Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Ninh Binh
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If you want to see every beauty of Vietnam in one place, Ninh Binh is an ideal tourist destination for you. Joining Ninh Binh Tours, you will contemplate the richness of culture, history, traditions as well as remarkable nature in the region. Today, we will show you all of that in details so that you can decide where to visit in this kingdom of tourism.
1. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
No tourist traveling to Ninh Binh would want to miss Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. This shows that this place is one of the most important sites in the region. Hoa Lu was the capital of 3 Vietnam dynasties in the past (Dinh, Le, Ly) so all the relics from more than 1000 years ago situated in this location.
The Ancient Gate
People who love the architecture in the distant past will instantly enjoy the ancient capital of Vietnam. Many ancient temples located in Hoa Lu including King Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, King Le Dai Hanh Temple, Princess Phat Kim Temple built with the amazing ancient style of thousand years ago.
Dinh Tien Hoang Temple
Aside from that, local also created their own buildings to worship those kings in the village featuring the architecture of the communal house. You can easily reach these sites by entering Truong Yen villages.
Hoa Lu was greatly influenced by Buddhism and had slowly become the center of Buddhist in Vietnam. Therefore, there are a lot of pagodas in this region, which based on the ancient pagoda style in the past. Moreover, some pagodas were built inside, outside the limestone mountains. Not only that, numerous shrines, palaces, tombs are waiting for you to explore.
♥ Book Now: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital & Tam Coc Tour ♥
Le Dai Hanh Temple
2. Trang An Landscape Complex
There are so many reasons why Trang An Complex Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and why it receives a great number of tourists every year. This destination contains not only Geological and value, aesthetic value but also cultural value.
You will quickly notice the magnificent karst tower surrounding in the region, which considered to be the most beautiful and charming ones in the world. Along with vast forests, mountain ranges and blue sky, the landscape of Trang An is the harmony between earth, sky, and water.
Traveling by boat, visitors will arrive in various pagoda lies beneath the limestone mountains and cross many mysterious caves. It is a perfect place for photographers to capture the utmost beauty of this region.
» Consider our Tour to Trang An & Bai Dinh Pagoda to explore the best of these sites now «
Beautiful and Wild Nature
3. Cuc Phuong National Park
Considered as one of the top 10 National Parks in Vietnam, Cuc Phuong is the best choice for nature lovers during their travel to Ninh Binh. This is the first Vietnam National Park with a diverse ecosystem. It is possible to trek in the jungle and explore the rich flora in Cuc Phuong with some trees dated back to more than a thousand years ago. Moreover, this place is home of some rarest species in animal kingdom like Owston's palm civet, Delacour's lutung.
Traveling on Rafts
Tourists may find many charming waterfalls, stream and the well-known Yen Quang Lake on the way. Interestingly, there are many primitive caves in Cuc Phuong in which Prehistoric man lived in. Some of them have impressive rock formations and a wide variety of fauna and flora inside. You can easily book a Tour to Cuc Phuong National Park to discover the wildlife there.
Ancient Tree in Cuc Phuong National Park
4. Thung Nham Bird Garden
As one of the most popular ecotourism sites in Vietnam, Thung Nham will bring you the unforgettable moments in your life. From your way to Thung Nham, you will travel through the magnificent scene of karst tower and limestone mountains either trekking to a small yard or by wooden boat.
Contemplating the Bird Garden
If you travel on foot, you will venture into the deep forest and arrive in a small yard where you will contemplate the scene on high viewpoint. Here, you can both see the bird garden and remarkable surroundings in Thung Nham. Otherwise, traveling by boat will allow tourist to view the bird up-close and it will be a wonderful chance to take pictures of exotic birds (painted stork, flamingos).
Watching the Bird Up-close
Additionally, several caves are available nearby such as But Cave, Vai Gioi Cave, Thuy Cung Cave. Each has different features, characteristics or even stories behind the name.
5. Tam Coc
Another adventurous location in Ninh Binh is Tam Coc, a cave system including limestone mountains. The main mean of transportation here is by boat trip through the caves and rivers. You will explore the Three Caves (Tam Coc) consisting of Ca Cave, Hai Cave and Ba Cave in which tourist can easily find strange stalactite formations. The color of the rice fields on the side of the landscape changes depending on the season of the year. You may encounter local boats selling embroidered and other products to tourists.
