VietNam Travel

Top 7+ places to visit in Ninh Binh: exploring the “authentic” Ninh Binh

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Ninh Binh is a province in northern Vietnam that offers a variety of natural and cultural attractions. If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Ninh Binh is a perfect choice. Here are top 7+ the best places to visit in Ninh Binh, that you must see.

Top 7+ ideal places to visit in Ninh Binh that may need to “check-in”

1. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex – A UNESCO World Heritage site 

  • Location: Trang An, Ninh Binh, Vietnam
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 6:30 to 17:00
  • Entrance Ticket: VND 120,000 – 250,000

Vietnam’s Ninh Binh province is home to the eco-tourism destination known as Trang An Grottoes and Scenic Landscape Complex. The Vietnamese government has designated this location as a very significant national monument, and since 2014, UNESCO has recognized it as a dual world heritage site (Cultural and Natural Heritage). It is a charming and fantastically well-known tourist destination in Vietnam.



  • Enjoy the cultural space: Trinh temple, Tran Ninh Binh temple, Tu Tru temple, Cao Son temple, Suoi Tien temple, Vu Lam palace, Phu Khong
  • Explore mysterious caves: spiritual cave, light cave – dark cave
  • Enjoy delicious specialties: scorched rice, mountain goat, ant egg sticky rice, eel vermicelli, mountain snails.
  • If you go in the summer, you should prepare a conical hat and sunscreen; If you go in the rainy season, bring a thin raincoat to avoid affecting your tour.
  • The water in Trang An is quite deep and the tour is mainly by boat, so remember to rent a life jacket. Also, don’t forget to prepare enough drinking water for your journey.
  • Before shopping, you should ask the price carefully to avoid being ripped off.
  • When visiting Trang An, if you want to stop to take pictures, talk to the boatman and they will stop to let you take pictures.
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex - A UNESCO World Heritage site
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex – A UNESCO World Heritage site

From January to March of the lunar calendar is the best time for you to travel to Trang An. At this time, the weather is not too cold, the sky is clear and there is little rain, so it is quite convenient for sitting on a boat and visiting scenic spots. This season is also the season when many festivals take place here. You can combine sightseeing with participating in festivals or going to pagodas to pray for peace.

If you go in July – September, Trang An is now in the ripe rice season. For those who like to watch the golden rice fields on the boat, this time cannot be missed. In June, the weather is a bit hot but the sky is clear and there is little rain. In addition, this is the time when the lotus blooming season is also very suitable for sightseeing. November and December have bad weather and lots of rain, so you should avoid traveling to Trang An at this time.

2. Mua Cave – a popular hiking spot

  • Location: Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province
  • Opening Hours: 6.00 am – 7.00 pm (can vary in Vietnamese National holidays)
  • Entrance Fee: VND 100.000/ ticket

Given the diversity of its cultural and natural heritages, Ninh Binh is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Vietnam. Mua Caves is one of these cultural treasures that stands out for its exquisite natural beauty. Mua Cave has been referred to as “The Great Wall of Vietnam” or “Tam Coc’s Muse” because of this. This is also regarded as Ninh Binh, Vietnam’s most picturesque vista. It is not simple to climb the 486 stone stairs to the summit, but once you do, you will go to the summit of Mua Cave and take in the breathtaking landscape from the viewpoint.

Mua Cave - a popular hiking spot 
Mua Cave – a popular hiking spot


  • Enjoy stunning view from Mua Caves
  • Hike to “Check-in” Tower
  • “Hunting” sunrise and sunset at Mua Cave
  • Sportswear and footwear are strongly advised. 
  • Don’t forget to bring water in case you get thirsty. 
  • Avoid being stuck in a tourist mob by visiting Mua Cave early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • You can use your mode of transportation to get to the complex’s gate because the entrance cost includes parking. Parking them before getting to the gate is not recommended because it will cost you money and take you longer to get there

Mid-April to early June is the ideal time to visit Mua Cave in Ninh Binh as this is when the locals harvest their rice and the weather is more pleasant. The rice fields are relatively green in April, but as they grow from the end of May to the start of June, they turn yellow. Although Mua Cave Scenic Area is open all year round and is always impressive, try to avoid September because of the possibility of typhoons.

3. Cuc Phuong National Park – Vietnam’s first national park

  • Location: Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening Hours: Every day 6.00am – 10.00pm
  • Entrance Fee: 50k / ticket and 60k if you visit primate center

Located in Ninh Binh Province, 120 km southwest of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong National Park is home to the 22,200 hectare rainforest-covered. This national park, one of the easiest to get to in the nation, serves as the focal point of Vietnam’s conservation efforts.



