Home / Vietnam Travel Guide / Ninh Binh travel guide / 28 + Best Things to do for your Ninh Binh tours

28 + Best Things to do for your Ninh Binh tours

Located about 100 km south of Hanoi capital, Ninh Binh is known as the ancient capital of the feudal state of  Vietnam, is nature land with many attractive cave systems. The convergence of the beauty of the country with charming scenery makes Ninh Binh tours truly attractive to every visitor when coming here.

In Ninh Binh, every season is a tourist season. When coming here, tourists will be surprised by the beauty of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, or the majesty of Phat Diem stone church, visitors are free to explore the creative surprises in Trang An ecological cave area. , Tam Coc – Bich Dong area … That is not to mention the intact natural world preserved in the primitive forest of Cuc Phuong or the unique, interesting, rich and diverse flora and fauna of the reserve, or Van Long wetland nature, or take a bath in Kenh Ga hot mineral water…

Let’s explore the special things of Ninh Binh land.

  1. Visit Tam Coc

Located in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Tam Coc is a familiar destination that visitors definitely cannot miss when setting foot in Ninh Binh.

Visiting Tam Coc, visitors will be sitting on a boat, down the romantic Ngo Dong River, see the coincidence limestone mountains and iridescent golden rice fields, so Tam Coc is called “Halong bay on land”

The poetic scenery here will surely captivate any visitor.

See more: Hoa Lu Tam Coc 1 day tour, Hoa Lu Mua Cave 1 day tour

  1. Eat at the Snail Restaurants

Besides charming scenery, Ninh Binh also attracts visitors by a diverse culinary world, one of the most famous dishes is the Ninh Binh mountain snail.

Many dishes from snails such as boiled snails, sautéed peppers with lemongrass or fried snails with special processing will make visitors attracted.

The most famous address for this dish is in a small alley next to Luong Van Tuy. It is also a service development area with bars and restaurants at the local.

  1. Visit Phat Diem Cathedral.

Some 28 kilometers south away from Ninh Binh city, the church is located on a land area of about 117m wide and 243m long, in the center of Phat Diem town center, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province.

The church was built for 24 years (1875 – 1899) with countless difficulties and rudimentary working facilities.

Its name means “born the beauty”, during the colonial period, Phat Diem Cathedral was also called the “Vatican of Vietnam”.

Phat Diem Church is a unique architecture not only in Vietnam but also in the world because the church complex is the combination and exchange between the architecture of the Eastern temple – pagoda and the Western Gothic architecture. An architectural complex includes ponds, Phuong Dinh and the large church. Among them, the architecture of the Chapel of Our Lady is the most prominent.

  1. Explore Van Long Nature Reserve

If you are interested in the natural world and would like to learn about wildlife, Van Long Nature Reserve will be an ideal destination.

This is a legendary land, a beautiful tourist area, and the largest wetland nature reserve in the Northern Delta of Vietnam.

Upon arriving in Van Long, visitors will discover a rich local flora and fauna system with more than 457 species of higher plants and over 39 species of animals including many rare species listed in the Vietnamese Red Book. And visitors will admire a majestic picture of the mountains hidden by clouds with immense calm water.

Best Van Long tours:  Hoa Lu Van Long day trip from Hanoi

Van Long Mua Cave day trip from Hanoi, Van Long Kenh Ga 2 day trip from Hanoi

  1. Have lunch at Cho Bop Market

Located in the center of Ninh Binh town, Bop Market is an interesting place for tourists who want to learn about the local culinary customs of Ninh Binh.

The special thing in this market is food and coffee are cooked and served on the old stroller and the price is very reasonable.

If you want to buy fresh fruits and vegetables by yourself and feel the atmosphere of the Ninh Binh local market, try to get up early and join the market in the morning.

  1. Shop at Van Lan

Van Lan is a small handicraft village located near the famous Tam Coc. This is the convergence of the essence of embroidery in Vietnam for thousands of years, so the embroidery and handicraft products of the artisans here are very sophisticated and special.

Visitors can find souvenirs such as napkins, pillowcases, tablecloths, T-shirts or beautiful embroidery for friends and relatives.

Also do not forget to bargain and discount prices to get the best price for your shopping.

