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Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where to Go & Explore

where to go in ninh binh

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Welcome to our guide to Ninh Binh, Vietnam’s top destinations. It’s called the “Ha Long Bay on land” for a reason. Here you find stunning karst mountains, lush rice fields, and peaceful wetlands. Plus, there are ancient temples to explore. This article will show you the best of Ninh Binh.

It’s perfect for nature lovers, history fans, and anyone who loves culture. Ninh Binh has something for everyone’s taste.

Where To Go In Ninh Binh Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the natural beauty of Ninh Binh with its breathtaking karst mountains, winding rivers, and hidden gems like Trang An Scenic Landscape and Tam Coc.
  • Find the perfect accommodation for your stay in either Trang An or Tam Coc, offering a range of options from guesthouses to eco-resorts.
  • Learn how to easily get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi, whether you prefer a tourist bus, public train, or private car transfer.
  • Plan your stay in Ninh Binh based on your preferences, with recommendations for day trips or a longer, more immersive experience.
  • Make sure not to miss the must-see attractions in Ninh Binh, including the Trang An boat tour and the panoramic views from the Mua Cave viewpoint.
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Exploring the Natural Beauty of Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is a paradise for nature lovers. It boasts majestic limestone peaks and winding rivers. This hidden gem in Vietnam is truly breathtaking. It offers a mix of adventure and serenity for everyone.

Trang An Scenic Landscape

The Trang An Scenic Landscape in Ninh Binh is a top attraction. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with amazing limestone karsts and lush greenery. On a boat tour, you can see waterways around karst peaks and ancient temples in the landscape.

Tam Coc

Tam Coc is known as the “Halong Bay on land.” You can take a boat ride on the Ngo Dong River surrounded by karst mountains and rice paddies. It’s a peaceful place that feels like a world away.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda is a must for a spiritual journey. It’s the largest in Vietnam and has beautiful temples and shrines. The complex features stunning architecture and serene gardens.

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Mua Cave

At Mua Cave, climb 500 steps to see panoramic views. From the viewpoint, you’ll see green rice fields and karst formations. The view is absolutely stunning.

Van Long Nature Reserve

Venture to Van Long Nature Reserve for an off-the-beaten-path experience. It’s a unique wetland that’s home to many plants and animals. You can take a boat tour to see rare bird species and wildlife.

Ninh Binh’s stunning landscapes and gems are awe-inspiring. Explore Trang An, Tam Coc, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Mua Cave, and Van Long. Make your own journey through Ninh Binh’s natural beauty for an unforgettable experience.

Where to Stay in Ninh Binh

Choosing where to stay in Ninh Binh is key to a great trip. We suggest Trang An or Tam Coc. These towns have a mix of places to stay. You can pick from cozy guesthouses to luxury eco-resorts. There’s something just right for every visitor in Ninh Binh.

Trang An

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Trang An is beautiful, with limestone mountains and rivers. It’s a top spot for taking in Ninh Binh’s natural charm. There are places to stay where you can see the mountains and river from your window.

  • Ninh Binh Garden Homestay: This cozy spot is surrounded by green gardens. It has comfy rooms and the chance to experience real Vietnamese hospitality.
  • Ninh Binh Boutique Hotel: A lovely hotel sits by the Tam Coc River. It has beautiful rooms and a calm vibe.
  • Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh: For a bit of luxury, this resort offers big villas and private pools. It’s in the middle of rice fields with great services.

Tam Coc

Tam Coc is famous for its karsts and quiet rural areas. It’s ideal for a peaceful escape. Here are a few places we recommend:

  • Van Long Homestay: This place is full of traditional Vietnamese style. It offers quiet rooms and a relaxing garden.
  • Mua Caves Ecolodge: An eco-friendly spot with great views of rice fields. It has big bungalows and is close to nature.
  • An Lac Riverside Homestay: By the river, this homestay is simple and cozy. It’s a calm place to relax.

Wherever you choose to stay in Ninh Binh, you’ll find a warm welcome. You’ll also see stunning views and be near top sights. Enjoy your stay and make lasting memories in this lovely area.

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How to Get to Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is about 100 kilometers south of Hanoi. It’s filled with natural wonders and cultural gems. You can get there easily by tourist bus, public train, or private car. We’ll help you choose the best way and tell you how to book.