  • Diversified flora-fauna of Cuc Phuong National Park
  • Cultural value of Cuc Phuong National Park
  • Magnificent limestone and landscape
  • Entertainment activities in Cuc Phuong National Park: trekking, kayaking, traditional music performance, amphibians, insects and reptiles spotting, cycling, bird watching, wildlife night-spotting, caves.
  • You should book a day trip for trekking and visiting the park through a travel agency. 
  • Do not forget to bring the binoculars with you
  • Night camping requires the help of a guide from the park and the locals, including watching wildlife at night. Camping equipment must be rented in Hanoi.
  • Park staff can deliver maps, but a guide is recommended for day trips and mandatory for longer trips.
Cuc Phuong National Park - Vietnam's first national park
Cuc Phuong National Park – Vietnam’s first national park

Although this is also the busiest season, October to January is the perfect time to go for a stroll in Cuc Phuong National Park because that is when the leeches and mosquitoes rest. The months of February and March are when flowers are at their peak, while April and May are when you may take in the “butterfly festival,” when tens of thousands of butterflies adorn the woodland.

4. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – the former capital of Vietnam

  • Location: Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam
  • Entrance Fee: 20,000 VND / Ticket
  • Opening hours: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

One of the most well-liked locations in Northern Vietnam for history and cultural discovery is Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in Ninh Binh Province. This place is not only a priceless repository for artifacts; it is also a noteworthy tourist destination that allows visitors to take in the breathtaking historical vistas and distinctive architectural features of a bygone age. 



  • Taking part in the annual festivals
  • Visiting temples and tombs
  • Contemplating Nhat Tru Pagoda (so-called One Pillar Pagoda in Ninh Binh)
  • Dress politely when visiting Hoa Lu as it is a spiritual place 
  • Do not litter the garbage outside the garbage bin
  • Keep quiet when entering inside the temples
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital - the former capital of Vietnam
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – the former capital of Vietnam

You do not need to choose the ideal time when visiting Hoa Lu. However, according to Vietnamese residents, spring is the best season to visit Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh since there will be many wonderful festivities taking place after the Lunar Tet holiday. People can participate in and experience the busy environment and crowd at these festivals throughout this period. On the other hand, if you enjoy Hoa Lu’s peace, you should go there on the remaining days.

5. Places to visit in Ninh Binh: Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex

  • Location: Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM from Mon – Sun
  • Entrance Fees:
    • Bai Dinh Pagoda Entrance Fee: Free of Charge
    • Electric Car: 30,000 VND/person/trip, operating until 8:00 PM
    • Ticket Price to Bao Thap Tower: 50,000 VND/person
    • Parking Fees: 40,000 VND/car and 15,000 VND/motorbike 

The largest Buddhist temple in Vietnam is located in Ninh Binh Province’s Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex, one of the most visited religious sites in the region. For those interested in pilgrimage and culture, it is definitely a must-see because it is so close to the Trang An Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An old pagoda and a more recent, grander temple make up the Bai Dinh Pagoda complex. Buddhist pilgrims from all over the nation frequently travel to this location. 

Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex 
Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex



  • Visit Tam Quan Gate (Pagoda three-entrance gate)
  • have a lookout of the earth and sky on the top of the Bell-tower.
  • adore and worship the most majestic statute of Thich Ca Buddha 
  • As a spiritual tourist destination, choose discreet and polite clothes.
  • Prepare sneakers instead of high heels to protect your feet as well as make it easier to move because the terrain is hilly and steep.
  • Take sun cream or umbrellas for sunny days and rain gear for rainy days.
  • Do not rub your hands on the statues.

The optimum time to take a tour to the Bai Dinh Pagoda is in the spring, between the months of January and March. Vietnam’s northern regions see extremely good weather and temperatures at this time of year. A wonderful opportunity to go sightseeing, participate in pagoda ceremonies, and take in the lovely festivities at Bai Dinh Pagoda. The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is held in the spring as well. However, spring is typically the busiest time of year for local tourists, and many locations are frequently crowded. Therefore, if you dislike crowds, it would be best to visit this pagoda at a different time.

7. Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area

  • Location: Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh
  • Opening Hours: From 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM Everyday
  • Dress Code: Decent Cloths to cover your shoulders & knees
  • Entrance Fee+ Tam Coc Entrance Fee: Adult: VND 120.000. Kids under 1,4m tall: VND 60.000 (free for kids under 3 years old).+ Boat fee: VND 150.000/boat/route (free for kids under 3 years old) 

    + Local tourist:  4 people/boat (5th adult will be surcharged VND 40.000, 5th kid is VND 20.000).

    + Foreign tourist:  2 people/boat (3rd adult will be surcharged VND 75.000, 3rd kid is VND 35.000).

    + Bich Dong Entrance Fee: VND 20.000/person.

Vietnam’s Ninh Binh Province is home to the well-known historical and cultural relic known as Tam Coc – Bich Dong, which is situated in Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu District. Bich Dong Pagoda is little over 100 kilometers from or to Hanoi. Its distinctive feature is the magnificent fusion of historic pagodas with cross-covered roofs, natural caves, beautiful mountains, and so on, all concealed in the greenery of tropical forests.