  1. Bich Dong Pagoda

About 2 kilometers from Tam Coc wharf, visitors will find an ancient temple and an ancient temple with special architecture, which is Bich Dong Pagoda.

As soon as you arrive here, you will feel the serenity, tranquility, and elegance.

Bich Dong Pagoda is a cave pagoda with 3 pagodas: Ha, Trung, and Thuong Pagoda. Each pagoda is located from low to high position, based on the ridge. Under the cave, there is a clear blue lake and in front of the temple gate, there are thousands of ancient trees.

Three small pagodas have the ancient architecture of the North with tiled roofs, temple gates as well as the arrangement and statues, reliefs, decorative patterns. Most especially, the path to these temples is a cliff with steps with beautiful views when going up and down.

See Ninh Binh tours passing Bich Dong Pagoda

  1. Hoa Lu Citadel

Hoa Lu should be an indispensable destination in the journey to explore Ninh Binh of tourists although it is not famous like Van Long, Tam Coc or Trang An,…

It is also the first capital of the central feudal state in Vietnam in the 10th century with unforgettable historical markers.

Tourists are not only immersed themselves in the scenery of the surrounding rocky mountains but also admire the historic monuments of the ancient capital.

With only about 2 hours, visitors can discover a meaningful historical work of Vietnam:

See tours related to: Hoa Lu, Van Long: 

Hoa Lu Mua Cave Trang An tour, Hoa Lu Van Long day tour,  

  1. Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park – the first national park in Vietnam was established in 1962

With a total area of ​​25,000ha, this is a famous tourist destination for ecology and the environment. In addition to the opportunity to explore the rich flora and fauna, admire the beautiful natural landscape, visitors can participate in the ecotourism program, resort, campfire, research cultural history programs.

According to the listing, there are 307 species of birds as well as 133 species of mammals and 122 species of reptiles, including many endangered animals not only in Vietnam but also in the whole world.

Nature lovers also have the opportunity to learn about over 2,000 plant species in the reserve.

See Ninh Binh tours related to Cuc Phuong National Park: Cuc Phuong National Park 2 day tours, Cuc Phuong National Park 1 day tour, Cuc Phuong National Park full day tour from Hanoi

  1. Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center

Located in the area of ​​Cuc Phuong National Park, the Primate Rescue Center is the regeneration of many valuable primates and operates under the supervision of the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

The center is currently rescuing and nurturing about 150 individuals of three species groups: langurs, primates, and gibbons, that are the most at risk of extinction due to wildlife hunting and trade. Becoming a safe and reliable home for hundreds of primate individuals, the center’s main purpose is giving everybody ways to protect wildlife, especially primate.

Don’t forget to visit the nearby Turtle Conservation Center and use the same ticket.

  1. Admire Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a colorful Buddhist temple complex located on the Bai Dinh mountain in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, 5 kilometers from the ancient capital of Hoa Lu to the northwest, and 12 kilometers from Ninh Binh city.

Bai Dinh pagoda complex consists of an ancient temple complex containing many historical values ​​and a new pagoda complex was built-in 2014.

Be one of the largest pagodas in Vietnam with many records, so this is always one of the top tourist attractions of Ninh Binh province.

From a distance, visitors were overwhelmed by the size of this Buddhist Pagoda. The architecture of the new Bai Dinh pagoda stands out with its large cubes, bearing the imprint of Vietnamese architecture. The typical works of the pagoda are Tam Quan Gate, Gac Chuong, Dien Quan Am, Dien Giao Chu, Dien Tam The, Bao Thap and the Han Han Corridor. And the most impressive is the largest Maitreya Buddha Statue in Southeast Asia which has a height of about 10 meters and weighs about 100 tons.

See Ninh Binh tours that related to Bai Dinh Pagoda: Mua Cave Trang An Bai Dinh 1 day tour, Bai Dinh Trang An day tour, Full day Bai Dinh Trang An tour

  1. Explore Mua Cave

In recent years, when mentioning Ninh Binh, people will think of Mua Cave – this place is also known as the “Great Wall” miniature in Ninh Binh.

When coming to Mua Cave, you will try your endurance when climbing up the mountain through 486 stone karst steps to the mouth of the cave on the top of Dragon mountain. And from there we can admire the whole beauty of the Tam Coc area, the immense green rice field, and the Ngo Dong River.

