Guides & Tips

Discovering Ninh Binh: Vietnam’s Hidden Gem

Mai Anh
3 min. to read

As travelers embark on a journey to explore Ninh Binh, they step into a realm where time seems to slow down, allowing for immersive experiences and unforgettable adventures. With its minimal tourism, Ninh Binh offers a rare opportunity to connect with authentic Vietnamese life and traditions. Join Sun Getaways Travel! as we embark on a journey to discover the hidden wonders of Ninh Binh, Vietnam’s best-kept secret.

Table of contents

1. Ninh Binh Overview

2. Practical Guide for Your Ninh Binh Journey

3. Crafting Your Ninh Binh Adventure

1. Ninh Binh Overview

Located approximately 93 kilometers south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh has gained international recognition as a primary filming location for the renowned Hollywood movie, “Kong: Skull Island”. Renowned for its striking limestone karsts, ancient temples, expansive rice paddies, and diverse tourist attractions, Ninh Binh has become a focal point for foreign travelers and the international tourism market.

Ninh Binh Beautiful

The province of Ninh Binh boasts a rich and varied tourist potential, with numerous world heritage sites dotting its landscape. From the breathtaking beauty of Tam Coc-Bich Dong and the Trang An tourism complex to the grandeur of Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda in Vietnam, and the natural wonders of Cuc Phuong National Park and Van Long Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh offers a wealth of experiences for tourists to explore. Additionally, historical sites like Hoa Lu Ancient Temple further enrich the cultural tapestry of the region, making Ninh Binh an enticing destination for travelers from around the globe.

Best time to visit Ninh Binh: Ninh Binh welcomes visitors year-round, but it’s advisable to avoid the rainy and stormy months of August and September.

  • The peak season falls between February and March, ideal for festival enthusiasts and pilgrims keen to explore Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex and local pagodas after the Tet holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). During this period, a multitude of traditional, cultural, and ritual activities are organized, attracting visitors from across Vietnam and abroad to pray for good fortune and admire the natural scenery.
  • Conversely, early May to June is perfect for exploring Hoa Lu, Vietnam’s first capital, and Tam Coc, renowned for its historical monuments and picturesque rice fields during harvest season. June is particularly delightful for flower enthusiasts, with vibrant displays of lotus and water lilies adorning the scenic backdrop of nature.

2. Practical Guide for Your Ho Chi Minh City Journey

Before embarking on your own journey, it’s essential to equip yourself with some key pieces of information from our Ninh Binh travel guide. These insights will help ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip, allowing you to make the most of your time exploring this vibrant metropolis.

How to get around 

In our Ninh Binh travel guide, we offer three convenient options for exploring and navigating the city:

  1. Ninh Binh’s extensive bus network operates from early morning to late at night, covering virtually every corner of the city with air-conditioned comfort, a welcome relief during the hot summers. Intercity buses also connect to nearby attractions like Tam Coc and Van Long Nature Reserve.
  2. Renting a motorbike is also a popular choice for travelers wanting to explore Ninh Binh independently. This allows travelers to easily navigate from one point to another, discover interesting attractions, and enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery in a flexible and convenient way.
  3. For those seeking door-to-door convenience, taxis are readily available around the clock, offering reliable service at affordable rates. While some companies may require upfront payment, travelers can navigate Ninh Binh’s attractions with ease using these varied transportation options.

Insider Recommendations for 5 Reasons Why You Must Visit Ninh Binh !!!

3. Crafting Your Ninh Binh Adventure

Cruise on a paddleboat tour in Trang An or Tam Coc

To explore some of Ninh Binh’s most captivating landscapes, taking a boat ride is a must. Whether in Trang An or Tam Coc, embarking on a paddleboat tour is an essential Ninh Binh experience. Accompanied by your own boatman or woman, you’ll glide along the tranquil waters, passing beneath towering karst formations draped in lush jungle. Along the journey, the boats pause at temples and navigate through enchanting grottoes, offering a serene and immersive experience.

peaceful river

Go temple trekking at Bich Dong Pagoda

Nestled at the base of a grand mountain, the ornate entrance of Bich Dong Pagoda stands as one of Ninh Binh’s most iconic landmarks. Spanning a vast lotus pond, a stone bridge leads to the pagoda, adorned with vibrant pink blossoms during the summer months. Beyond the gate lies a serene courtyard and a traditional Buddhist temple. Ascend the stairs winding around the mountain to behold breathtaking vistas, and discover two additional temples nestled within the rugged terrain, dating back to the 18th century.

checkin Hoa Lu Ninh Binh

Taste the local specialities

During your time in Ninh Binh, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the province’s signature culinary delights: com chay and de tai chanh.

