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Friday, July 1, 2022

A weekend nature retreat in Ninh Binh

A paddleboat tour amid limestone karst mountains, a climb up Mua Cave and the world’s largest inhabitants of Delacour’s langurs are among the many points of interest Ninh Binh has to supply.


One of the best time to go to the northern Ninh Binh Province is between Could and July, which coincides with the rice and the lotus seasons.


Tam Coc-Bich Dong, a posh of limestone karst mountains rising out of water, caves and Buddhist pagodas, has emerged as a vacationer magnet with locals incomes a residing by rowing their boats with guests by way of rice fields on the Ngo Dong River.

Vacationers take a ship tour alongside Ngo Dong River in Tam Coc, June 2022. Picture by Hoang Duong

Could-July is the rice harvest season in Tam Coc with ripened rice paddies dyed in golden yellow stretching alongside each side of the river making it supreme for a two-hour boat tour.

It prices VND120,000 ($5) per individual for a sightseeing ticket in Tam Coc and VND150,000 for the boat journey which requires a minimum of 4 passengers for a visit.

The excursions can be found from 8 a.m. to six p.m. day by day.

Guests are suggested to hold water, hats and umbrellas to guard from the brilliant solar.

Michael, an American vacationer, who visited Tam Coc final month, stated native ladies carrying conical hats carry passengers on small bamboo boats.

“Alongside the way in which, in addition they tried to promote embroidered items to us. Rowing with their fingers for lengthy hours can result in extreme again ache, and so they’re additionally good at rowing with their toes,” he instructed VnExpress Worldwide.

Bich Dong pagoda advanced

One of many highlights of the cruise is a go to to the Bich Dong pagoda advanced, which might solely be reached by boat.

It was inbuilt 1428 through the reign of King Ly Thai To on the Truong Yen limestone mountains.

The pagoda is product of wooden and stone and has brick tiled roofs.

The doorway gate of Bich Dong Pagoda hidden amid a big mountain. Picture by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran

After getting off the boat, vacationers stroll by way of a stone bridge spanning a big lotus pond, which explodes with brilliant pink blossoms in summer time.

Past a gate is a tranquil courtyard and three different historical temples hidden on the foot of a giant mountain.

Like many different Buddhist websites, Bich Dong Pagoda has a gown code that requires guests to cowl their shoulders and knees.

Dangle Mua

In Tam Coc, a spot that shouldn’t be missed is Dangle Mua (Dancing Cave), dubbed Vietnam’s miniature Nice Wall of China.

Dangle Mua (Dancing Cave) is seen from above. Picture by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran

Legend has it that King Tran Thai Tong, who reigned from 1225 to 1258, ordered the development of the Thai Vi Temple, and sometimes visited the place to take pleasure in dancing and singing, and therefore the identify Dancing Cave.

Guests can stroll up 500 white stone steps to the highest of the mountain. On each side of the steps are handrails elaborately adorned with the dragon or phoenix symbols of the Tran Dynasty.

The highest provides spectacular views of Tam Coc with its yellow paddy fields under.

From the highest of Dangle Mua, guests can see yellow rice paddies under. Picture by Quynh Trang

A ticket for a sightseeing tour of Dangle Mua prices VND120,000.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The Bai Dinh pagoda advanced spreads over 1,700 hectares and has an enormous gold-plated bronze Buddha statue and Arhat hall.

Bai Dinh is among the oldest pagodas in Ninh Binh. Picture by Minh Phung

Some 500 craftsmen and teams of employees from well-known conventional craft villages in northern Vietnam used conventional supplies resembling inexperienced stone and ceramic tiles from Bat Trang village to create Vietnamese architectural options on the pagoda.

It takes a number of time to go to the entire website, and it’s a good suggestion to climb aboard an electrical shuttle bus that prices VND80,000 for a two-way ticket to go round and go to a tower inside the pagoda advanced.

Cuc Phuong Nationwide Park

Solely an hour away from downtown Ninh Binh is Cuc Phuong nationwide park, a well-liked tenting spot.

