Review Ninh Binh 1 Day Tour From Hanoi

I received an invitation from Mr.Lee, the CEO Hanoi Explore Travel, to experience a Ninh Binh tour for one day. At that time, I felt absolutely amazed at how breathtaking and tranquil views of seemingly –endless and windingmountains, caves, lakes, rivers and paddy fields were!

How can 1 day Ninh Binh Tour interest us?

It was such a stunning place that painted me an image contrasting  with color of the imposing, majestic and  Bai Dinh Pagoda, which was extensive and corresponded to a Southeast Asian pagoda in sizebut with modern exotic architecture. It was also kind, simple-hearted, honest boatman at the destination that arose  tourists’ interest and made it become the most attractive place in the North. This image was in contradiction with the rapid developement of tourism and the beauty, of Hoa Lu ancient capital, Trang An District, Ninh Binh Province, which was needed to be preserved.

In this article, I am going to tell you about my story of one-day Ninh Binh tour despite of its shortness, it gave me a complete surprise. Ninh Binh is a tourist attraction I am immensely proud to introduce to my domestic and foreign friends about the beauty of the North in particular and of  Vietnam as the whole.

Rowing Boat Tour on Tam Coc River

The invitation to experience one-day Ninh Binh Tour

Before the departure for 2 days, Mr.Lee, the CEO Hanoi Explore Travel, had provided me information about this short tour. The tour picked up the passengers and departured from The Old Quarters near which I stayed at a hotel on the well-known Ta Hien Street, luckily.

After the guide took me to the hotel at exactly 8:00 am, it started pouring with rain; however, this did not discourage me to explore the charm and elegancy of Ninh Binh. After 2-hour travelling on an opulent and luxurious coach of 24 seats, we sat our foot on Ninh Binh land.

The first destination was  Bai Dinh pagoda, the biggest and privated-owned pagoda in Southeast Asia.

The Bai Dinh Pagoda

I had came to Bai Dinh Pagoda in 2013 and it had not left a strong impression on  me until this occassion. I had reckoned that it was simply a pagoda constructed to serve tourism purposes and it was a totally self-contained work, which had made me not interested in. That was why this time I made the decision to get separated from the group with the aim of travelling around the pagoda to see whether there were any changes compared to my previous visit.

Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh

Everything was barely changed. The only difference was that the tower where it was considered to be the place the bone ash of Thich Ca Mau Ni God was buried and carried from India was established. I purchased a ticket to visit the tower, mainly to go to the 12th floor and do sightseeing from a panoramic view.

After seeing the bell of the towerbriefly and worship room of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva with a thousand of eyes and hands,  I walked quickly along the corridor where the statues of Arhats were displayed. I also bought an extra of ticket priced at 50,000 VND and took the elevator to the 12th floor to see the sights there and enjoyed the scenery with great relish.

Bai Dinh Pagoda in our 1 Day tour in Ninh Binh

From the top of the tower, I could see the dramatic, wide landscape of the pagoda spreading out on the mountains. “What a splendid and magnificient view!”, I exclaimed. From that point, I could saw ranges of rocky, majestic mountains far away covered by mist. I could also noticed the lake, river and tile roofs with classic architecture. The whole spectacular view created a poetic painting.

I left the Bai Dinh land and kept moving to the next destination, Trang An, where it had been expected that there would be many new things including nature, ancient but mysterious caves together with poetic rivers for us to explore.

Trang An – The wonderful Land

On the bus from the Bai Dinh pagoda back to the restaurant for having lunch, I realized that the view out of the windowpanes looked even more breathtaking. Small houses typical of villages of the North of Vietnam were built right at the foot of the huge rocky mountains. There werelarge rivers and golden paddy fields and some limestone cliffs huddling together.

After that, we came to a halt for a while at a restaurant and had a buffet lunch with many food options from European, Asian to the most famous local cuisine such as goat meat, burnt fried rice, etc. Before getting on the coach to visit Trang An Tourist Area, we took a rest for 1 hour.

