Ninh Binh is an extremely traveller friendly, diverse and stunning destination to visit on the tours of Vietnam. It is an amazingly scenic place that has plenty of interesting things to see and do.
Here are a few of the top reasons to drop everything and visit Ninh Binh:
Ninh Binh is well appreciated for the natural beauty of its countryside that consists of karst scenery that is often described as Halong Bay on land. The nearby karst scenery is made up of hundreds of dense green topped limestone monoliths that rise up from the ground. They appear throughout the region with caves formed in many and rivers flowing through others. The majority of the mountainous terrain is found in the north-west and west, while the south and east has the coastal areas. A complete tour of the province on the Vietnam travel package is certain to give nearly everything a tourist would hope to see.
Ninh Binh is well located and easy to reach for travellers that started their journey in Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi. The travel distance is in the region of 95 km which takes approx 2-3 hours to complete. It can make a useful stop for tourists planning to travel the length of the country from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Also, it is relatively easy to reach from several of the popular tourist spots such as Halong Bay. Plus, there are several bus routes that leave from Ninh Binh to travel to other nearby cities.
Plenty of options for day trips
If you arrive at Ninh Binh at a very early hour, there are plenty of opportunities to sign up for one or more day trips which can include the nearby pagodas, Trang An and Tam Coc. Also, there are places like the stunning Gothic Phat Diem Cathedral, which is a journey time of about 40 minutes from the city centre.
While it can benefit to stay in Ninh Binh for longer than 24-hours, for travellers with limited spare time on the travel schedule, there is the option to travel to this city as a day trip from Halong Bay or Hanoi.
Very affordable accommodation
Ninh Binh continues to grow as a tourist destination, so the ability to find the most desirable accommodation can be difficult at times, especially when it is particularly busy. The places to stay include homestays, hostels and hotels. The cheapest prices in the hostels can start at $8 per night.
Trang is a stunning complex of caves and mountains that is only explored on a boat trip. The entire region has a very serene outlook that is entirely surrounded by rich-green nature and many beautiful religious structures. There is plenty to see on a boat trip, including up to eight cave systems. It is best to start the tour very early in the day – about 7AM – to get the most out of the experience.
Similar to Trang An, it is best to arrive in Tam Coc early in the day to miss most of the heavy influx of tourists. Tam Coc is best enjoyed by trekking or biking around the area which gives access to its impressive rice fields and limestone mountains, as well as pagodas, caves and rivers.
Van Long Nature Reserve
The Van Long Nature Reserve is a further destination of natural beauty that can be compared to Trang An and Tam Coc. However, this reserve is located further away from the city which means it gets a lot less tourist attention. You get to fully appreciate the tranquillity and peaceful scenery in the most real way possible.
Explore cave systems
Vietnam has plenty of cave systems that are artificial or naturally formed inside the limestone mountains. Any boat tour of Trang An can include exploring the caves with eight in this region that can be toured in the boat. However, the caves don't give much head room with plenty of rock formations that are low and pointy. So, it is necessary to be cautious when making your way through some of the cave systems.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park is one of the oldest conservation areas in the country and appreciated for its all-round biodiversity. It is rich in flora and fauna of all types and makes a great destination for a day-trip from Hanoi. To fully appreciate the beauty of this park, the best time to visit is November to February which is the region's dry season.
Travel within the park is possible by bicycle, motorbike or on foot. If you want to see the local wildlife, the bicycle is the quietest and most environmentally friendly option. Also, one you arrive at the centre of Cuc Phuong National Park there are plenty of trekking trails that are easily completed by most tourists on the family tours in Vietnam.
Ninh Binh has plenty of pagodas that are worth visiting with several nestled in the mountains of Trang An and Tam Coc. Bich Dong and Bai Dinh are likely to be the most visited. A tour of the Bai Dinh pagoda makes is possible to see the largest pagoda of its type in SE Asia (total area of 539 hectares), while Bich Dong stands at a height of three storeys and built into the side of a cave. Beyond admiring the pagoda architecture, there are also several caves and grottoes nearby that are great to visit.
Hang Mua Peak
Hang Mua Peak is an absolute must see attraction for visitors to Ninh Binh. After climbing the 400/500 steps to arrive at the top, you will get a perfect elevated view of the entire surrounding area which is superb for taking the most stunning shots on the Vietnam holiday.