GOT LOST IN NINH BINH - A HIDDEN GEM OF VIETNAM

NINH BINH

OVERVIEW

Ninh Binh Vietnam is named as “terrestrial Ha Long Bay” because of its close-knit karst system. In particular, this destination used to be a filming location for the blockbuster movie Kong - Skull Island in 2017. ... Read more

Ninh Binh city was formerly the capital of Vietnam under the Dinh, Tien Le and Tien Ly dynasties, in the period 968 - 1010. It has a rather unique topography with many intertwined mountains and rivers - This reminds several tourists of the large and small island system in Ha Long Bay. That is why this destination is widely called "terrestrial Ha Long Bay". Because of its unique terrain and majestic beauty, this city was selected as one of the locations for the blockbuster movie Kong - Skull Island in 2017.

I - Overview

1 - Where is Ninh Binh Vietnam?

This province is located in the North of Vietnam, the West adjacents to Thanh Hoa, the East adjacents to Nam Dinh, the North adjacents to Hoa Binh, Ha Nam and the South adjacents to the East Sea. It is easy to move here by means such as train, bus.
By train: Ninh Binh train station is located at No. 1, Lane 41, Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Nam Binh Ward. There are trains departs from other provinces such as:
- Northern region: Hanoi, Nam Dinh,
- Central region: Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Yen Trung, Dong Hoi, Da Nang, Tam Ky, ...
- Southern region: Saigon, Bien Hoa, Long Khanh, Binh Thuan, ...

See more: How to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh? 

By bus: If you would like to travel here by bus, you will get off at 207 Le Dai Hanh Street, Thanh Binh Ward. Bus stations have routes running through such as:
- Northern region: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ha Long, Nam Dinh, ..
- Central region: Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Nghe An, Da Nang, Nha Trang ...
- Southern region: Ho Chi Minh, Binh Duong, Ninh Thuan, ...

2 - The best time to visit Ninh Binh Vietnam

festival in ninh binh

(Source: Nguyen Dung)

Located in the North of Vietnam, this city has a typical tropical monsoon climate, divided into four seasons, the annual average temperature is about 24oC - relatively cool, and the average annual rainfall is just at the 2,000mm/year - not too abundant. The ideal time to travel here is from February to April because it is quite cool, and not too hot. This time also has many interesting festivals such as: Bai Dinh pagoda festival, Trang An festival,...[Read more...]

II - Top 3 things to do in Ninh Binh

Activities should be experienced when coming to Hoa Lu ancient capital such as:

1 - Food discovery

The typical climate and topography, along with a long history of culture have created an extremely rich, diverse and famous cuisine with many dishes such as:
Burned rice
Burned rice after deep frying will be served with stir-fried meat, heart, and kidneys with sour and spicy flavors. The dish is processed and sold all year round with prices from 20,000 - 30,000 VND / bag (~ 1-1.2 USD).

burned rice in ninh binh

Burned rice Ninh Binh is so crispy (Source: Internet)

Sticky with ant eggs
This unique and delicious dish is only available in this city in the February of the lunar calendar every year. The dish has a fatty, greasy taste of ant eggs mingled with the aroma of onion, sticky rice and is even more delicious when enjoyed hot.
Goat meat
Due to its dense mountainous terrain, it is suitable for raising mountain goats here, so the goat meat here has a rather characteristic flavor, low fat, crispy skin and sweet meat. Famous dishes are processed from goat meat here such as: fried goat with chilli and lemongrass; stir-fried goat; goat medicine stew; grilled goat satay; goat cooked bamboo shoots; ...

2 - Taking a Ninh Binh bike tour to explore the countryside

To explore the village scenery and experience the atmosphere in the best way, tourists should try cycling. Moreover, during the sightseeing tour, tourists can strengthen their health, take initiative in travel schedules and time. Some agencies offering bicycles renting services in this city such as:
- Ninh Binh travel bike rental service - Tam Coc boat dock, Van Lam, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh with the price at 80.000 VND/bike/day (~ $ 3.44).
- Ham Rong Homestay – address: Khe Ha, Ninh Xuan Commune, Hoa Lu Ward, Ninh Binh. Phone number 037 920 2568, the rental price is about 80.000 - 100.000 VND / bike / day (~ 3.44 - 4.31 $).

