Ninh Binh is undoubtedly one of Vietnam’s best-kept secrets. With its cascading limestone mountains, endless rice paddies and numerous activities – it’s paradise, minus the crowds.
In this article, we share our top 6 Ninh Binh favorites to help you experience this piece of heaven in full.
1. Take a Boat Ride on Tam Coc
Tang Coc (or Tam Coc) means three cave river, and a trip to Ninh Binh wouldn’t be complete without this amazing experience. The scenic boat ride takes you along the Tang Coc river, between magnificent limestone karsts, into hidden valleys, between endless rice paddies, and through the famous ancient caves.
The magic of Tang Coc Caves is that two of the caves were carved straight through the mountains by the river. You enter one side and exit on the other! The first cave is an impressive 127m in length. Keep this in mind when you’re climbing Hang Mua for the best view of Ninh Binh.
2. Find the Hidden Pagoda
After your Tang Coc boat trip, it’s time to find the hidden Pagoda. The Bich Dong Pagoda holds many secrets – and what you see at first sight isn’t all there is. This famous Pagoda is actually made up of three levels called the Ha, Trung and Thuong Pagodas.
The entrance to these Pagodas is pretty famous for photographs, but if you want a truly memorable experience go all the way to the upper Thuong Pagoda to find some peace and quiet enjoying the breathtaking views.
3. Let the 500 Steps lead you to an Unforgettable Sunset View!
This might be one of the most famous viewpoints in all of Ninh Binh – and for good reason! This stunning place can be found near the Mua caves (the actual “attraction” at this site is the caves – but trust us, you can give it a skip and go straight up).
Our insider tip – stay at the Hang Mua Ecolodge. Not only does this awesome local hideaway offer stunning mountain views from your bedroom window – you also get free access to the Mua caves and park (allowing you to skip some of the queues!).
4. Support the Primate Rescue Center
Located inside Cuc Phuong National Park you will find a world-class Primate Rescue Center which is overseen by the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The work they are doing here is critical to the conservation of primates in Vietnam. A staggering 25 species of Vietnam’s primates are on the edge of extinction and another 11 are critically endangered.
This team of extraordinary people has been able to successfully rescue, rehabilitate, breed and release some of these endangered species. They need your support and, luckily, they’re set in one of the most beautiful national parks – making this good deed an easy choice.
5. Visit the local Bird Sanctuary
If you’re into birding, or simply looking for some tranquility in nature, this is the spot. Expect to see a plethora of birds from a variety of species. This sanctuary has a great layout, with the walk taking you along riverside bamboo bridges and walkways, past ancient caves, and finally leading to the viewpoint at the furthest edge of the park, where you can take in the beauty of the landscape.
6. Take a Day Tour to Trang An
This UNESCO world heritage site is not to be missed. If you have a few days in Ninh Binh, we highly recommend taking a day tour to this special place. The boat tour is much longer than in Tang Coc, visiting 8 caves and the scenery is equally spectacular.
One highlight of Trang An is the annual festival. If you are lucky enough to be in Ninh Binh during this time, you simply can’t miss it. It usually takes place around April, so plan accordingly.
Ninh Binh has so much to offer and is slowly gaining popularity. Make sure to visit this hidden Gem as you make your way across Vietnam.
Overwhelmed by all the beauty and options? Adventuretects is here to guide you. We’ll plan the perfect itinerary to make sure you get the best of Vietnam. Contact us today to embark on an unforgettable adventure!