Amazing Cave at Trang An Grottoes

Manificient Algae

Right after we sat out foot on the boat, we wore life jackets . While the boat sailed fast on the green water surface of the lake, we could notice some dark green algae very clearly.

Then the boatman started to take us to visit the first cave, which was a small cleft at the bottom of a rocky mountain. The cave was both low and deep , and that was why the captain instructed to sit down near the internal boat area instead of sitting on the boat seat.

Boat trip at Trang An Ninh Binh

Then the captain artistically headed the small boat through the small and narrow clefts. The boat drifted for a while until there was bright light outside the mouth of the cave, we realized that we got out of the cave.

The boat was drifting, all of a sudden, the color of water turned into sapphire green, which was associated with  dark green algae, ranges of limestone mountains, the small boat and pagodas, all of this created a marvellous atmosphere. This caused all members of the group to be utterly thrilled.

We continued to explore the next cave and the captain warned us that it would be smaller and longer compared to the previous cave, and there would be even some parts of the caves with the length the same as an adult’s one as well. We turned on our flahslights to see more clearly the rocks of crystal quartz with possibly hundreds or even thousands of year olds in the cave. The boat continued to drift.

Passing through the second cave, we came to the place which was called “ out – of –the way” with four directions covered by jagged mountains. The fact that the pagodas were built among this place was truly a special thing. “What a fairyland”, I said to myself.

In this cave, there was an unique architectural work which had been built and emerged from the water right in the middle of the lake. (The layout of this work was the same as the Turtle Tower of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi).

Then we moved into the third cave, which was also the last one, then headed to the spot where King Kong film had been shot. From a distance, we already could see the boat for fighting which had been invented from a damaged aircraft by some clever American soldiers. Far a little from that were thatched houses of the clan living in seclusion in the film. There were around 6 people performing the task of wearing loinclothes and make-up, with hands holding spears. When visitors came, they would wave their hands, smile and take photographs with them.

Hoa lu ancient capital in Ninh Binh

Ending the last destination – the spot of shooting a Holywood film, I felt extremely pleased, perhaps because Vietnam, my homeland, had such beautiful places boyond my imagination. Never did any tourist attraction like Trang An organize such a successful trip. In particular, we did not catch a glimpse of litter because the boatman was aware of collecting the litter on the lake. It was also because the tourists did not catch sight of any rubbish, they did not want to dispose of unwanted things on such green flow of water. Tourism servers here were similar to boatmen and souvenir sellers who were all gentle, good-natured, cheerful and always kept smiling to tourits.

My short trip ended when the boat docked. We moved out of the boat to come back Hanoi city. They dropped us off at the centre of Hanoi capital at 6:30 pm

Booking 1 day Ninh Binh Tour from Hanoi City

You can visit our website or come to the office named Travel Agent in Hanoi, located 37 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, for referring and booking  one-day Ninh Binh Tour from Hanoi. If you are not interested in visiting  Bai Dinh Pagoda, you can subsitute it for the tour of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu – Trang An, or Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong Tour for one day. There are a wide range of prices for Ninh Binh tours. It would be great if you could come to the office to directly discuss this with us and to be consulted about all options.

When looking back on the Ninh Binh tour I experienced for just one day, it is sure that Ninh Binh will the most excellent suggestion if tourists depart from Hanoi city.

If you would like to take a tour for 2 days one night, you can opt for staying at a hotel at the centre of Ninh Binh city or right at Tam Coc.

If you have any questions or want to make any suggestion for the better contribution of this article, kindly please comment right below this article or send a message to Hanoi Explore Travel through the Fanpage for getting the reply.