Traveling by Tourist Bus

A top choice is taking a tourist bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. These buses are comfy and perfect for travelers. You can chill out, watch the countryside, and get there in about 2 to 3 hours.

To reserve a seat, just contact a travel agency in Hanoi. They’ll give you the details on the bus schedule and other info. Pick a trusted agency for a worry-free trip.

Traveling by Public Train

Travelling by train can be a cool experience too. It offers a different view of Vietnam’s beauty. Trains depart regularly from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, taking about 2 to 3 hours.

To get your tickets, visit Vietnam Railways online or check with Hanoi’s travel agencies. It’s smart to buy your tickets early, especially during busy times, to ensure you get your preferred seats.

Train View
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Private Car Transfers

For a comfy, private journey, consider a private car. It lets you travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh on your own terms. You can even choose a fancy car for a luxe ride.

Booking a private car is easy. Approaching car rental companies or travel agencies works. They’ll help pick a car and a skilled driver. This way, you can go at your own pace and stop to see sights on the route.

Getting to Ninh Binh is pretty straightforward. With options like the tourist bus, train, or private cars, you’ll find the perfect way to travel. So, what are you waiting for? Ninh Binh awaits your visit!

Planning Your Stay in Ninh Binh

To enjoy Ninh Binh fully, plan your stay well. How long you stay depends on what you like and how much time you have. If you’re coming from Hanoi for a day, it’s okay. But staying overnight is best to enjoy the beauty and peace of this place.

We recommend at least a two-day stay. This lets you see the top sights, enjoy nature, and learn about the culture. Staying three or four days means you’ll really get to explore. You can find hidden spots and see all the charm Ninh Binh has.

There are many places to stay, from cozy guesthouses to fancy resorts. You’ll find the perfect spot for your taste and budget. Ninh Binh is ready to welcome you.

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Here’s a quick idea of what to do in two days:

  1. Day 1:
  • Go to Trang An and take a boat tour. You’ll see limestone peaks and old temples.
  • Visit Tam Coc and take a boat along the Ngo Dong River. You’ll pass caves and green fields.
  • Ride a bike through the countryside. Enjoy the calm and beautiful views.
  • Day 2:
  • Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, the biggest Buddhist place in Vietnam. It’s really impressive.
  • See Mua Cave and climb to the top. The view of the land is amazing.
  • Eat local food and enjoy Tam Coc’s lively markets.

Following this plan means you’ll see the best of Ninh Binh in two days. But, you can change it to fit what you like.

The more time you have in Ninh Binh, the more you’ll love its nature, old spots, and culture. Plan well and get ready for an amazing trip to this Vietnamese hidden gem.

Must-See Attractions in Ninh Binh

When you’re in Ninh Binh, there’s a pair of top spots you can’t miss. First off is the Trang An boat tour. It guides you along stunning rivers and lakes, all fringed by karst mountains. You’ll also see ancient temples. This journey is special as it takes you to caves with amazing views.

Our second spot is the Mua Cave viewpoint. It’s famous for its wide views of the area. To get there, you have to climb around 500 steps. But, the view from above, with its karsts, rice fields, and rivers, is truly worth it.

Sapa 1 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking 1 Day
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  • 1 day experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Rice fields, valleys & villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 2 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking And Homestay
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  • 2 days 1 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valleys, rice fields and villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 3 Day Tours

Sapa Muong Hoa Valley Trekking 3 Days 2 Nights
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 30
  • 3 days 2 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valley, rice fields & villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 4 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking And Homestay No Touristic
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 31
  • 4 days 3 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valleys, rice fields & villages
  • ​Private tours – Less Touristic
  • Vegan-friendly

For your adventure, here’s a few hints:

  1. Early travel to Trang An helps dodge crowds and lets you soak up the peace.
  2. For Mua Cave, wear comfy shoes and tote some water to keep cool.
  3. And don’t leave your camera behind! The beauty at both stops is not to be missed.
  4. Thinking about a guide? They could shed light on the area’s history and importance.

Whether you go for Trang An’s caves or summit Mua Cave for its vistas, Ninh Binh will captivate you. Its beauty and cultural gems are truly breathtaking.

AttractionDescription
Trang An boat tourA boat tour through rivers and caves surrounded by karst mountains and ancient temples.
Mua Cave viewpointA viewpoint offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape after climbing approximately 500 steps.

