Table of Contents
Visit the Breathtaking Trang An Landscape Complex
Explore the Ancient Temples and Pagodas
Cruise Along the Tam Coc River
Trek Through the Cuc Phuong National Park
Discover the Traditional Villages of Ninh Binh
Sample the Delicious Local Cuisine
Marvel at the Van Long Nature Reserve
Learn About the Local History and Culture
Bike Through the Countryside
Relax in the Hot Springs of Ninh Binh
Enjoy the Stunning Views from Mua Cave
Take a Dip in the Bai Dinh Hot Springs
Explore the Kenh Ga Floating Village
Visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Witness the Amazing Light Show at Thung Nham Bird Park
Attend the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival
Best Time to Visit Ninh Binh
Transportation: Getting Around Ninh Binh
Things You Need to Know Before Coming to Ninh Binh
What to Pack for Your Trip to Ninh Binh
The Trang An Landscape Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most stunning natural landscapes in Vietnam. Take a boat tour through the complex and marvel at the limestone cliffs, caves, and temples that dot the area. The boat tour takes around 3-4 hours and costs approximately 200,000 VND per person. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the incredible views and wear comfortable shoes, as there are some steep steps to climb.
Ninh Binh is home to a number of ancient temples and pagodas, including the Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia. Explore these historic sites and learn about the rich cultural heritage of the region. Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in Gia Sinh Commune, around 15km from Ninh Binh city center. There are also other temples and pagodas to explore, such as the Dinh and Le temples and the Bich Dong Pagoda.
Take a relaxing boat ride along the Tam Coc River and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding limestone cliffs and rice paddies. This area is often called the “Halong Bay on land” for its similar landscape. The boat ride takes around 2 hours and costs approximately 150,000 VND per person. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen, as the sun can be strong on the river.
The Cuc Phuong National Park is the oldest national park in Vietnam and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Trek through the park and spot monkeys, langurs, and other wildlife, or visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center. The park is around 45km from Ninh Binh city center, and a guided tour is recommended for safety.
Ninh Binh is home to a number of traditional villages, such as the Van Lam embroidery village or the Kim Son sedge mat weaving village. Visit these communities and learn about their traditional crafts and way of life. Many of the villages offer homestays, allowing visitors to experience the local culture firsthand.
Ninh Binh is known for its delicious local cuisine, with dishes such as goat meat, eel, and burnt rice. Be sure to also try the local specialty, “com chay” or burnt rice, a crispy and fragrant rice dish. Some recommended restaurants include Hoa Lu Tam Coc Restaurant and Ba Coi Restaurant.
The Van Long Nature Reserve is the largest wetland nature reserve in the Red River Delta and home to a number of rare and endangered species. Take a boat ride through the reserve and spot the langurs, spoonbills, and other wildlife. The boat ride takes around 2 hours and costs approximately 100,000 VND per person.
Ninh Binh has a rich history and culture, dating back to the ancient Dinh and Le dynasties. Learn about the region’s history by visiting the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, where the Dinh and Le dynasties once ruled, or the Ninh Binh Museum. The museum features exhibits on the region’s history, culture, and traditions.
Rent a bicycle and explore the beautiful countryside of Ninh Binh at your own pace. There are plenty of scenic routes to choose from, such as the Tam Coc – Bich Dong route or the Thung Nham – But Thap Pagoda route. Bike rentals are available throughout Ninh Binh city and cost around 50,000 VND per day.
After a long day of exploring, unwind in the hot springs of Ninh Binh. The Bai Dinh Hot Springs are located near the Bai Dinh Pagoda and offer a variety of hot spring pools and spa services. The entrance fee is around 200,000 VND per person.
Hike up to the top of Mua Cave and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The hike takes around 30 minutes and includes over 500 steps, so wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. The entrance fee is around 100,000 VND per person.
After a long day of sightseeing, relax in the mineral-rich waters of the Bai Dinh Hot Springs. The hot springs offer a variety of pools and spa services, including hot stone massage and herbal baths. The entrance fee is around 200,000 VND per person.
The Kenh Ga Floating Village is a unique community located on the banks of the Hoang Long River. Take a boat tour through the village and learn about the traditional way of life of the local people. The boat tour takes around 2 hours and costs approximately 150,000 VND per person.
Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and Le dynasties, and is now an important historical site. Visit the temples and pagodas within the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and learn about the region’s rich history. The entrance fee is around 20,000 VND per person.
Thung Nham Bird Park is home to a variety of bird species, including storks, herons, and egrets. Stay until sunset and witness the amazing light show as the birds return to their nests. The entrance fee is around 100,000 VND per person.
The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is held annually in February and is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Vietnam. Join the festivities and witness traditional performances, rituals, and offerings. The festival is a great way to experience the local culture and traditions.
The best time to visit Ninh Binh is from February to May when the weather is dry and pleasant, and the rice paddies are lush green. Avoid visiting during the rainy season from June to September, as flooding can occur and some attractions may be closed.
The easiest way to get to Ninh Binh is by taking a bus or train from Hanoi, which takes around 2-3 hours. Once in Ninh Binh, you can get around by motorbike, bicycle, taxi, or private car. Guided tours are also available for those who prefer a more organized itinerary.
Before visiting Ninh Binh, it’s important to note that the region is quite rural, and not all locals speak English. Be respectful of the local culture and customs, and dress appropriately when visiting temples or other religious sites.
When packing for your trip to Ninh Binh, be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, lightweight and breathable clothing, a hat and sunglasses, insect repellent, and sunscreen. If you plan on trek