Top 7 must-see destinations in Ninh Binh
The peaceful pace of everyday life, the majestic mountains and forests as well as the heroic and mysterious epic of Ninh Binh will bring an unforgettable experience to the journey of exploring this land.
Ninh Binh is one of the luckiest provinces granted by nature with many gorgeous and captivating spots. Once you are here at the ancient capital, don’t miss out the opportunities to visit the top 10 must-see destinations in Ninh Binh.
Trang An Eco-tourism Complex
Trang An eco-tourism Complex covers an area of over 6,000 hectares, belonging to many communes and wards of Hoa Lu district, Gia Vien and Ninh Binh City. This complex is well-known among both local and foreigner tourists because of its breathtaking and picturesque natural beauty and a unique spiritual cultural space.
Widely regarded as “Ha Long Bay on land”, Trang An attracts a big number of travellers every year with a diversity of limestone mountains and natural caves.
Arriving in Trang An, visitors will be surprised by the system of 50 moving waterways connecting the 31 flooded caves like a spider’s web that is both miraculously transformed and almost surreal. What captures the charm of the caves is the natural stalactite system with cool and fresh water that follows the deep trails on the cave walls and forms winding currents.
Trang An eco-tourism Complex is also home to a diverse flora and fauna ecosystem famously known as an “outdoor geological museum”. This “museum” consists of more than 310 types of higher plants, many types of algae and fungi; 30 species of mammals, more than 50 species of birds, dozens of reptile species, including some rare animals such as chamois, Phoenix, etc.
Moreover, upon their arrival here, tourists also have the opportunity to visit the unique historical and cultural relics such as Trinh Temple – a place for worshipping two Generals of Dinh Dynasty, Tran Temple – built with monolithic bluestone and decorated with sophisticated patterns to worship a general of Hung Kinh’s period, or Khong Temple – the place of worship of 7 mandarins of the Dinh dynasty.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong Complex
About 100 km south of Hanoi, Tam Coc – Bich Dong is an extremely popular and attractive tourist destination. Upon arrival here, tourists will have chances to admire the pristine and rustic beauty of nature and explore famous historical and cultural relics such as Bich Dong pagoda, Tam Coc cave, Thai Vi temple, Fairy Cave, etc.
The name “Tam Coc” refers to three caves – Cave One, Cave Two, and Cave Three. All three caves were found along the Ngo Dong river, which pierced through the mountains. Cave One is 127m long and 20m wide, passing through a large mountain. In the cave, there are many stone stalactites hanging down with a variety of different shapes and colours. The other two caves are smaller than the Cave One but impress visitors all the same by their beautiful stalactites.
Am Tien Cave
Am Tien Cave is 10 km from Ninh Binh city centre, located in the historical area of Hoa Lu ancient capital in Yen Thanh village, Truong Yen commune. On the way to this destination, visitors will easily catch sight of mountain goats being grazed by the local people.
Back in the past, Am Tien cave was considered one of the terrifying forbidden areas. Wild animals like tigers were kept here to punish those who committed crimes during Dinh Tien Hoang’s reign.
To reach the Am Tien cave, tourists must cross the 205 stone steps. It can be a tiring journey for some people but the endless stretch of green tree shade on either side of the road with the birds chirping promises to take that tiredness away.
From the cave’s door and looking to the west, visitors will encounter a large lake known as Giai Pond, as named by the locals. According to legend, the pond was the place where the Kings of Dinh Dynasty raised crocodiles to eat the criminals.
Temporarily forgetting the thrilling epic, tourists can find themselves immersed in the vast green space of clear water lake like a mirror, with small colourful fish swimming around or hiding under the green moss. What a tranquil and rustic beauty that no one is able to resist!
Mua Cave Ecolodge (Dancing Cave)
Hang Mua tourist attraction belongs to Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. This is one of the famous tourist spots in the North of Vietnam and is the “birthplace” of many lifetime photos.
The reason why this place is called Hang Mua is due to the history of the Tran dynasty. Legend has it that, when the King of Tran Dynasty chose Hoa Lu land often came here to listen to palace female performers singing and dancing. Since then, the people have been talking about the name of the Dancing Cave to recall the legend.
From the top of the mountain, visitors can admire the beauty of the Tam Coc area as a stretch of elegant silk along the Ngo Dong river. Because of this impressive highlight, a trip to discover the Mua Cave and experience Tam Coc – Bich Dong afterwards will be a great idea for a day of sightseeing tour.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu ancient capital was once the political, economic and cultural center of Dai Co Viet, the first capital in Dai Viet civilization as well as of the Vietnamese feudality.