Exploring the Trang An Grottoes

The Trang An Grottoes in Ninh Binh are perfect for those that love nature and history. It’s a UNESCO site filled with the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, stunning landscapes, and a unique forest.

Main Attractions

Prepare to be amazed by the Trang An Grottoes’ beauty. Explore the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital’s temples and pagodas. They tell stories from centuries ago.

The Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong area mixes nature’s beauty and cultural history. Take a boat tour to see the caves and rock formations. You’ll feel like you’re in a magical place.

The Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest is a gem for nature lovers. Watch out for special plants and animals that live there.

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Getting There and Exploring

To get to the grottoes, start from Ninh Binh city. You can drive yourself or join a tour. Many tours make getting there easy.

Take a boat tour to see the best of the grottoes. It lasts a few hours and shows you beautiful spots. Remember to bring sun protection and bug spray for a comfy trip.

What to Expect

Visiting the Trang An Grottoes is a magical experience. You will see stunning views and learn about Vietnam’s history. It’s a visit you won’t forget.

Respect the site by following the rules set. This helps keep the area beautiful for all to enjoy.

Key FeaturesAdditional Information
The Hoa Lu Ancient CapitalExplore temples, pagodas, and tombs dating back to ancient times.
The Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong Scenic LandscapeEmbark on a boat tour through karst caves and picturesque waterways.
The Hoa Lu Special-Use ForestObserve the region’s biodiversity and unique flora and fauna.
Getting ThereTake a taxi, rent a motorbike, or join a guided tour from Ninh Binh city.
Boat ToursOpt for a guided boat tour to explore the grottoes and hidden treasures.
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Cycling Through the Ninh Binh Countryside

Cycling in Ninh Binh is a favorite among tourists. It lets you enjoy the countryside up close. You’ll see beautiful landscapes, small villages, and historic spots. It’s a great way to experience the area’s beauty and culture.

“Cycling through Ninh Binh is like embarking on a journey of discovery. You’ll pedal past lush green rice fields, meandering rivers, and karst limestone mountains that rise majestically from the earth.” – Local cyclist

Renting Bicycles and Equipment

Starting your cycling trip is easy. You can rent bikes from several shops in Ninh Binh. They have mountain, hybrid, and electric bikes for every rider. The shops also provide helmets and locks, making sure you’re ready to go.

Suggested Cycling Routes

Ninh Binh has many cycling paths for all levels. Here are some great rides:

  1. The Trang An Loop: This 15-kilometer route in Trang An offers stunning views of the area’s karst mountains. You can also visit ancient temples. It’s a few hours of biking.
  2. The Tam Coc Trail: Explore the beautiful Tam Coc with its vast rice fields. This 20-kilometer trail lets you visit local villages and enjoy the calm countryside.
  3. The Van Long Nature Reserve Ride: A 25-kilometer ride to the Van Long Nature Reserve. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to many bird species.
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Highlights of Cycling in Ninh Binh

There’s much to see while biking in Ninh Binh:

  • Endless rice fields offer breathtaking rural views.
  • Buffalo roaming the fields let you see traditional farming up close.
  • You can visit artisans doing local crafts and learn about their culture.
  • Busy local markets are great for trying snacks and talking to sellers.
  • You might find serene temples hidden in the hills.

Biking in Ninh Binh lets you explore places only reachable by bike. You’ll see more of local life, enjoy stunning scenery, and experience the area’s charm.

Experiencing Local Culture in Tam Coc

Tam Coc, in Ninh Binh province, is famous for its lively local scene. It’s great for food enthusiasts, history buffs, or those who want to learn about local culture.

Try Tam Coc’s food to get a real taste of its culture. Taste dishes like phở, bánh mì, and gỏi cuốn at restaurants or from street vendors. You’ll enjoy flavors true to Vietnam.

Visiting the markets shows you daily life in a unique way. See fresh foods, bright textiles, and crafts. You can talk to locals and even buy souvenirs.

Joining craft workshops is another way to learn about the culture. Try making items like embroidery or pottery. This lets you learn and talk with local artists.

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The Beauty of Traditional Festivals

Local festivals like the Trang An Festival are special. They have parades, performances, and rituals. You’ll see traditions that go back for many years.

Attending the Trang An Festival offers a unique cultural experience. It celebrates the region’s beauty and history with dragon boat races and processions. The festival is a true delight.

Visit temples and pagodas to learn about history and culture. These places are very important and often have beautiful decorations. Feel the spiritual side and learn about local beliefs.

