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Best things to do in Ninh Binh

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Where in the world: Asia  /  Vietnam  /  Ninh Binh Province  /  Ninh Binh

Top 15 things to do in Ninh Binh

1. Trang An Grottoes

Explore the hidden cave chains of Trang An Grottoes, a World Heritage Site preserving a huge natural rock garden in a vast lake near Nihn Binh. You'll enter the caves by boat, passing through cracks in the limestone hillocks, which are covered with lush green vegetation. During a popular two- to three-hour boat ride, you'll see dramatic karst scenery and a nine-cave network interconnected by flooded inland waterways, with many suspended stalagmites. This pristine area boasts high biological diversity, and you can even paddle your own boat around the caves. Tours usually include a visit to Ha Pagoda on Ngo Dong River, Bai Dinh Temple, and the old capital of Hoa Lu.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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2. Tam Coc

Explore an astonishing natural setting of limestone caves and karst rock formations at Tam Coc. The geologic compound was created by the erosive powers of the Ngo Dong River, which many villagers use to irrigate their crops. Go on a sampan tour on the scenic river to photograph the surrounding natural marvels and get acquainted with the local way of life. Besides passing next to strangely shaped caves and vegetation-covered rock formations, you can also visit nearby pagodas and monuments.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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3. Nature & Wildlife Tours

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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4. Mua Caves

Though not a particularly notable site on its own, Mua Caves boast unobstructed views that many visitors seek. Next to the cave entrance, follow a 500-step staircase leading up the peak. Once you arrive at the top, you will see another cave complex as well as southern Vietnam's limestone mountain. Many visitors like to come here at sunrise or sunset, but you can climb up at any time of day. If you prefer to only see the cave, you may want to bring a flashlight, as it is small and dark.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Bai Dinh Pagoda, Gia Sinh

Explore Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest temple complex in Vietnam, completed in 2010. Everything is built on a grand scale in the spacious, 700 hectare (1,729 acre) compound. View the temple's massive collection of over 500 statues, take in the spiritual atmosphere, and ascend over 300 steps to the top of the imposing tower to enjoy expansive views of the area.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Cuc Phuong National Park

Cúc Phương National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn quốc gia Cúc Phương) is located in Ninh Bình Province, in Vietnam's Red River Delta. Cuc Phuong was Vietnam's first national park and is the country's largest nature reserve. The park is one of the most important sites for biodiversity in Vietnam.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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7. Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda stands out with its unusual formation--each of the three pagodas rest on three different levels of the mountain. Climb the steep stairs, wind through the caves, and see rice fields on the way up. The path abounds with vistas of pointed green mountains, mist, and rivers. The pagodas have different designs--the low pagoda boasts five departments, while half of the middle one is carved into the mountain. A green pond encloses the top pagoda, creating a serene and picturesque ambiance. Enter the gloomy interiors displaying altars, Buddhist statues, and smelling strongly of incense. Consider bringing a flashlight to better explore the caves.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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8. Van Long Nature Reserve

An expansive wetland dotted with limestone pinnacles, Van Long Nature Reserve plays host to hundreds of species of migratory and endangered birds. Set across an area of 3,000 ha (7,413.2 ac), a rowing boat tour serves as the ideal way to discover this rich landscape, weaving your way between grasslands, rice paddies, and grotto-like caves. Keep your eyes peeled for the Delacour Langur--the reserve’s dense foliage is one of the last remaining habitats for this endangered primate. Pack your own lunch with plenty of water, and immerse yourself in this prehistoric environment. Keen bird-watchers should remember to bring a pair of binoculars to the reserve.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Nhà xứ Phát Diệm

Marvel at an imposing castle-looking edifice of Nhà xứ Phát Diệm, an impressive Roman-Catholic cathedral built on a huge estate. Consecrated in 1892, the cathedral blends Sino-Vietnamese and European neo-Gothic styles with five separate side chapels and facing a large man-made pool. A colossal stone bell tower with Chinese-style pointed roofs surrounded by four side pinnacles. Admire angels carved in stone and elaborate woodworking at the altarpieces underneath tall single-nave painted ceilings supported by 54 pillars. Take a stroll around a well-maintained garden and enjoy serenity. Observe processions during festivities and holidays and climb the tower to get a panoramic view.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Hoa Lu Temples of the Dinh & Le Dynasties

Two of the last remaining structures from the 10th-century capital, Hoa Lu Temples of the Dinh & Le Dynasties invite you to uncover this ancient era of Vietnamese history. Home to the country’s first two imperial dynasties, the temples were built in honor of the Dinh and Early Le families. Built some 600 hundred years after the demise of the citadel, the restored grounds feature paths that wander in the shadow of looming limestone mountains, then lead up 200 steps to the temples’ entrances. Located 300 m (984.2 ft) apart, each temple hosts its own altar in memory of the Le and Dinh emperors, housed in typical 17th-century Vietnamese wooden architecture. Consider hiring a guide to take you around the site, as you won't find signage in English.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Minh Trang Handmade

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Spas, Ninh Hai

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Ninh Hai

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Mai Spa, Ninh Xuan

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Tuyet Tinh Coc

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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