Top 9 Attractions and Things To Do in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is emerging as one of the most exciting destinations during your Vietnam tour. For a long time, it is known as a choice of short getaway from Hanoi. In this blog, I will share my experience when traveling to such destinations with my friends. Recommended Attractions and Things to do in Ninh Binh for traveler who is first time to travel to Ninh Binh are included.

  1. Cuc Phuong National Park

It will take you more than one hour drive to get to Cuc Phuong National Park from Tam Coc. Cuc Phuong is generally a well-preserved rainforest. There is an Endangered Primates Rescue Center near the entrance that you should pay a visit with a guide. This is house of about 150 primates being prepared to be released back to the wild. There are many ways to explore Cuc Phuong via the densely rainforested road, but biking is the best choice to slowly stroll through the jungle, the prehistoric trees and the caves. The park is also the home to many faunas, most notably butterflies and birds. The best way to watch the animals here is at night, but be sure to have a guide accompanied with you.

Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park

2. Admiring the Terrestrial Halong Bay

When driving along the National Route 1A, after passing Ninh Binh City, you will encounter one of the most spectacular sights in Vietnam – Tam Coc (means Three Grottos). Hiring a boat and it will take your through an extensive network of waterways between imposing limestone cliffs erecting from the flat rice paddies. Although the scene still cannot match Halong Bay in terms of size and the number of limestone mountains, Tam Coc is more accessible and less touristy. As the name might suggest, you will undergo three low and dark caves, another reminiscence to Halong Bay. During the trip, you can also have the chance to visit Bich Dong Temple (free entrance) which provides incredible views of the surroundings.

Trang An Landscape
Trang An Landscape

TrangAn is another nearby attractions that is quite similar to Tam Coc. Although TrangAn has more caves to pass through, it is more crowded, especially in high season.

3. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

As Vietnam’s capital city, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in Ninh Binh is the predecessor of Thang Long (the former name of Hanoi). The royal city is a short bike ride from Ninh Binh City. It is surrounded by high limestone mountains which is believed to protect Hoa Lu from invasion. Inside the complex, there is an iconic archway in the entrance and several temples including the temple of Dinh Tien Hoang, who liberated the country from the Southern Han in the 10th century.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

4. Van Long Nature Reserve

Not far away from Cuc Phuong National park is Van Long Nature Reserve. Although the scene is somewhat similar to that in Tam Coc, taking a one hour boat trip in Van Long is a great way to relax and discover numerous species of exotic birds in their natural habitat. You could also witness the endangered monkey living here. Watching the sunset while meandering along the river at Van Long is a great way to end an exciting day in Ninh Binh.

A Beauty of Van Long Natural Reserve
A Beauty of Van Long Natural Reserve

Source : atravelmate

5. Visit Bich Dong Pagoda

One of the most photographed areas of Ninh Binh after Tam Coc, the Bich Dong pagoda is a beautiful ancient temple from the 15th century. The are various shrines and pagodas on different levels, climbing up the hillside and into a cave so make sure to spend some time exploring them all.

Tam Coc Cave
Tam Coc Cave

6. Take a Tam Coc Boat Trip

A boat trip through the rice paddies, between the karst hills is a must-do in Ninh Binh. The ladies row the boats with their feet which makes for a slow and relaxing journey. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and the journey will take you beneath 3 caves carved into the rock by the river. Make sure to go in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light and to escape the crowds of day-trippers from Hanoi.

Boat Trip in Tam Coc
Boat Trip in Tam Coc

Be aware that the ladies selling crafts and snacks inside the caves can be rather boisterous. Be polite and smile if you are going to let them down.

7. Explore Hang Mua Cave

This is one of our favourite areas in Ninh Ninh with plenty to see. Make sure to head as far as you can into the Spring Cave. You’ll have to take off your shoes and bring your own torch to find your way on the watery path! Through another cave, you can meander beside the rice paddies all the way out to near the Tam Coc river route.

Peak of Mua Cave
Peak of Mua Cave

8. Trang An Boat Trip

An alternative to Tam Coc is a boat trip through the Trang An grottoes. This is a longer trip that passes through many river caves and takes around 3 hours with stops at some of the riverside temples.

Boat Trip in Trang An
Boat Trip in Trang An

9. Cycle around the rice paddies

The best way to see Ninh Binh is from the seat of a bicycle. Many hotels will have free bicycles or ones to rent for a few dollars. If yours doesn’t, check at nearby hotels and shops. Getting around the central main attractions near Tam Coc is really easy and it is always nice to simply go where the wind takes you. The paths between the rice paddies are especially pretty.

Biking around the rice paddies
Biking around the rice paddies

Source : Lilytravel

This is some recommendations for you about Attractions and Things To Do in Ninh Binh. If you want to receive further information, don’t hesitate to contact us for an unforgettable trip.

peak-of-mua-cave-hang-mua-cave

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