The nation’s first nationwide park has tropical forests, 1000-year-old timber, and intensely wealthy and various natural world, particularly the black and white douc langur, the image of Cuc Phuong.

Cuc Phuong Nationwide Park in Ninh Binh Province. Picture by Kieu Duong

Along with trekking, biking and tenting, guests can even go on a wildlife watching tour at night time to look at animals that come out to feed and kayaking on Yen Quang Lake.

Cuc Phuong is house to the Muong ethnic minority folks, who dwell in stilt homes and are masters of brocade weaving.

It’s not a nasty thought to hold hats, trekking sneakers, medicines, food and drinks, and binoculars for sightseeing.

Van Lengthy reserve

Journey bloggers have stated a ship journey round Van Lengthy wetland nature reserve, well-known for showing in Hollywood film “Kong: Cranium Island,” is a must-try expertise with native males appearing as tour guides.

Van Lengthy Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh. Picture by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran

Costing VND60,000 ($2.58) per individual for a most two passengers per boat, the journey takes round one hour by way of karst limestone mountains and sumptuous caves.

From the boat you possibly can watch birds resembling kingfishers, herons and storks and even see a really uncommon monkey, the Delacour’s langur, if you’re fortunate.

Overseas vacationers in Van Lengthy Lagoon, Ninh Binh Province. Picture by VnExpress/Le Bich


Goat meat is a specialty in Ninh Binh. Whereas goats might be discovered in every single place within the nation, they’re stated to be particular in Ninh Binh with the firmest meat as a result of they graze on meadows atop mountains.

Some locations to strive the meat are Hoang Giang Restaurant, Dangle Ca Mountain in Truong Yen District, and Hoang Lengthy Restaurant on Trang An Road, and 446 Nguyen Hue Road.

Eel vermicelli is one other well-known dish in Ninh Binh. Once more the dish right here is very beneficial by journey bloggers because it comes with broth comprised of stewed bones. The eels are aromatic and yellow after being combined with purple chili, onion, pepper and fish sauce and fried in sizzling oil.

You may do this dish at 999 Tran Hung Dao Road.

Com chay (rice crackers) is a crispy dish made by burning rice with onion, dried pork and handmade sauce.

Thang Lengthy, Duc De and De Quy eating places are the preferred locations for this dish.

Different dishes that carry the distinctive flavors of the northern delta, like bitter soup with fish, cellophane noodles served with eel and discipline crab roasted in betel leaf are different wonderful culinary choices in Ninh Binh.

Ignored by international vacationers for years, Ninh Binh discovered its identify on the worldwide tourism map after “Kong: Cranium Island” was shot there in 2016, and in response to the tourism growth since, locals have developed homestays.

Some locations for funds vacationers are Chezbeo Homestay, Ninh Binh Valley Homestay, Tam Coc Homestay, Ninh Binh Panorama Homestay, Nguyen Shack Homestay, Ninh Binh Greenland Homestay, Ninh Binh Household Homestay, and Ninh Binh Mountain View Homestay.

Ninh Binh Valley Homestay. Picture courtesy of the homestay

Most of them are set amidst inexperienced paddy fields and lotus ponds.

Extra upmarket lodging contains Toki Cottage, An’s Eco Backyard, Bai Dinh Backyard Resort, Tam Coc Backyard Boutique Resort, and Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort at costs ranging from VND1 million an evening.


In Hanoi, you possibly can take a bus from Giap Bat station to Ninh Binh for the two-hour journey with tickets costing VND100,000 – 150,000.

Taking a practice from Hanoi to Ninh Binh just isn’t a nasty choice for having fun with the beautiful panorama alongside the way in which. The journey takes roughly 2.5 hours with the fares beginning at VND70,000 and the earliest practice leaving at 6 a.m.

You may as well go for a motorcycle journey. In that case, from downtown Hanoi observe Giai Phong Road and switch into the Phap Van-Cau Gie Nationwide Freeway and go down the Cau Gie-Phu Ly street to achieve Ninh Binh.

Ngo Dong River is seen from above. Picture by Giang Huy

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