Ninh Binh has many sights and things to do, including boat rides, cycling between the rice fields, visiting ancient temples, bird watching or climbing up a peak. To help you out we made a list of 10 best things to do in Ninh Binh.

1. Tam Coc

Tam Coc Bich Dong is a nature lover's paradise. It boasts picturesque limestone karsts rising from rice paddies and the tranquil Ngo Dong River that flows through the area. The boat tour in Tam Coc will give you the opportunity to admire magnificent rice fields, which are green from July to September and yellow, signaling the harvest season, on June.

The name "Tam Coc" means "three caves" in Vietnamese, and it refers to the three natural caves named Ca, Hai and Ba. The boat ride will take you through the three caves, each with distinguished beauty but are all formed by Ngo Dong river. The scenery is stunning, with lush green rice paddies and rural villages visible in the distance.

Tam Coc paddy field

2. Bich Dong pagoda 

The area of Tam Coc is also home to the remarkable Bich Dong Pagoda. Located at the foot of a large mountain, the pagoda’s ornate gate is one of the most iconic sights in Ninh Binh. A stone bridge spans a large lotus pond, which explodes with bright pink blossoms in the summer. Just beyond the gate is a tranquil courtyard and a traditional Buddhist temple. Follow the stairs up and around the mountain for stunning views, then look for two other temples embedded in the mountain, dating back to the 18th century.

3. Hang Mua

Hang Mua, literally means "Dancing Cave", like its name suggests was the site where, according to the legend, Emperor Tran Thai Tong used to watch dance performances. Coming to Hang Mua, challenge yourself by climbing up 500 steps. Reaching the top you’ll find it is worth the effort, as you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding majestic mountains and vast rice fields. The caves themselves feature intricate carvings and ancient shrines, adding to the overall charm and historical significance of this tourist spot. 

4. Thai Vi temple 

Lost in the rice fields of the tourist area of Tam Coc - Bich Dong, Thai Vi is one of the oldest temples in Vietnam. It is a little treasure easily accessible by bike from Tam Coc. Between rice fields and mountains, the road to get there is simple magnificent. A peacul place where you will have the opportunity to meet a monk who will give you a demonstration with traditional musical instrument. An experience not to be missed to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture.

5. Thung Nham Bird Garden

A few kilometers from Tam Coc, Thung Nham is a relatively new attraction in Ninh Binh, but it is a nice place to visit without too many tourists. The park is home to thousands of bird species! Discover the reserve on foot or by boat, you will immerse yourself in a peaceful atmosphere between tropical forests, rivers and caves. The best time to go is late afternoon or early morning when the birds leave and return before the birds leave.

6. Van Long Nature Reserve 

Van Long Nature Reserve is the largest wetland reserve in Northern Vietnam. With peaks of limestone mountains and paddy fields reaching the horizon, it is certainly a memorable place to visit. The nature reserve is also home to many primate species, including the endangered langur. Rehabilitation of animals takes place here and they are released back into the wild after treatment.

Coming here, embark yourself on a boat ride to discover remote scenery, and gain a special glimpse into this serene setting.

7. Trang An 

The landscape of Trang An has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is certainly no exaggeration.

A boat trip on Trang An will certainly be a magical moment for you. The translucent blue water that turns green, the lush and wild vegetation, the temples at the edge and even on the water as well as the immense limestone rocks: an almost mystical landscape that will leave you speechless and transport you to another world. There are 3 different routes for a boat ride in Trang An where you will have the opportunity to observe various temples and cross several caves. The walk on Trang An is undeniably the activity not to be missed in Ninh Binh!

8. Hoa Lu ancient capital 

Capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries under the Dinh Dynasty and the Le Dynasty, Hoa Lu is today a historical complex housing ancient temples, pagodas and tombs. The city is surrounded by high rocky mountains and there are many lakes, it is an absolutely charming landscape! Visit the King Dinh and King Le temples to honor the two kings who had gained independence for Vietnam and preserved it from foreign invaders. These sites being sacred, be sure to wear proper clothing (legs and shoulders covered).

King Dinh temple

9. Am Tien cave 

A journey to Ninh Binh is incomplete without a visit to the enchanting Am Tien Cave. Recently emerged as a new tourist attraction, this place promises to give you an unforgettable experience, with a magnificent blend of majestic limestone mountains, a serene lake, and lush vegetation.

As you step into the cave, prepare to be captivated by the pristine beauty of Ao Giai Lake, which lies at the entrance of the cave. The crystal-clear water reflects the surrounding mountains, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

In addition, don't miss the chance to explore the cave's interior, where you can admire the stunning stalactites and stalagmites that have been formed over thousands of years.

In the past, reaching Am Tien Cave required climbing the mountain. However, nowadays, visitors can easily access the cave by going through a tunnel and ascending the mountain to explore its wonders.

10. Cycling through the countryside of Ninh Binh 

Asides from boat, the best way to see Ninh Binh is from the saddle of a bicycle. Many hotels rent bicycles for free or with just a dollar. If your accommodation doesn’t do that, check out the nearby hotels and shops. The most important sights in Ninh Binh can easily be explored by bicycle.

Cycling around the area is rewarding. The roads along the rice fields are especially beautiful. There are also some lotus lakes and small villages where yo can stop of a drink. On the way you might have to evade a a stray goat or water buffalo.

Ninh Binh a wonder of Vietnam, attracts travelers worldwide with its stunning beauty and ordinary but yet appealing activities. From the lime stone karst of Tam Coc to the ancient temples of Hoa Lu, you can explore a range of cultural and natural wonders. Plan your trip to Ninh Binh today and don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for suggestions. We are more than happy to help you build your dream trip.