Top 10 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
The Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
The ancient capital of Ninh Binh was called Hoa Lu. It was during the time of the great breakaway from Imperial China. After Vietnam got independence, the land was separated into 12 states. It was Emperor Dinh Bo Linh who created the idea of the first Viet state. This was called Dai Co Viet and was the Dinh Dynasty.
Trang An Grottos – Boat Tour
The scenery here is truly inspiring. King Kong has visited this place. Well, they filmed King Kong: Skull Island here anyway. He trekked through the limestone hills rising out of the river. A lot of animals live in these parts.
Mua Cave Mountain and Temple
Mua Cave has some amazing over-the-top views of Trang An and Tam Coc. You can see Ninh Binh Town from here as well. It’s a bit of a sideroad trek to get here, but worth it. You are really standing on the shoulders of the Ninh Binh mountain giants on Hang Mua.
Goat meat and the sunset
You can get some BBQ Goat and fresh herbs at local restaurants around Mua Cave. This area has goat meat restaurants known by Ninh Binh locals.
Thung Nham Bird Garden
The bird watchers amongst us will love this first courtyard with this display of our feathered friends. There’s a range of birds in these parts. Flocks of different birds can be seen grazing and lazing on the various limestone karst hilltops around. You’ll see cranes and teals. The odd flamingo if you’re lucky! Get those binoculars on the ready guys!
Bai Dinh Pagoda
This is the largest religious complex in Ninh Binh, Southeast Asia. It is a Buddhist temple showing over 500 finely carved and sculpted Buddha statues. People come to visit from all over the world.
Bich Dong Pagoda
Bich Dong pagoda is an old pagoda. The experience is unforgettable. Ever seen a banzai garden, with miniature temples in it? This is the real-life version.
Tam Coc Boat Ride and the Tam Coc Rice Paddies
The ride through the Ngo Dong river is pleasant. You travel through the Tam Coc Valley. Early morning is the best time to ride Tam Coc, to avoid the tourist trail. This is by far one of the most popular tourist spots in Ninh Binh. Go in, take the two-hour boat tour, then leave.
Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long is a national park of a different order. There a plentiful amount of limestone cliffs. The topography of Van Long Nature Reserve is sublime. There isn’t nearly the same amount of tourists. Local specialties can be tried here, such as goat meat, or de tai chanh. This is a paradise for nature lovers. This could be seen as Ninh Binh’s diamond in the rough.
Dich Long Cave and Pagoda
Listen for the music when looking for this cave. This is quite a name. In English, it means cave of the flute. It is an impressive cave. It is in the Gia Vien district of Ninh Binh. This was founded in 1739. A temple was then built to pay homage.
Cuc Phuong National Park
This is a bit far out from Ninh Binh. At around 40-45km, it is a wonderful park full of tropical forest. Some very ancient trees are in Cuc Phuong National Park, in addition to excavated caves. Some old homes of cavemen can be explored in this area.
Phat Diem Cathedral
This was built around 1891, with Vietnamese architecture styles placed on Christian gothic foundations. The stone walls are western in look. This 15-acre building has 52 wooden pillars. These are 11-meter’s tall. The Chapel of Immaculate Heart of Mary is built completely in stone. The Bell Tower has Christian carvings yet has appeared like an imposed East Asian gate.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any outdoor activities visitors can enjoy in Ninh Binh?
Yes, visitors to Ninh Binh can enjoy various outdoor activities such as boat trips along the rivers and lakes of the region; biking tours through picturesque landscapes; rock climbing at Mua Cave Peak; cycling around Hoa Lu ancient capital; and fishing trips at Cuc Phuong National Park.
Are there any cultural experiences to be had in Ninh Binh?
Yes, visitors to Ninh Binh can explore buildings of historical and cultural importance such as Bai Dinh Pagoda, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Phat Diem Cathedral, and Trang An Complex; learn about the local culture by attending traditional festivals such as the Lim Festival; or enjoy performances of traditional Vietnamese folk music and puppet shows.
Is there any accommodation available in Ninh Binh?
Yes, there are plenty of accommodation options available in Ninh Binh ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels with views over the stunning landscapes surrounding the region.
Are there any restaurants to eat at in Ninh Binh?
Yes, there is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from in Ninh Binh serving both local and international cuisine. Additionally, the region is known for its delicious street food which can often be found at night markets scattered throughout the area.
What should I be aware of when visiting Hanoi?
Hanoi is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and theft. You should also be careful when crossing the street, as traffic in Hanoi can be chaotic. Finally, be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as taking off your shoes when entering someone’s home or a temple. It is also recommended to only use licensed taxis and to avoid traveling alone late at night.
What kind of transportation is available in Ninh Binh?
There are various modes of transportation available in Ninh Binh depending on your needs and budget such as taxis, motorbike taxis, private cars, and buses operated by many different companies. For visitors looking to explore further out of town, train services run regularly between Hanoi and other cities in the region.
Is there anything else to do in Ninh Binh besides sightseeing?
Yes, other than taking part in a range of activities such as taking a day tour; exploring caves such as Thung Nham Bird Garden and Mua Cave; or experiencing some of the adventure sports available including rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and trekking, visitors can also relax with spa treatments or take part in meditation sessions at one of the yoga studios located around town.
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