3 - Experience Ninh Binh boat tours

ninh binh boat rice tour

(Source: Ins @hoangnhatanh)

Coming here, tourists shouldn’t miss the experience on the boats to visit places such as Trang An, Tam Coc - Bich Dong, .... Tourists will see the aquatic vegetation, the ancient works or immerse yourself in the yellow rice fields (usually appear around May - July). Some boat tours depart from the entrance selling tickets in Trang An as follows:
Route 1: Boat dock - Trinh Temple - Dark Cave - Morning Cave – Nau Ruou Cave - Tran Temple - Ba Giot Cave - Hang Seo - Hang Son Duong - Phu Khong - Bao Hieu Pagoda – Khong Cave - Tran Cave - Quy Hau Cave- Return to the boat dock (duration 3.5 hours)
Route 2: Boat dock - Lam Cave- Vang Cave - Thanh Truot Cave - Suoi Tien Temple - Dai Cave- Hanh Cung Vu Lam - Kong Film Studio (Aboriginal village) - Return to the Boat dock (2.5 hours)
Route 3: Boat dock - Trinh Temple - May Cave- Suoi Tien - Dia Linh Cave - Dai Cave – Hanh Cung Vu Lam - film studio Kong (Aboriginal village) - return to the Boat dock (3 hours)
Entrance fee includes boat trip charge: 200.000 VND/route (~ 8.6 $).
The tour guide charge is 300.000 VND / tour (~ 12.93 $).

III - Ninh Binh attractions

1 - The temples and pagodas in Ninh Binh

pagoda in ninh binh

(Source: Ins @hoangnhatanh)

A spiritual and cultural tourist site that helps tourists to better understand cultural beliefs and religious beliefs of people here in particular and Vietnamese people in general such as:
Bai Dinh Pagoda
The pagoda owns the longest Arhat statue corridor in Asia and the largest gold-plated bronze Buddha statue in Asia. The large campus and a spacious layout bearing the image of Buddhism will surely surprise tourists. The tram ticket to move in the pagoda is 30,000 VND / person / one way (~ 1.29 $) and the ticket to visit the Stupa in the pagoda campus is 50,000 VND / person / one way(~ 2.16 $).
Bich Dong Pagoda Ninh Binh
The ancient pagoda was built on limestone mountains to bring a pure space, separate from the noisy world. From here, tourists can also enjoy the beautiful scenery below.
Thai Vi Temple
Worshiping the 4 early kings of the Tran dynasty, still intact the original architecture with Vietnamese religious architecture, as a reenactment of the prosperous period of Vietnam under the Tran dynasty.

2 -  Ninh Binh caves

ninh binh cave

(Source: Vietnamjourney)

With a system of thousands of limestone mountains, this destination is also endowed with many large and small caves, with extremely beautiful structures and views such as:
Thien Ha Cave
Located on General Mountain, east of Son Ha commune, Nho Quan district. This place is like a galaxy in the mountains with millions of stalactites formed over hundreds of millions of years, with both dry and wet caves.
Tam Coc
A system of 3 caves by the Ngo Dong river crashing through the mountain to become a city, there is a harmonious combination between the mountains and river. Going to Tam Coc, visitors also have the opportunity to travel through caves by boat, admire the stalactites and diverse aquatic systems.
Bich Dong
This place was conferred the title "Nam Thien De Nhi Dong" (one of 2 most beautiful caves in Vietnam) by Lord Trinh Sam in 1774 (behind Huong Tich cave - Huong pagoda). The cave was divided into two parts - the dry part was used to build the pagoda. Bich Dong, a very unique part of the cave that penetrates the mountain, is also known as Thuy Xuyen cave. Entrance fee including Bich Dong Pagoda - Bich Dong Cave and Tam Coc Cave is 120.000 VND/adult (~ 5,17 USD) and 60.000 VND/child (~ 2.57 $) and the boat fee is 150.000 VND/route (~ $ 6,47).
Dance Cave (Hang Mua)
After passing about 500 steps, you will come to Dance Cave, from here you can see the charming scenery. Take pictures and hunt for beautiful shimmering pictures, looking from above, this land is like a water-color painting. Tickets to visit 100.000 VND/person (~ $ 4,3).