See Ninh Binh tours that related to Mua Caves: Hoa Lu Mua Cave Trang An tour, Mua Cave Trang An Bai Dinh tour, Mua Cave Tam Coc Bich Dong 1 day tour

  1. Try the goat meat

Another special dish of Ninh Binh will make visitors excited when talking about it: Ninh Binh mountain goat meat – a certain specialty must try when traveling to the ancient capital.

The meat attracts diners by the delicious taste, characteristics and processed into many different delicacies such as lemon-lime goat, the stir-fried goat with lemongrass, burnt goat rice, goat hotpot, goat hot pot…

Visitors who enjoyed Ninh Binh goat meat always have a good compliment, the meat is not too soft nor tough, especially sweet, unlike other places.

  1. Take a boat trip in Trang An

Trang An ecological area is surrounded by beautiful blue water. A boat and a local rider will take you into the picture of enchanting nature with not only a beautiful system of limestone mountain, and also a special spiritual place.

With a journey of about 2 hours on the Sao Khe River, visitors will visit many caves of limestone, magical water valleys, and many historic sites including temples, shrines and ancient pagodas from thousand of years.

With interesting scenery, Trang An deserves to be a perfect destination for the day tours.

  1. Scale the Hang Mua Peak

Hang Mua Peak is a conquering destination for visitors when arriving in Ninh Binh.

You will experience a fairly difficult climbing journey with nearly 500 steps. However, please assured because your effort is totally worth it when you can admire the stunning views of a delta of the Red River Delta at its peak.

You will hardly find a place where you can see the whole beautiful Tam Coc like this.

Prepare yourself for a pair of hiking shoes that are suitable for this challenge.

  1. Tour the Turtle Conservation Center

The Turtle Conservation Center is also located in Cuc Phuong National Park, 120km southwest of Hanoi, founded by the International Wildlife and Plant Conservation Organization in 1998. This is a place to rescue land turtles and freshwater turtles were trafficked on a large scale during the 1980s and 1990s of the 20th century.

More than 1,000 different creatures of 20 different species of turtles have been rescued from poachers and smugglers and were brought here.

It is an important conservation center in the area, highlighs are turtle and freshwater turtle conservation efforts as well as public awareness activities about the dangers of turtle survival in Vietnam.

  1. Have a beer on the waterfront

Ninh Binh town is famous for the local draft beer – “ bia hoi”.

It is great to be able to enjoy a cool beer by the windy river after a long day of sightseeing.

Drinking beer in the mountain river scenery at sunset time will be an interesting experience for visitors.

  1. Take a bicycle tour

Discovering by bicycle is always a favorite choice of travelers when traveling to Ninh Binh.

Visitors can easily rent a bicycle then across the old trails to the sights, or cycle around the rice fields and along the romantic Ngo Dong river.

Some guesthouses and restaurants also have free bicycles for guests. Guests can also choose to join in a special tour with guides to get a closer look at the history and culture of their attractions.

  1. Take a trip to Chicken Village

Chicken Village ( or Kenh Ga in Vietnamese) is a rare peaceful floating village in Ninh Binh. The village is so named because the mountain here has a rising up rock that looks like a rooster.

This is a special fishing village, the local rider will sail by their leg, visitors can visit and meet the simple and honest locals.

The village is like a small oasis which is surrounded by rivers and mountains, the only way to reach the village is by boat. Visitors will be experienced rural life and find peace in the soul when coming here.

  1. Check out the Thung Nham Bird Garden

Thung Nham a natural landscape wonderful with the ranges of tropical forests on the limestone mountains which have valleys, caves, blend with the natural plants and flowers together with the sky of Tam Coc – Trang An.

Visitors can explore the wildlife of nearly 40 species of local birds with about 50 thousand birds.

Every morning and at sunset, the colorful flocks of birds fly around, cover a whole wetland and trees, visitors will feel the pristine beauty that is nowhere else to have.

Besides sightseeing activities, visitors can participate in team-building games, doing farmer, goat farming,…

  1. Try the local food

Ninh Binh is famous for many local specialties and delicious food and it is impossible not to mention burnt rice – “ com chay”

Burnt rice at the bottom of the pot is processed by elaborate stages, creates a crispy attractive dish.