Touring Through Cave
On your trip, it is also possible to visit Thai Vi Pagoda where worshiped King Tran Thai Tong, Tran Nhan Tong, General Tran Hung Dao Trang Quang Khai and Queen Tran Thi Dung.
Pagoda on the Way
6. Bich Dong
You will arrive in an outstanding pagoda complex called Bich Dong, only 2km from Tam Coc, after trekking for a while. The pagoda lies on the mountain which is the typical style of architecture in the ancient capital. The combination of nature (mountains, rivers, stream) and human creation ( Bich Dong) create the unique beauty of Bich Dong.
A Pagoda Complex in the Limestone Mountain
Bich Dong has three pagodas arranged by the ascending position of Bich Dong Mountain. The lowest one at the foot of the mountain is Ha Pagoda (Lower Pagoda), next is Trung Pagoda (Middle Pagoda) and on the top is Thuong Pagoda (Upper Pagoda). Three pagodas have differences allowing visitors to distinguish one from another. It is always great to reach Thuong Pagoda to contemplate the whole view of Bich Dong. Afterward, you should wander around and buy souvenirs for your friends and relatives.
7. Thung Nang
Local named this place Thung Nang because as the name suggests, Thung Nang is the valley of sunshine. As you travel 3 km from the dock in Tam Coc, you will travel on the river with breathtaking scenes of rice fields on the side, especially in harvesting time. Tourists may feel like they are in the middle of heaven and earth.
Rice Fields on the Side of the River
Nonetheless, the true beauty of Thung Nang is the wilderness and untouched environment which brings total relaxation to travelers. Lucky visitors may have a chance to take some photos of monkeys playing on the way. If you prefer a more pristine location, then do not miss the valley of sunshine.
» You May Like: Combined Trip: Ninh Binh, Mai Chau & Halong Bay «
8. Phat Diem Cathedral
However, Ninh Binh features the ancient Vietnam architecture especially the special “eclectic architectural style” featuring Phat Diem Cathedral. When visiting this destination, you will quickly notice a church with the Vietnamese pagoda roof. Father Six, the founder of Phat Diem, wanted to make a symbol of unity between Catholicism and the traditional architecture; Catholicism with other religion in Vietnam.
Unique Architecture in Vietnam
The Cathedral consists of a lake, one big church, five smaller ones, a bell house (Phuong Dinh), and three man-made caves. You will see a big lake which has a Jesus Christ statue in the middle when you travel on the main path to the cathedral. Next, there is a three-story bell house (Phuong Dinh) in which a large drum and bell on the second and third floor respectively.
The Inside of the Church
The main church is about 200 feet long and 60 feet wide supported by 52 pillars. Notable scenes here are the Vietnamese paintings of angels and the interior wall decorated by Eastern signatures such as dragons, phoenixes.
9. Van Long Nature Reserve
If Cuc Phuong Nature Reserve is a wonderful location for adventurers, then Van Long Nature Reserve allows tourists to relax and contemplate the beauty of nature. Traveling by boat, you will be overwhelmed by limestone mountain ranges, the vast river, and Van Long forest. Known as the “bay without wave”, It will definitely a pleasant trip in this wetland.
Watching the Bird Hunting
This nature reserve not only has magnificent landscape but also various animal and plant species which makes Van Long an ideal destination to explore Vietnam ecosystem. There are about 12 rare animals in Van Long nature reserve, some of which can be spotted on your trip like Delacour's langur. You can encounter a huge number of birds in this area, including grey heron, pheasants, pond heron and Bonelli's eagle (if you are super lucky).
Rare Delacour's langur
10. Kim Son Sedge Fine-Arts
It may be a shame if you travel to Vietnam and only learn about architecture and history without the local themselves. Therefore, we recommended you to at least once arrive in Kim Son Sedge Village and discover the unique sedge weaving in this region. From a wasteland, the local has made use of a special plant, sedge, and turned it into a traditional art.
Traditional Sedge of Vietnam
Here, you will have the chance to see the peaceful village in the countryside of Vietnam and find out the secrets behind excellent sedge products. Through the skillful and flexible hands of the weaver, various products in different size and shape can be created especially sedge mat. This is also a perfect place to buy a traditional souvenir like wine gourd, jewel-cases, lanterns, handbags for your family with cheap price.
Other Remarkable Products
After reading this article, Excursion Vietnam hopes that you will have some great ideas of where to go in Ninh Binh. To get more experiences and useful tips for your travel, please feel free to consider our Ninh Binh Travel Guide