3 - Historic monuments in Ninh Binh Vietnam

The remnant of historical relics is a testament to a period of development of Vietnam in the past such as:
Hanh Cung Vu Lam
This is a military base of the Tran dynasty located on Thanh Nam mountain of Hoa Lu capital. The work shows the ancient architecture, as well as the talent "good martial arts, good literature" of the ancestors.
Tam Diep defense line
This work was built in 1788 to chase away more than 29.000 invaders of the Qing Dynasty and Le Chieu Thong’s parricide team in 1789. The work is a historical proof of patriotism of Vietnamese people from thousands of ages past - present.
Tran Temple
The temple is located in the Trang An relic area and worship for the Quy Minh Royal Highest and Hoang Quy Phi. This place is famous for its beauty and supernatural power.
Hoa Lu ancient capital
Hoa Lu is the capital of Vietnam in the Dinh - Le dynasty that still exists after more than 1.000 years of history. The ancient capital is not only a national-level monument but also reappears in the prosperous period under the Le - Dinh dynasties because of its vastness and magnificence. Tickets cost 20.000 VND/person (~ $ 0,86).

4 - Natural sights 

ninh binh province

(Source: Internet)

The terrain with many black limestone mountains intermingled with canals also bestows Ninh Binh with many famous natural landscapes, recognized by international friends such as:
Trang An
The complex of Trang An scenic area is a harmonious combination of people and nature, mixed with rivers and ripe yellow rice fields, wonderful caves with stalactites and more than 1,000-year-old historical monuments. Entrance fee is 250,000 VND / adult (~ 10.78 USD) and 120,000 VND / child (~ 5.17 $).
Tam Coc - Bich Dong
This place in Ninh Binh Vietnam is compared to HaLong Bay on land by a system of large and small limestone mountains interwoven, on a romantic river. Rowing on the river, visitors will feel like they are lost in the "fairy world".
Tuyet Tinh Coc Valley
With a typical terrain of limestone mountains surrounding a large lake, coming here, visitors can explore the spiritual tourist destination of Am Tien Pagoda, discover Am Tien cave inside the temple grounds. Tickets 20,000 VND / person / one way (~ $ 0.86).

5 - Ecotourism area

ninh binh city in vietnam

(Source: Ninhbinhretreat)

For people who love living close to nature and discover the hidden beauty here, you can visit some of the following ecotourism areas:
Cuc Phuong National Park
This place has a very diverse ecosystem (fauna - flora), with many rare and precious fauna and flora species listed in the red book of Vietnam like delacour's langurs. Especially, after the rainy season, visitors can immerse themselves among thousands of colorful butterflies when coming here.
Thung Nham Bird Park
The park is home to hundreds of birds, storks, cauldrons, green neck ducks, ... At the same time, there are many other interesting places to visit such as: Vai Gioi cave, descendible banyan tree, bird garden, But cave, ...
Van Long Ninh Binh Vietnam Nature Reserve
This is a nature reserve with the largest freshwater wetland area in the North of Vietnam. This place has an extremely diverse wetland ecosystem and limestone mountain ecosystem, and is also home to rare and precious langurs.
Kenh Ga - Van Trinh tourist area
This is a modern eco-tourism area infested with an initial capital of about 30 trillion VND. With typical Karst terrain unique in harmony with the mountains, lakes and lagoons.
Red River Biosphere Reserve
A reserve area recognized by UNESCO as a world reserve area. This place is divided into three distinct regions: the transition zone, the buffer zone and the core zone.