Bich Dong Pagoda 
Bich Dong Pagoda

Tam Coc has three caves consisting of Ca, Hai and Ba Caves with distinguished beauty but they are all formed by the Ngo Dong river flowing through Bich Dong, a cave with sapphire color. When visiting Ninh Binh, you should surely pay a visit to Bich Dong Pagoda.



  • Explore Bich Dong Temple architecture (consists of Thuong, Trung, Ha pagodas) 
  • Join sightseeing routes for yachts, bicycles, and walking in Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area
  • watch the sun valley surrounded by a cloudy sky, mountainous area, and water
  • Visit Tien Cave – a beautiful dry cave of Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area
  • Eat Ninh Binh scorched rice, snail and goat meat. 
There is no entrance fee to Bich Dong Pagoda. You should also beware of some people who may offer tickets to tourists around the pagoda, definitely do not buy any tickets from these people, they are scammers.
A picture of Tam Coc 
A picture of Tam Coc

Although there is no entrance cost at Bich Dong Pagoda, there is a minor parking fee that must be paid. The pagoda is open at all hours, however if you want to avoid the throng and enjoy a tranquil moment, come here in the early morning or late afternoon. The greatest time to view the green rice fields becoming yellow and the blooming lotus is during the summer, from May to July.

8. Van Long Nature Reserve

  • Location: Gia Van commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province
  • Entry Fee:

– Adults: 20,000 VND/person
– Children under 1m tall: 10,000 VND/person
– Elderly people (from 60 years old): 10,000 VND/person

One of the top attractions for visitors to Ninh Binh province in Northern Vietnam is the Van Long Nature Reserve. Perhaps what draws so many local and foreign tourists is the ecosystem’s diversity and wild beauty. Many individuals have fallen in love with the serene Van Long eco-tourism region and the lovely surroundings. People adore the tranquility, the clean blue sky, and the layered mountain beauty.



  • Take Van Long Lagoon Boat Tour to float in the blue water
  • Visiting spiritual tourist attractions in Van Long
  • Visiting the beautiful caves Van Long Lagoon
  • Visit the 600-year-old tree
  • go through the rice fields
  • Come to admire the rock paintings at Meo Cao cliff
  • When going to Van Long lagoon, you should be careful to pack all of your personal items, such as hats, hats,…
  • You should take no more than 3–4 people on a boat trip to Van Long lagoon. Avoiding numerous people won’t keep you safe.
  • Be cordial with the boat captain. They will drive you to every location in the Van Long lagoon.
  • should not litter carelessly in the lagoon and should keep the ecosystem clean. At the same time, refrain from pursuing or hunting the local wildlife.
Van Long Nature Reserve is one of the must-see places to visit in Ninh Binh
Van Long Nature Reserve is one of the must-see places to visit in Ninh Binh

Many people find it surprisingly serene to take in the stunning natural landscape of Van Long lagoon. Van Phong lagoon is a great option if, one day, you’re tired of the city’s activity or wish to visit a tranquil location. You can expect to have a wide variety of fascinating experiences thanks to the picturesque mountain scenery and the untamed and primitive elements of Van Long! 

More tips for traveling in Ninh Binh

For having a wonderful trip to Ninh Binh province, please take a look at some of the useful Ninh Binh tips below:

  • How to dress: Some of the attractions in Ninh Binh are pagodas and temples. Please keep in mind that you dress appropriately when entering these areas; such as no short skirts and tank tops. You can also bring a sarong to cover yourself when you visit these areas.
  • Where to go next: If you are heading from north to south, your next stop after Ninh Binh will be Phong Nha or Hue in central Vietnam. In Phong Nha you can visit the stunning national park with some of the biggest caves in the world. There is a train going from Ninh Binh to Dong Hoi and from here you can take a bus or taxi to Phong Nha. You can also skip this national park and continue to Hue or Hoi An. These are ancient towns and two of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam. If you are traveling to the north you can easily combine Ninh Binh with a cruise through Halong Bay, more rice fields in Mai Chau or exploring the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
  • Ninh Binh with kids: One of the greatest places to visit in Vietnam with children is Ninh Binh. It’s safe and peaceful enough to ride bikes through here with kids. There are lots of hotels in Ninh Binh with pools. They can also take in the breathtaking scenery and discover more about the history and culture of the area.
  • Language: The neighborhood is easily navigable in English because of its mindful development. The majority of the staff members at the accommodation are fluent in English. The local restaurant always has an English menu. 

Flanked by mountains, caves and incredibly picturesque limestone sceneries, Ninh Binh is nothing short of stunning. The natural backdrop of this destination is an endearing and charming place to be. Hopefully, with our sharing, you will find for yourself a safe and relaxing time in Vietnam!

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