The capital Hoa Lu has an area of about 300ha, located in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, and existed for 42 years through three successive dynasties: Dinh – Tien Le – Ly (968 – 1010).
Despite the ups and downs of history, the ancient capital of Hoa Lu still retains the heroic historical evidence, that are the walls created by human hands and nature; the majestic and sacred temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital will forever be the bright and historic milestones for the people of Vietnam in general and the people of Ninh Binh in particular, to respect and be proud of.
Bai Dinh Pagoda
Located on a campus of 700 ha, Bai Dinh Pagoda has a delicate combination of the old pagoda’s sacred and meditative character and the new one’s nobility and magnificence.
Moreover, Bai Dinh Pagoda is widely recognized as the most massive Buddhist architecture in Vietnam with many Asian records that have been established such as Shakyamuni Buddha statue in Asia’s largest gold-plated copper, the longest corridors of 500 arhats in Vietnam, and the largest bronze statue of Maitreya in Vietnam. Especially, this is also a holy place to store relics and precious treasures of Buddha.
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral
The cathedral is 28 km from Ninh Binh city to the southeast, in the territory of Phat Diem town, Kim Son district. Phat Diem is a common name for Vietnam’s most beautiful church area and an architectural complex built of wood and stone for 24 years (1875-1899) on an area of 22 ha. Although Phat Diem is a Catholic church, it is modelled on traditional Vietnamese and communal architecture.
One of the most remarkable buildings in the architectural complex of Phat Diem Cathedral is the Mother’s Heart Church, built entirely of stone and known as the Stone Church. This is the most unique stone building in Vietnam and very rare in the world.
Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long eco-tourism area is located in the territory of 7 communes in Gia Vien district, covering an area of about 3,000ha, 17km from Ninh Binh city to the Northwest.
This is the largest wetland nature reserve in the Northern Delta with 457 species of higher plants, 39 animal species, including many rare and precious species recorded in the Vietnam Red Book and the world. Besides, Van Long is also famous for 32 mysterious and beautiful caves to explore.
Van Long is an ideal ecotourism destination, a research and learning site for scientists, students and tourists who are passionate about science and nature. Van Long has currently owned two Vietnamese records, which are the place with the largest number of white buttocks and the place with the largest natural picture.
There are still more and more fascinating places to visit in Ninh Binh – the ancient capital of Vietnam. Hesitate no more and book your tour to visit the top 7 must-see destinations in Ninh Binh for a memorable experience.
Full day tour from Hanoi with highlight destinations in Ninh Binh. Visit the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries and climb up 500 steps to Lying Dragon mountain to enjoy the breathtaking mountainous view. Enjoy a boat trip on the Ngo Dong river in Tam Coc, through majestic caves. After that, cycle to Bich dong pagoda, spend 20 minutes to discover the ancient Pagoda, was built in 1428. Enjoy the trip with our professional English Speaking tour guide. Have a excellent lunch at the local restaurant. Finish the trip in Tam Coc or Hanoi.
Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hanoi (Private Tour) – Car Transfer
In The Morning
– Start from Hanoi, transfer 2 hours to Ninh Binh.
– Visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital including King Dinh, and King Le’s Temples OR Mua Cave (Scenic mountainside spot with a cave & 500 steps to a lookout with iconic views of the countryside) Optional
Stop: 45 minutes – 1 hour
– After finish visiting Hoa Lu Ancient Capital or Mua Cave we’ll transfer you to Tam Coc area to Have lunch at a local restaurant and try local cuisine.
– Lunch will be serve in a local restaurant
In The Afternoon
– Get on a boat ride in Tam Coc, ride through Ngo Dong River for 1.5 – 2 hours
– Cycling: With 1-1,5 hour of cycling you will be amazed by the beauty of countryside in the North of Vietnam. Our tour guide will introduce to you the local life.
– At the end of the journey, you will be taken by private car to Hanoi.
– English-speaking guide, fun, informative friendly guide
– Private Car
– Bicycles for cycling around
– Meal includes 1 Lunch
– Bamboo Boat trip in Tam Coc
– All antrance fees
– Mua Cave or (Dinh, Le Temples)
– 2 bottles of water per day
– Pick up and drop off in Hanoi
– Children under 04 years old: Free of charge
– Children 05 to 10 years old: Charge 75% rate of adult
– Children from 11 years old and above: full charged as adult
(Quotation USD per person For private Tour travel from Hanoi) private car or van