IV - Other necessary information for tourists

1 - Where to stay in Ninh Binh?

where to stay in ninh binh

(Source: Hiddencharmresort)

Many attractions and landscapes increase the demand for accommodation. Therefore, the hotel system for accommodations in this destination is also relatively diverse in terms of both types and prices.
Ninh Binh resorts:
-Hidden Charm Hotel and Resort: 5 * international standard located at No. 9, Tam Coc - Bich Dong tourist center, Tam Coc - Bich Dong street. The resort is equipped with modern rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool.
     Room prices: 1.350.000 - 7.000.000 VND/room - villa/night (~ 58,19 - 301,72 $).
     Phone: 0229 3888 555
     Website: http://hiddencharmresort.com/
-Emeralda Resort: International 5 * standard in Van Long conservation area, Gia Van commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh. The resort possesses a poetic living and resort space together with classy facilities, make sure you will have a great vacation when coming here.
     Room prices: 1.350.000 - 5.000.000 VND/room - villa/night (~ 58,19 - 215,52 $)
     Phone: 0229 3658 333
     Website: http://www.emeraldaresort.com/
Ninh binh hotels:
- Golden Season Hotel: 3 * standard hotel on Nguyen Huu An street, Ninh Binh City center. The  hotel design is simple but still fully equipped.
     Room price : 350.000 - 650.000 VND/room/night (~ 15,08 - 28,2 $).
     Contact phone number: 098 149 35 89 
- Tam Coc Condeluz Boutique Hotel: 3 * standard hotel in Van Lam village, Linh Hai commune, Hoa Lu Ward. This hotel is designed with the dominant blue tone to bring a feeling of freshness and comfort to guests.
     Room prices: 500.000 - 1.200.000 VND/room/night (~ 21,55 - 51,72 $).
     Phone: 093 451 68 55 

See more: Top hotels in Ninh Binh

Ninh binh homestays:
- Trang An River View Homestay: Built according to 4 * standard at 497B Trang An, Truong Yen, Hoa Lu Ward. The homestay architecture is designed in a unique style and close to nature. It has a four-season outdoor swimming pool and a very unique large flower garden.
     Room prices: 370,000 - 650,000 VND / room / night (~ 15.95 - 28.02 $)
     Phone: 098 546 96 08
     Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/thugiang266/
- Tam Coc Luxury Homestay: At Tam Coc, Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu. The homestay is built in a simple style, a one-story house with a unique wooden door and veranda. The interior of the interior also complies with the simple style and is still fully equipped.
     Room prices: 400,000 - 800,000 VND / room / night (~ 17.24 - 34.48 $)
     Phone: 0838 496 862
     Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/tamcocluxuryhomestay/
Ninh Binh Hostel:
- Greenland Ninh Binh Guest Building: Built according to 2 * standards in Ninh Xuan, Hoa Lu. The motel is built with green space with full necessary amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, bar, ...
     Room prices: 260,000 - 330,000 VND / room / night (~ 11.21 - 14.22 $)
     Phone: 0374 692 699

2 - Ninh Binh nightlife

ninh binh nightlife

(Source: Alex Voulgaris)

Although being one of the popular tourist destinations in the North, the nightlife here is still relatively peaceful. At night, this place still retains the quiet space inherent in Vietnamese villages.
While visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant melodies and feel the bustling nightlife in bars or clubs in the downtown of big cities in Ninh Binh, such as:
- Newlife Club: Address: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Ninh Khanh Ward, City center; Contact phone number: 091 554 77 99; Average price from 100,000 - 600,000 VND / item (~ 4.31 - 25.86 $).
- G-Pub: Address: 147 Nguyen Hue, Nam Binh Ward, City center; Phone number: 091 665 11 35; Average price 50,000 - 300,000 VND / item (~ 2.16 - 12.93 $).

