Phu Ly is to Ninh Binh.
To travel around the city, visitors should rent a motorbike with a price from 100,000 – 150,000 VND/ day to be active because the attractions in Ninh Binh are quite far apart. If traveling in a large group, visitors should call a taxi to save costs.
Hotels and Homestays
Visitors to Ninh Binh by couple, by group or alone can choose to stay at homestays near attractions with green space, peace, friendly service. Some of the favorite addresses and convenient locations are Ninh Binh Friendly Homestay, Hang Mo Ecolodge, Diep’s House, Ninh Binh Palm Homestay, and ChezBeo Homestay…
To enjoy luxury services and more facilities such as a swimming pool, spa, gym, bar… guests can choose the resort quality 4 – 5 stars as Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh, Tam Coc Garden Resort, Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel And Resort, An’s Eco Garden Resort, Aravinda Resort Ninh Binh…
Food to try
Coming to Ninh Binh, it is impossible to ignore the specialties of elderberry, goat meat re-lime, stir-fried goats, grilled goats, crab roasted leaves in shape, fish salad…
Goat meat is a favorite dish of many visitors when coming here. The meat of the goats in Ninh Binh is strong and tough because they graze on steep slopes. Diners should search the surrounding mountains, such as Hoa Lu, for reputed eateries that serve regular mountain goats. Tam Coc is a place for ecotourism.
Places to explore
This place attracts visitors with majestic mountain scenery and small winding rivers, pristine valleys…
Here, you can choose one of the 3 tourist routes by boat to visit the caves. Route one will take visitors through 9 caves, Trinh Temple – Tran Temple – Phu Khong. Route 2 goes through 4 caves and Cao Son shrine – Vu Lam Palace – Tran Xuan Tien temple. Route 3 includes 3 caves, Trinh Temple – Tran Xuan Tien Temple – Vu Lam Palace.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Coming here, visitors often first visit Bich Dong Pagoda – “Nam Thien De II Dong” to be able to see the panoramic view from above. After that, visitors can sit on a boat down the Ngo Dong River to explore Tam Coc. Tam Coc means three caves including: Cave Both, Cave Two, Cave Three. Tam Coc is beautiful in the eyes of tourists with towering limestone mountains, and interesting shapes in caves and golden rice fields on both sides.
About a 15-minute drive from Trang An, the Mua Cave tourist area is located right at the foot of the mountain. This is the place where tourists usually check-in when visiting Ninh Binh. To reach the top of the Cave, visitors will have to climb through about 500 stone steps, it is quite hot, so be careful to bring water. From the top of the Dance Cave, you will see a beautiful panorama of Ninh Binh with winding rivers, rice fields and majestic mountains.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu used to be the capital of Vietnam from 968 – 1010, experiencing 3 dynasties of Dinh – Tien Le – Tien Ly. It is one of the four core regions of Trang An World Heritage Complex recognized by UNESCO. Here, visitors visit the temple of King Dinh (Dinh Tien Hoang), King Le (Le Dai Hanh) and the museum to keep memorabilia. These two temples were built around the 17th century, surrounded by many green trees. Visitors should register to listen to the narration during the tour to better understand the historical value of this place.
Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda was built in 2003, covering an area of more than 500 hectares, surrounded by magnificent limestone arcs. The temple is divided into 2 zones: New Temple and Ancient Temple. Here, visitors can walk sightseeing or travel by tram (VND 30,000/ person/ trip). Some of the power that visitors often visit when visiting is the Dharma Master Pagoda (including 5 compartments, the middle compartment with a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha 10m high, weighing 100 tons), the Three Worlds… or you can go up to the bell tower to admire the 36-tonne Great Rose.
Am Tien cave
Am Tien Cave is located in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, more than 10 km from Ninh Binh city center. Surrounding the area is a limestone mountain as high as a stronghold, in the middle is a cool blue lake. This place is often commented on by visitors with poetic beauty but a little sad and mysterious. In the past, the only way to come here was by climbing, so Am Tien was known as the Absolute Love Cup. Today, visitors can go by a tunnel through the mountains, then climb the mountain to visit the temple offering incense, watching the cave with the magic stalactites.
Van Long Lagoon
Dubbed the “waveless bay”, because when sailing on the lagoon, visitors will see the flat water without a ripple. The water is not as blue as sea water, but clear, revealing each layer of moss below. This is also home to 2 records from the Vietnam Record Book Center in 2010, which is the place with the largest number of white butt langurs and the place with the largest natural picture.
Thung Nham Bird Park
Thung Nham Bird Park is about 12 km from Ninh Binh City, is home to many species of birds, about 40 species and more than 50,000 live. The best time to watch the birds come back for food is around 5 pm.
Phat Diem Stone Church
28 km from Ninh Binh city. Phat Diem Church has a unique architecture, although it is a Catholic building, but it is modeled after traditional Vietnamese pagoda features with a bow-shaped curved roof. The Phat Diem church complex has a major church, 5 smaller churches (including one made completely of natural stone known as the stone church), a pond, 3 man-made rock caves, and a Phuong Dinh (bell tower).
Cuc Phuong National Park
Belonging to Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province, the garden is a bordering place between three provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa. This is the first national forest of Vietnam, covering an area of about 22,000ha, attracting a large number of tourists with diverse types of tourism, from ecotourism, research, to adventure… Visitors to Cuc Phuong can explore primeval forests, caves with interesting shapes, caves containing long-standing historical and cultural relics such as Moon Empty Cave, God’s Cave, Thuy Tien Cave, Ancient People’s Cave… In Cuc Phuong National Park, there are hot springs, rich flora, and fauna, thousands of years old trees such as thousand-year-old chrysanthemums, animal sanctuaries…
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