Ninh Binh Travel Guide Tips

Ninh Binh Province is located in the heart of the Red River Delta, 120km south of Hanoi. Ninh Binh is home to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital city of Vietnam in the 10th century; to the fresh beauty of karst formations amid rice paddies at Tam Coc, Thung Nang and Trang An; to Van Long Nature Reserve; to Cuc Phuong National Park; to Kenh Ga Hot-spring; to Bich Dong Cave Pagoda and to the famed Phat Diem Stone Cathedral.

Ninh Binh can be day-tripped from Hanoi. Families can visit Ninh Binh on a 2-day holiday or 3-day holiday from Hanoi. The below you can find the most popular tourist attractions in Ninh Binh.

1/ Van Long Nature Reserve: A visit by rowing boat trip takes 2 hours which takes you through underwater caves through amazing rock mountains. It is possible to spot the world critically endangered species of Delacour’s langurs. There are guest houses, cheap hotels and a luxury resort at Van Long. Van Long is 90km south of Hanoi via Route 1.

Van Long Nature Reserve - Ninh Binh - Vietnam
Van Long Nature Reserve - Ninh Binh - Vietnam

2/ Kenh Ga Hotspring is 10km west of Van Long. Visiting you can have some relaxing time soaking hot mineral water or mud-bathing. Alternatively you can have a trip on a motor boat for 1 hour on the Kenh Ga River flanked by amazing rock mountains.

3/ Cuc Phuong National Park
The national park is 45km west of the Van Long Nature Reserve. This is the first established national park in Vietnam with forest on limestone mountains, wildlife… A visit of Cuc Phuong takes from half a day to 2 full days.

Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park

4/ Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu was the the capital of Vietnam in the 10th century C.E before it was moved to Hanoi. Hoa Lu is 45km southeast of Cuc Phuong National Park, 12km northwest of Ninh Binh City. Hoa Lu is surrounded by limestone mountains. Visiting the 2 temples of Dinh – Le dedicated to the two Royal Families of Vietnam in the 10th century takes 1 hour 30 minutes. You can climb to the top of the Ma Yen Mountain to get splendid panoramic views of the breathtaking countryside which should takes 1 more hour.

Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh - Vietnam
Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh - Vietnam

5/ Trang An Scenic Landscape
The site is 5km south of Hoa Lu with rivers, forest, limestone mountains, enclosed valleys,… Visiting Trang An, you’ll have to take a rowing boat trip for 3 hours. During the trip you will travel through underwater caves, forests,… There are temples built on rock-cliffs at Trang An that you can can get off the boat for visiting.

Trang An - Ninh Binh - Vietnam
Trang An - Ninh Binh - Vietnam

6/ Tam Coc
Tam Coc is 8km south of Trang An, 13km south of Hoa Lu, 8km southwest of Ninh Binh City. Tam Coc includes rivers which runs through limestone mountains and which is flanked by rice fields. There are enclosed valleys at Tam Coc. A rowing boat trip at Tam Coc takes 2 hours.

Tam Coc - Ninh Binh - Vietnam
Tam Coc - Ninh Binh - Vietnam

7/ Thai Vi Temple
The Thai Vi Temple is at Tam Coc. The temple was where a Tran King retired after leaving the throne to his successor. The temple is surrounded by limestone mountains and rice fields.

8/ Hang Mua
The site is at Tam Coc and it was where the retired King enjoyed entertainment. There are steps leading to the top of the mountain which offers amazing views of the countryside.

A view of Tam Coc from Hang Mua
A view of Tam Coc from Hang Mua

9/ Thung Nang
Thung Nang is another enclosed area with limestone mountains, rivers, wild moors...next to Tam Coc. A visit of Thung Nang by rowing boat trip takes 2 hours.

Thung Nang - Ninh Binh - Vietnam
Thung Nang - Ninh Binh - Vietnam

10/ Bich Dong Pagoda
A 15th century pagoda built into limestone mountain cliff. Climbing through the cave, you’ll get to the top of the mountain with amazing views of the surrounding.