3 - Prestigious Ninh Binh travel agency

For first-time tourists who want to receive direct advice from a travel agency, you can contact:
- Ninh Binh Heritage Trading and Tourism Service Limited Company
     Address: No. 11, Lane 81, Le Dai Hanh Street, Thanh Binh Ward, City Centre
     Phone: 093 2292 375
     Website: http://disanninhbinh.com
- Bao Son Travel Agency – Bao Son Group
     Address: 195 Le Hong Phong Street, Dong Thanh Ward, City Centre
     Phone: 0912 751 979

4 - Useful phone numbers

The useful phone numbers that visitors should keep to contact with in case of emergencies such as:
- Ninh Binh’s Provincial Public Security: 0229 3871 097
- Ninh Binh’s Rescue Force: 0299 ​​3871 240
Ninh Binh Department of Health: 0229 3871 099

5 - People also asked

1 - Where is Ninh Binh airport?
There is currently no airport in this province. The nearest one is Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi
2 - Ninh Binh or Halong Bay?
It is really hard to answer this question. It seems impossible to say Ninh Binh or HaLong Bay, which one  is more beautiful. Here are a some comparisons between the two destinations:

 

  Ninh Binh HaLong Bay
Attractions Rice paddy; temple, pagoda; river system, caves; Limestone mountains; Countryside Beach; Cave; Limestone mountains; Fishing village 
What to do here Cycling; River boat tour; Sightseeing Swimming; Diving; Kayak; Take a cruise; Night squid fishing


Thus, it can be seen that Ninh Binh province Vietnam is an attractive tourist destination for international tourists not only by famous landscapes but also by more than 1,000-year-old historical relics. These things have created a beautiful destination in the eyes of international friends. Hopefully, with the information we have just shared, tourists will have an interesting trip here.

Read less
bai dinh pagoda
Source:
VnExpress

NINH BINH “BAI DINH PAGODA”

Bai Dinh pagoda lies within the scenic complex of Trang An in Ninh Binh province, including the original pagoda and the newly built one. The temple complex is located in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, about 18km from Ninh Binh city center and about 100km from Hanoi. ...Read more
U want to share?
tam coc vietnam
Source:
Riccardo Mucelli

NINH BINH “TAM COC”

Tam Coc Vietnam in Ninh Binh – one of the most beautiful and easy places to visit from Hanoi. After exploring the vibrant life of Hanoi, travelers are used to looking for a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle capital city. A short trip to this ancient capital of Vietnam can give you a bunch of wonderful experiences that are beyond what you could have ever imagined ...Read more
U want to share?
Mua cave
Source:
Hangmua

NINH BINH “MUA CAVE”

Mua Cave Ninh Binh Vietnam is located at the foot of Mua Mountain in Khe Dau Ha commune, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province - about 7km from Ninh Binh city and about 80km from Hanoi.  ...Read more
U want to share?
Trang An
Source:
Cozyvietnamtravel

NINH BINH “TRANG AN COMPLEX”

Jumping on a rowing boat, snaking through the incredible emerald submerged water and interconnected waterways, immersing yourself in the stunning evergreen forest and limestone mass are things to do when visiting Trang An Vietnam - a Landscape Complex recognized World Heritage Site in 2014 for its Outstanding Universal Value of Cultural and Natural. ...Read more
U want to share?

TRAVELERS EXPERIENCE

Experience from travelers after a trip to Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country which has a diverse nature, many beautiful landscapes stretching along the direction of the country, and is known to international tourists through the "heroic" stories of the two resistance wars against France and the America. However, that is not all about this country. It can not be missed without mentioning a long-standing culture that will make you impressed by a lot of interesting things. In addition, coming to Vietnam visitors will surely be mesmerized by the rich variety of insanely delicious foods with many globally famous dishes such as Pho soup or Vietnamese bread.  Let's see how impressed international tourists were when having a trip to Vietnam with many unforgettable memories.

ARE YOU INTERESTED
IN VIETNAM?

Please enter email to get further
information for your travel plan

TRAVEL MEMORY

Best memories in Vietnam

Besides nature's beauty, historical relics,.., Vietnamese souvenirs especially handcrafted gifts with unique and catchy processes, also attract tourists a lot. This following article may be the best answer for the question “What souvenir to buy in Vietnam?”