Ninh Binh - Top things to do in Ninh Binh

Is Ninh Binh worth visiting?

Ninh Binh is a town southeast of Hanoi that serves as a base for visitors to explore the surrounding area. The province is also known as Ninh Binh, and the capital city is Ninh Binh town, so when people refer to this part of Vietnam, they usually mean the entire Ninh Binh province, which includes several towns, villages, and key attractions.

What to see in Ninh Binh?

There aren't many'sights' in Ninh Binh City, but it's a great place to visit if you want to get out and about and spend time in some of Vietnam's most beautiful and unspoiled areas. Ninh Binh Town is commonly used as a starting point for excursions to Tam Coc (three wet caves), Van Long Natural Reserve, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex, and Trang An Tourism Complex etc... among others. Although, it is not as well known as other places in the country, its craggy limestone scenery makes it an excellent destination for anyone interested in nature. As other parts of the country, such as Halong Bay and Sapa, become more popular, Ninh Binh is the ideal place to go if you want to take the road less traveled.

Here are the top attractions in Ninh Binh...

1. Tam Coc - Three Wet Caves 

Tam Coc, located outside of Ninh Binh town, is one of Vietnam's best nature destinations, despite remaining off the beaten path. Tam Coc is known for its karst landscape, which is similar to that of Halong Bay, but here you will find some scenic limestone hills dotted among emerald green rice paddies. Tam Coc has larger cliffs than Halong Bay, but it is also less crowded than Ha Long Bay, so it is the place to go if you want to get off the beaten path. The area can be explored by boat for about two hours.

2. Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

The Phat Diem Stone Cathedral, located 34 kilometers from Ninh Binh's center, is surrounded by picturesque canals and rice paddies. This would have been the focal point of Catholic worship in whole Ninh Binh Province, which was also known as the "Vatican of Vietnam" during the colonial period. The cathedral was built in 1898 with a mix of Vietnamese and Western styles, including two Gothic chapels and some massive iron wood columns. The cathedral's size and location are both impressive, and it is one of the top sights not to miss in Ninh Binh.

3. Van Long Nature Reserve

If you want to continue your exploration outside of Ninh Binh, you can go to Van Long Nature Reserve, a wetland reserve popular with birdwatchers. Because this is a protected area of land, it is teeming with local flora and fauna, so if you are a nature lover and want to see the Vietnamese wildlife, don't leave it out of your itinerary. A variety of Vietnamese species, including monkeys, reptiles, and birds, live in the wetlands.

4. Bich Dong Pagoda

Just past Tam Coc Boat Station, you'll find one of the region's most interesting pagodas, dating from the 15th century. The Bich Dong Pagoda is built into the side of a mountain and consists of three levels: the Ha Pagoda (lower), Trung Pagoda (middle), and Thuong Pagodas (upper). The pagpdas are also designed to back on to caves, which can be explored as part of a visit here. The path to the top is steep, as one would expect from pagodas built into a cliff, but the views are well worth it.

5. Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel 

Hoa Lu is yet another spot that makes a great trip from Ninh Binh, though some visitors skip it in favor of Tam Coc Boat Trip and Van Long Nature Reserve. Many people are unaware that Hoa Lu Temple is the temple of Dinh King and Le King, was the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th century, and that there is a large citadel here filled with scenic temples that you can explore at your leisure. As a result, if you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.

6. Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park, established in 1962, is one of Vietnam's most important national parks. This is part of a large swath of protected land in Ninh Binh that was established to protect the region's wildlife, which has been in decline for many years due to poaching. The park now encompasses 222 square kilometers of tropical forest, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife. A visit here will reveal 307 species of birds, 133 species of mammals, and 122 species of reptiles. There are also over 2,000 different types of plants here, making it a must-see for nature lovers.

7. Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex 

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a colorful Buddhist temple complex on a scenic hill near Ninh Binh town. The temple was built in 2014 and has quickly become one of the area's most popular attractions. The entrance leads to walkways lined with 500 stone arhats (images of enlightened Buddhists), and inside is the Phap Chu Pagoda, which has three tiers. Inside, there is a 100-ton bronze Buddha that stands 10 meters tall, as well as two smaller gilded Buddhas.

8. Hang Mua Peak

Hang Mua Peak is known as one of the most amazing sites in Tam Coc, and you have to hike up 500 steps to reach the summit. When you reach the top, however, you will be rewarded with views of some of Vietnam's most beautiful scenery, including the Red River Delta and towering mountains. However, wear appropriate footwear, especially during the rainy season, as the steps can become slippery when wet. This is also the location of the Mua Cave, though if you don't like spelunking, you can skip it and just hike along the mountain trail.

9. Trang An Tourism Complex 

Neighboring Trang An Tourism Complex is known for its scenic waterways, and you can rent a boat and float down the Sao Khe River from here. This will take you through otherworldly caves, and you can enjoy the scenery while also visiting the caves and temples. Boat trips last about 2 hours, and Trang An is only about 7 kilometers from Ninh Binh town, so you can easily spend the day there.

10. Thung Nham Bird Garden

Thung Nham Bird Park

Surprisingly, the Thung Nham Bird Garden is not well known in Ninh Binh, which is a shame because it is a beautiful attraction worth seeing. The park is located in the mountains and is known for housing a large number of indigenous bird species. If possible, visit in the early morning or late afternoon, when the park's trees are covered in a swarm of colorful avians. Aside from the birds, you can also go fishing and camp in the park depending on the season.
We hope that our article will be a useful Ninh Binh travel guide for you and will provide you with some good options for places to visit in Ninh Binh. Choose a Ninh Binh tours from our website that interests you

11. Thai Vy Temple 

Thai Vi Temple is King Tran and Queen Thuan Thien's temple. Visitors to Thai Vi Temple will be surprised not only by the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, but also by the majestic mountain scenery that surrounds the sacred space. Thai Vi Temple, part of the Vu Lam Hanh Cung Complex founded here by King Tran Thai Tong, is an ancient temple with completely stone architecture, elaborately carved, and extremely unique. In the 15th century, this was also considered a base against the Mongols.
Thai Vi Temple was built on land where dragons and tigers worship, which is considered sacred in Asian people's yin and yang concept.
Visitors can not only learn about the illustrious Tran Dynasty, but also enjoy the charming beauty of this location.

12. Kenh Ga Hot Spring 

Kenh Ga Spring is a hot spring that flows into the Hoang Long tributary from Kenh Ga Mountain in Kenh Ga Village.
This is a river confluence, also known as Vong Am because the river water is always warm, where many fish and aquatic creatures congregate.
Sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and bicarbonate salts are abundant in Kenh Ga hot spring. The stream's water is colorless, odorless, and tastes slightly acrid. Water has a constant temperature of 53 degrees Celsius.
This is a well-known mineral spring that has been named one of the top five most attractive hot spring resorts in Vietnam by the Vietnam Record Book Center.

13. Biking in the villages 

Cycling on a village road in Ninh Binh's countryside is a truly unforgettable experience. You will be able to get a glimpse of the Vietnamese countryside here. The countryside is a local houses and admire their daily life, which allows you to get some good shots of a villager catching fish with a symple net, young people swimming in a pond, or enjoying kites near the rice fields.
You can cycle along a lovely local path dotted with temples, churches, and villages. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery and make an effort to mingle with the locals.

14. Try Ninh Binh's speciality named Goat Meat 

Visitors to Ninh Binh enjoy many appealing specialties in addition to discovering attractive tourist destinations.
Mountain goat is a popular Ninh Binh specialty that few tourists from near and far are familiar with. Mountain goats graze naturally. The meat is moderately soft, not too tough, and has a distinct odor that, after processing, is neither strong nor unpleasant. Goat meat is used in a variety of dishes, the most notable of which is probably the rare lemon goat stir-fried...

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