Many thanks for reading


Tam Coc Mua Cave Day Tour Review

After heard a lot of interesting introduction about Ninh Binh Province we decided to take a trip there for 1 Day from Hanoi.We was looking for the Best Travel Agent in Hanoi to get more information and book this tour type. Luckily the Tam Coc Mua Cave Day Tour with Vietnam Eco Travel didn’t make us disappointed, we really love it !! You can also find more options from Tripadvisor for Day Tour in Ninh Binh.

Mua Caves Ninh Binh
        Mua Caves Ninh Binh

Tam Coc Mua Cave Recommendation :

Ninh Binh is truly a Halong Bay on land of Vietnam with karst mountains, mysterious caves and lime stones especially it will be decorated by ripe rice paddies in yellow in the summer. A whole picture of the land catches anyone’s eyes at the first sight.
Well the highlights of our trip are 2 things. The first thing is exploring Mua Cave, includes nearly 500 steps to put your foot on top of Mua mountain. Mua Caves Ninh Binh is said to be the “ Great wall of China”. And the second one is being on a small boat floating over Ngo river the experience gives us a good relaxation time.

About the Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour :

It is no long to wait for being confirmed the tour, you need to give travel agent a deposit or you can pay full amount of fee. We booked the Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour 1 Day in advance it happened very thoroughly. We chose Tam Coc Mua Cave Group Tour to save cost !! Our group tour is maximum 14 peoples. If you wouldn’t do group tour, you can book Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour for private. But you need to contact direct to Vietnam Eco Travel to get best deal.

On the tour date : 
In the morning, they set up to pick up at hotel then depart to Ninh Binh.
From Hanoi to Ninh Binh is away about 100 km, after 3 hours arrived in Tam Coc Area at around 10:00 am.
The tour starts by taking a ride boat through Ngo river to explore Hang Ca (First Grotto), Hang Hai (Second Grotto), Hang Ba (Third Grotto). I felt the women on her boat very strong while using her 2 legs to drive the boat ! One the river many products are sold such as water, snacks, lotus, fruits…more interesting most of rider on the boats can speak English even some of them can speak plus Chinese, Korean…

Boating on Tam Coc
Cruising on River in Tam Coc Area

For more than 1 hour on ride boat, the next time for biking around Tam Coc area. Just from 35 minutes to 45minutes you’ll find temple, local people, river, field..on your way passing the road. This is my first time I really understand a Vietnamese local life, i was impressed on watching everything around, they are all pretty.

Boating in Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour
 Boating in Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour

Ending some activities in the morning we were to the car and move to our local restaurant to Enjoy Cooking Class making delicious fried spring rollsserved with traditional cuisine in a restaurant at 11h30pm, I can’t remember the name of that restaurant but food and service tastes so good.
When it came to 1.30 pm a bus take us to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. We visited Ding king temple and Le king temple in the 10th century.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Last of the trip, they took us to visit Mua Caves Ninh Binh. Our guide explained that Mua means dancing, in Vietnamese they call it Hang Mua. The Mua Caves is not too much impressive until you are on the peak to admire the beauty of Ninh Binh below

View from Peak of Mua Cave
View from Peak of Mua Cave

After that, back to Restaurant for relaxing and enjoy tea or coffee before Car drive back to Hanoi. The trip ends at 6:30 pm, we had a great time in the Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour. Our guide is another gift, he was very informative about history and helpful. The Limousine is comfortable. We arrived in Hanoi at 7:15 pm. We pay the money for a right tour in Vietnam

If you wouldn’t to do this place with the group tour. And would like to explore most beauty of Mua Cave Ninh Binh by your self. There are 3 ways at-a-glance to consider which way you should use for your trip :
1 . Train to Ninh Binh, visiting Mua Cave
2. With shuttle bus to Tam Coc Mua cave Tour
3. Get to Mua Cave Ninh Binh by Motorbike, Private car

This option recommend for travellers who are young and will have lot of time in Vietnam. But some of tourists stays a few days in Viet Nam, some of them just plan a very short trip in the north. That’s why they are more concerned about day trip . Joining Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour to easily get your own experiences with local guide


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