Ninh Binh is a place where convergence of natural and cultural heritage of long-standing history such as Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Cuc Phuong National Forest, Trang An eco-tourism area, Bai Dinh pagoda, Tam Coc - Bich Dong ...
Best time to visit Ninh Binh: It is not overstating that Ninh Binh can be visited at any time of year. Indeed, from November to April, though the evenings and nights may get colder, but you will enjoy the cool, dry weather during the day, which is perfect for trekking and long-distance traveling. From May to October, the weather is hotter, more humid and the chance of getting caught in the rain is rather high. But in return, the rainy season is when the area’s rice fields are a lush, vibrant green that would compensate all the troubles. However, be noted that Ninh Binh may be a bit vulnerable to typhoons in September, particularly.
Best thing to do in Ninh Binh
1. Take a boat tour to Trang An Grottoes
The UNESCO-listed Trang An Grottoes Complex is Ninh Binh’s crowning jewel and by far considered the best thing to do in Ninh Binh. Surrounded by canals and lakes, Trang An Grottoes consist of a variety of caves, rocks, temples and incredible limestone formations. Along the 3-hour tour, your paddle boat will pass through river caves and stop by several ancient Buddhist temples. You may also have a chance to visit the set of King Kong: Skull Island movie, which was filmed in 2017 at here.
2. Climb up the Mua Cave
Mua Cave is a series of grottoes of various sizes set in the bottom of a limestone mountain. The Mua Cave itself is not much different from the others in Ninh Binh, but the viewpoint up above counts. After 20minutes climbing and ascending 500 steps to a mountain peak, from where you can see all of the breathtaking scenery below and take an epic selfie. The panoramic 360-degree views of the countryside, as well as the Tam Coc valley and of course the abundance of limestone mountains, are absolutely magnificent. Atop the mountain is a fantastic dragon sculpture, which is one of the four sacred creatures (Four Holy Beasts) in Vietnam – along with the Phoenix, Turtle & Qilin, the noblest and powerful symbols opposed to evil.
3. Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a gigantic cultural complex of Buddha statues and temples that covers 530 hectares of land. The compound consists of the original old temple and a newly created larger temple, which look mighty and impressive. With its recent temple addition, it is now considered the largest pagoda in South East Asia. You will find it amazing to see from a contemporary cultural perspective. Interestingly, there are hundreds of statues line all the corridors, and their hands and knees are all perfectly polished from all the people touching them to pray.
4. Enjoy Thung Nham Bird Garden
Only about 5 kilometers outside of Tam Coc, Thung Nham Bird Garden is a wonderful place to trek to and learn about various bird species. Come here early in the morning, after crossing the bamboo bridges entering the quiet private garden, you can see an epic nesting area where thousands of pretty exotic birds are twittering. The best thing about this park is that not many people visit it, so you have a good chance of getting it all to yourself.
5. Explore Van Long Nature Reserve
Set amid glorious limestone pinnacles, this tranquil is the perfect stop for nature lovers. Van Long Nature Reserve is also rich in fauna and flora – the biggest wetland in the Northern Vietnam where many local birds, storks, herons live as well as the migratory birds choose for their winter hideaway. Visit Van Long, you can have a complete view of a natural picture of birds flying around, langurs running on mountain slopes – a nature reserve of majestic limestone mountains, caves and wild vegetation.
6. Hike Cuc Phuong National Park
About 90 minutes from Tam Coc, Cuc Phuong National Park is well worth a visit if you want to get in some good hiking. Consisting of more than 200 square kilometres of tropical forest and many grottoes, the reserve is rich in wildlife and natural beauty and also possesses historical significance, as prehistoric tools and ancient tombs have been discovered in some of the caves. Take your time to explore the botanical garden, find ancient trees on hidden trails and learn about local primates in the rescue center, you will be fulfilled entirely.
7. Experience goat meat – the local specialty
While staying in Ninh Binh, you will find a few unusual dishes to try. The most famous one is ‘De Nui’, a meal made with mountain goat. Many of the restaurants have at least one goat dish on the menu — and several specialize in just serving a variety of goat dishes. It’s a great chance to try a local speciality.