Talk to the locals to really understand the Tam Coc way of life. They’re open to questions and sharing their stories. Their friendliness will make your visit memorable.

Exploring Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu was once the capital of Vietnam, a place filled with ancient history. Its grounds hold grand temples, pagodas, and tombs from the old times. Here, we’ll show you how to make the most of your visit, pointing out the must-see spots.

Discover the Rich Cultural Heritage

Walking in Hoa Lu is like traveling back in time. It’s a UNESCO site that shines a light on Vietnam’s cultural past. You’ll see temples and pagodas, beautifully decorated with carvings and statues from centuries ago.

Explore the Royal Tombs

The tombs at Hoa Lu tell the story of its ancient rulers. They are full of amazing architecture and detailed designs. These sites are a great way to learn about Hoa Lu’s rich history and culture.

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Immerse Yourself in the Tranquil Atmosphere

Hoa Lu is a peaceful place away from today’s busy world. You can walk around its greenery and quiet spots. It’s a great way to experience the calm of this ancient city.

“Hoa Lu is a testament to Vietnam’s rich history and cultural heritage. Exploring this ancient capital is like stepping back in time and experiencing the grandeur of the past.” – Travel Enthusiast

Plan Your Visit to Hoa Lu

For Hoa Lu, plan at least half a day to see everything. Wear comfy shoes and bring your camera. You’ll want to snap photos of the beautiful temples and the natural scenery.

AttractionDescriptionOpening Hours
Temple of King Dinh Tien HoangExplore the impressive temple dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang, the founding father of the ancient capital.8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Temple of King Le Dai HanhVisit the temple honoring King Le Dai Hanh, one of the illustrious rulers of Hoa Lu.8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thien Ton CaveDiscover the hidden gem of Thien Ton Cave, tucked away amidst the picturesque landscape of Hoa Lu.8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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Discovering Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park is the largest in Vietnam and sits in Ninh Binh. It’s a paradise for those who love nature, showing off the rich life forms found in the area. This park boasts lush forests, a wide range of plants, and rare animals, making every visit a special nature experience.

You’ll find a wide mix of plant life here, like the tall trees, pretty orchids, and plants that can heal. Walking through the park on its many trails, nature’s beauty and sounds surround you. The air is filled with the sweet smell of the forest.

If you’re lucky, you might see some rare animals, like langurs and macaques, along with many bird types. The park is an important site for the conservation of the Delacour’s langur, a critically endangered primate.

Stay awhile at one of the park’s lodgings to get closer to the beauty it offers. Whether picking a simple bungalow or a welcoming guesthouse, waking up here is special. It’s all about the sounds of the forest and the peace nature brings.

Cuc Phuong National Park is a dream for those who love natural beauty and wildlife. It’s not just for hikers or animal lovers; it’s also for those who need a break from the urban rush. Come here for a quiet escape and to feel the calm of the great outdoors.

Bird
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Conclusion

Ninh Binh is a stunning place with lots to see and do. Its beauty will give you memories to never forget. You can enjoy the Trang An Scenic Landscape and its tall peaks and rivers.

You might visit for just a day or stay longer. Ninh Binh is perfect for seeing green rice fields, old temples, and enjoying local food. Don’t miss Tam Coc’s culture and dishes.

This place is easy to get to from Hanoi, great for a quick visit or longer one. Don’t forget to visit the Trang An Grottoes and Mua Cave. They have amazing views of the land.

Make sure to explore Ninh Binh’s hidden spots. It’s great for those who love nature, history, or just want a quiet break. Start planning your visit to experience its beauty and culture.

Sapa 1 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking 1 Day
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 39
  • 1 day experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Rice fields, valleys & villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 2 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking And Homestay
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 40
  • 2 days 1 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valleys, rice fields and villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 3 Day Tours

Sapa Muong Hoa Valley Trekking 3 Days 2 Nights
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 41
  • 3 days 2 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valley, rice fields & villages
  • ​Private tours
  • Vegan-friendly

Sapa 4 Day Tours

Sapa Trekking And Homestay No Touristic
Top Ninh Binh Destinations: Where To Go &Amp; Explore 42
  • 4 days 3 night experience
  • Moderate to challenging
  • Cultural immersion & active adventure
  • Mountains, valleys, rice fields & villages
  • ​Private tours – Less Touristic
  • Vegan-friendly

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