Com chay, a crispy fried rice crust, is enjoyed as a delightful snack or paired with a hearty stew for dipping.

De tai chanh, crafted from goat meat – Ninh Binh’s prized protein – is delicately marinated in lemon juice and complemented with chilies, lime leaves, and sesame seeds.

Com chay and De tai chanh

Stroll through Hoa Lu Ancient Village

If the ancient walls of Hoa Lu could speak, one can only imagine the tales they would tell. Situated a mere 20-minute drive from the Trang An area, this historic site holds the distinction of being Vietnam’s inaugural capital city. Flourishing during the 10th and 11th centuries, Hoa Lu thrived amidst its karst landscape, which provided natural defense against invaders. Today, visitors can wander through the remnants of the old citadel, where atmospheric structures still stand. The compound’s slanted arches, intertwined banyan trees, and undulating brick courtyards evoke a sense of journeying back through time, offering a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich historical legacy.

Hoa Lu Ancient

Conquer the top of Mua Cave

Mua Cave viewpoint sits atop a steep mountain, requiring a climb of 500 steps and a 200,000 VND ticket. However, the panoramic views make it well worth the effort. At the summit, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking 360-degree vista of the Tam Coc valley. Though occasionally shrouded in mist, wait patiently for it to dissipate, and you’ll be enchanted by the picturesque patchwork of lush rice fields and meandering rivers winding their way around the ancient karst formations below.

Ninh Binh Mua Cave

Mua Cave

Wander the Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda stands as an expansive complex, proudly holding the title of the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. Revered as a significant pilgrimage site for Vietnamese Buddhists, it draws crowds, particularly during Buddhist festivities. Exploring the entire compound demands ample time. Prepare to be mesmerized by the multitude of Buddha statues, intricately crafted bells, and a towering 13-story watchtower, providing panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Go for a hike in Cuc Phuong National Park

Situated just an hour’s drive from Ninh Binh City, Cuc Phuong stands as one of Vietnam’s oldest national parks. Entrance to this natural haven costs a mere 20,000 VND. Once inside, visitors can explore various attractions, including rehabilitation centers for reptiles and primates, as well as trails leading to clusters of ancient trees, some exceeding 1,000 years in age. Allocate half a day for a revitalizing trek through the forest, followed by a well-deserved local lunch within the park’s serene surroundings.

Night tour in Cuc Phuong National Park

Explore the Van Long Wetlands

Nestled beneath the towering presence of a colossal limestone mountain, the Van Long Wetlands exude an enchanting aura of marshy tranquility. This captivating reserve holds immense appeal for bird enthusiasts, boasting a diverse array of avian inhabitants. Embark on a boat tour to uncover the secluded landscapes of this serene sanctuary, offering a unique and privileged glimpse into its natural wonders.

Van Long Nature Reserve

In Ninh Binh, nature’s whispers echo through mystical landscapes of towering limestone mountains and winding rivers. As the sun sets, casting an ethereal glow, visitors are transported to a realm where time seems to stand still. Explore this mystical land to rediscover the profound connection between humanity and the natural world. Feel free to reach out to Sun Getaways Travel for your Ninh Binh trip or explore the available packages listed below:

Tour Information Offer

    See related Posted

    Guides & Tips

    Trekking Through Vietnam: 5 Epic Hikes for Adventure Enthusiasts

    Mai Anh
    3 min. to read

    Exploring Vietnam’s hiking trails remains a niche segment within the tourist industry. In contrast…

    Guides & Tips

    Effortless Exploration: 5 Best Ways to Get Around Vietnam

    Mai Anh
    3 min. to read

    Vietnam presents travelers with a varied array of transportation choices. Accessing Vietnam is hassle-free,…

    Guides & Tips

    Planning Your Vietnam Adventure: Finding the Ideal Time to Go

    Mai Anh
    3 min. to read

    “As the climate varies so much from north to south, there will always be…

    Guides & Tips

    Vietnam Sleeper Buses: Costs, Advice, and Tips

    Mai Anh
    3 min. to read

    Embarking on a journey through Vietnam on sleeper buses offers a unique and adventurous…

    Guides & Tips

    Money in Vietnam: Values, Exchange Rates, Significance

    Mai Anh
    3 min. to read

    Vietnam exclusively uses its national currency, the Vietnamese Dong (abbreviated as VND), and does…