Traditional burnt rice is often eaten with Ninh Binh mountain goat meat, sauteed heart stir-fried with carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. Burnt rice is the most delicious when eaten with goat meat sauce

  1. Visit the Hoa Lu Temples

Located in the relic of Hoa Lu ancient capital, the Temple of King Le and the Temple of King Dinh stand out with the huge pillars with the crimson lacquer color.

Ding King  ( Dinh Tien Hoang) Temple and Le King ( Le Hoan) Temple are a unique architecture in the wood carvings of Vietnamese folk artists in the 17th century.

Ding King temple has many rare antiques preserved as dragons that look very alive, monolithic greenstone dragon bed, a stone throne and a statue of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang,…

Le King temple is located 300 meters from King Dinh. In the temple there are three statues: Emperor Le Dai Hanh in the middle seat sitting on the throne, Queen Duong Van Nga on the left side and King Le Long Dinh on the right side. The intricate details painted in gold create a magnificent and magical space.

  1. Have a drink at Chookie’s

This is the ideal restaurant for travelers who would like to enjoy a drink in the heart of Ninh Binh town center

In the evening, this place becomes an attractive culinary space with lots of Vietnamese and Western dishes served at very good prices.

Tourists will feel a very different space with crowded at daytime, Ninh Binh at night is very quiet and light.

They also offer suggestions for tour itineraries and travelers can rent bicycles for their Ninh Binh exploration.

  1. Eat at Father Cooking

According to the reviews of visitors and locals, Father Cooking is one of the best restaurants in Ninh Binh town.

This is a family restaurant with the main dishes of rice, beef/chicken noodles, Vietnamese traditional BBQ pork with noodles.

Guests can be assured to eat and drink without worrying about the price

  1. Hike to Silver Cloud Peak

Silver Cloud Peak is a majestic wonder in Cuc Phuong National Park. It is the highest point in the Cuc Phuong forest with an elevation of 648m above sea level.

The path to Silver Cloud Peak is long and will take about 4 hours to conquer, also have many rocky slopes, so prepare yourself for good health. And this is also an opportunity for you to explore wildlife in the forest

When you reach the top, you will be lost in fairyland with clouds around, you will find your effort is not in vain.

This is a long road with many dangerous obstacles so you should go with a ranger or a professional guide.

  1. Boat Ride in Tam Coc

Sitting on a boat on the Ngo Dong River, visitors will admire the limestone mountains next to the beautiful rice fields, after that visitors will be able to enter the most beautiful and mysterious underground water caves of Ninh Binh.

If would like to see the golden rice fields, the visitor should choose May or October to visit Ninh Binh.

During this journey, tourists will also visit Thai Vi Pagoda – a temple with a beautiful natural landscape with the unique architecture of Vietnam.

  1. Discover Wine Making Cave in Trang An

Located in the series caves of Trang An, visitors can only visit here by boat.

Inside the cave, there are many beautiful stalactites.

In the cave there is a water well about 15m deep, the water is very clear and cool and ancient ancestors discovered the well and used it to brew wine. That is why its name is “Wine Making”. During the cave exploration, many jars and other tools used in the making wine process were found.

Going out of the cave, visitors climb about 350 stone steps and arrive at Tran Pagoda, stand here visitors will have a panoramic view of the cave. The temple was built in the 10th century and worships a general of the 18th Hung Dynasty

  1. Hike your way to the temples of Trang An

While joining the trip to Trang An, you should pay more attention to the beautiful architecture pagodas located in the middle of the mountains and rivers.

The spiritual works at Trang An do not have the grand scale, but they bring solemn, sacred values ​​from the history, and downs of time.

Trinh Temple has a history of about 1,000 years old, located at the foot of Trang An Mountain with the position: the back on a mountain, face to face with the water. Thanks to the preservation and remodeling of local authorities, the temple retains intricate structures from ancient times and outside becomes more spacious and beautiful.

Tran Temple is a small but famous sacred temple in the North, it was built a long time ago, from the Dinh Dynasty. In the 13th century, King Tran Thai Tong discovered and renovated it, so its name “Tran Temple” until to this day.

They are two temples representing the unique architecture of the spiritual works here. In addition, Tu Tru Temple and Dia Linh Temple are also worth for tourists to visit.