Hoa Lu is located in Ninh Binh province, 100km southwest of Hanoi. The Vietnamese call the area "the land Halong Bay" because it resembles a Halong Bay where the sea was replaced by rice fields, ponds and rivers. This region is, however, far from 200km of real Halong Bay.
It is the green rice dominates. Many rivers flow beneath the mountains and form caves that can be visited by boat.
In this region, there are so many places surrounded by limestone peaks (karst gears) where you can sampan walks or bike or on foot, and many things to do and see.
We can mention you princiapalement some places for sampan rides, some sites to visit:
1/ For sampan rides:
*/ The site of Tam Coc (best known for its creation), became very touristy but actuellemetn its beauties have not changed. A walk of about 2 hours on the rowing boat will take you through all three main caves; Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba Tam Coc and the word means" "three caves" in Vietnamese.
*/ Thung Nang, located in the village of Thung Nang - Bich Dong, a ballad about 2h also discover beautiful landscapes with limestone mountains, this is quite similar to its neighbor Tam Coc, but it is less touristy.
*/ Dong Tien, an often suggested by local oarsmen, you amènenet in really deep stuff in their village ballad. A walk with the duration of 2h Just.
*/ Trang An, between the temples of Dinh and Le Antérieue surrounded by karst sprockets, a new site but well known since its inception with the incredible number of Vietnamese tourists. Sev opportunity to choose a time ballad (1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30 and 4:00), the longest duration certainly takes you through all 12 caves.
*/ Kenh Ga, located a little further, a motor boat ride takes you through a very authentic Catholic village. This walk takes about 2 hours, beautiful settings and activities interesting fishing.
*/ Van Long, a site not far from Kenh Ga, also very peaceful, it's worth it for a ride of about 2 hours on the sampan are flat.
2 / Sites to visit:
*/ The temples dedicated to the kings of two dynasties Dinh and Le Fore, located in a beautiful pine nuts karst - a major reason that the kings of old had chosen to install their capital here.
*/ Bai Dinh Pagoda (the biggest pagoda in Vietnam) to 10km of these temples, beautiful with statues of all sizes and shapes. It's worth a shot to go see. This is the Buddhist center of Vietnam.
*/ Mua Hang pagoda and Ban Long located in a very authentic village to go, it's better to bike or scouter.
*/ Thai Vi Temple, a very beua temple disappeared between limestone peaks. Treated by a monk who knows play monotonous "Dan Bau" - traditional music instrument.
*/ Bich Dong Pagoda, is in all three caves along the height of the mountain. Beautiful views from the highest Pagoda "Chua Thuong" is in the village of Thung Nang - Bich Dong
*/ Catholic village Phat Diem, located about 30km from Tam Coc, a cathedral stone and timber built during the French period, still its beautiful style, a cradle Catholic North Vietnam.
*/ To the Southwest, a National Park Cuc Phuong will give you another view of the nature of this beautiful area with lots of flora and fauna within.
3 / Things to Do:
Ballads sampan or boat in places mentionned
Ballads bike or walk or scouter mentionned in villages