Things to Do in Ninh Binh: A Comprehensive Guide

Ninh Binh, a jewel nestled near Hanoi, beckons travelers with many experiences. Imagine towering limestone mountains rising from emerald rice fields, veiled grottoes waiting to be discovered, and ancient temples whispering tales of forgotten empires. This “Ha Long Bay on land” offers a breathtaking blend of natural wonders, historical treasures, and cultural encounters. Follow us to discover some of the most interesting things to do in Ninh Binh.

Boat Through Emerald Waterways

things to do in ninh binh

Trang An Scenic Landscape
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trang An boasts a labyrinth of limestone peaks, grottoes, and temples hidden within its emerald embrace. Glide past towering karsts, duck under natural arches, and discover pagodas nestled in the cliffs. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys frolicking on the rocks and water buffalo basking in the sun.
Tam Coc – “Three Grottoes”
This scenic route meanders through three limestone caves, offering breathtaking close-ups of the dramatic karst formations. As you drift along, lush rice paddies unfold on either side, painting a picture of rural tranquillity. Listen to the rhythmic paddling of your boatman and the gentle lapping of water against the limestone, a symphony of serenity.

Step Back in Time

things to do in ninh binh

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Journey back to the 10th and 11th centuries and explore the ruins of Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam. Climb the steep paths leading to the temples of Kings Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh, and imagine the grandeur of a bygone era.
Bich Dong Pagoda
This three-tiered pagoda perched on a mountainside is a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture. Ascend the stone steps and discover intricately carved statues, serene pagodas, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Embrace Nature’s Bounty

things to do in ninh binh
Cuc Phuong National Park
Immerse yourself in the emerald embrace of Cuc Phuong, Vietnam’s oldest national park. Hike through ancient rainforests, spot rare primates, and explore prehistoric caves housing centuries-old artifacts.
Van Long Nature Reserve
Kayak through a flooded limestone valley teeming with birdlife. Keep your eyes peeled for egrets, cormorants, and even endangered primates as you glide through this serene wetland ecosystem.

Beyond the Tourist Trail: Hidden Gems of Ninh Binh

If you crave a deeper dive into Ninh Binh’s soul, venture beyond the popular tourist spots and discover its hidden gems:

Thung Nham Bird Garden
A paradise for birdwatchers, Thung Nham features a network of lakes and bamboo forests teeming with over 200 bird species. Rent a boat or kayak and glide through the serene waters, listening to the symphony of bird calls.

Kenh Ga (Cockfighting Canal)

Step into a time capsule at Kenh Ga, a historical canal lined with ancient pagodas and traditional stilt houses. Take a boat ride to explore the serene waterways, visit the charming villages, and experience a slice of rural Vietnamese life.

Phat Diem Cathedral

This unique blend of Vietnamese and European architecture will surprise and delight you. Explore the intricately decorated mosaics, stained-glass windows, and bell towers, a testament to cultural fusion.

Tam Diep Mountain (Three-Tiered Mountain)
For a challenging hike and stunning views, tackle Tam Diep Mountain. Climb through lush forests, scramble over rocks, and reach the summit to be rewarded with a panoramic vista of the surrounding countryside.

Ninh Binh by Night

While Ninh Binh’s daytime beauty is undeniable, its nighttime magic deserves a moment in the spotlight.

  • Ninh Binh By Night Boat Cruise: Hop on a boat illuminated by colorful lanterns and glide through the serene waters as the sun dips below the horizon. Witness the stunning karsts bathed in the moonlight and listen to the gentle lapping of water against the rocks.

  • Cycling Under the Stars: Rent a bicycle and take a leisurely ride through the countryside under the starlit sky. Breathe in the cool night air, listen to the symphony of crickets chirping, and experience the tranquility of Ninh Binh after dark.

Fuel Your Adventure

Ninh Binh boasts a delicious array of culinary delights to tantalize your taste buds.

  • Ninh Binh Goat Meat: A local specialty, Ninh Binh goat meat is renowned for its delicate flavor and tender texture. Sample it in various dishes, from curries to grilled skewers, and experience a true taste of Ninh Binh.

  • Rice Noodle Dishes: Ninh Binh offers a variety of rice noodle dishes, such as Bun Cha (grilled pork with vermicelli noodles) and Bun Bo Nam Bo (beef salad with vermicelli noodles). These flavorful and light dishes are perfect for lunch or dinner after a day of exploring.

  • Freshwater Fish: Ninh Binh’s rivers and lakes are teeming with freshwater fish, making it a haven for seafood lovers. Sample grilled fish, fish soups, and hotpots, all bursting with fresh flavors and prepared with local herbs and spices.

Embrace the Local Culture

Ninh Binh offers unique opportunities to connect with its vibrant culture and traditions:

  • Water Puppet Show: Immerse yourself in the ancient art of water puppetry, a unique artistic form showcasing Vietnamese folklore and legends. Be captivated by the colorful puppets dancing on the water to the rhythmic accompaniment of traditional music.

  • Incense Village Visit: Discover the fascinating process of incense making in Ninh Binh’s Incense Village. Witness the artisans handcrafting incense sticks from natural ingredients and learn about the cultural significance of incense in Vietnamese life.

Practical Tips for Your Ninh Binh Adventure

things to do in ninh binh
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer comfortable temperatures and lush green landscapes. However, Ninh Binh’s beauty shines year-round.
  • Getting Around: Renting a motorbike or bicycle is a great way to explore the countryside at your own pace. You can also hire private cars or taxis for longer distances.
  • Visa Requirements: Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. Check with your nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate for current information.
  • Sustainable Travel: Be mindful of your impact on the environment. Choose eco-friendly accommodations, avoid littering, and respect local customs and traditions.


Ninh Binh awaits you with its emerald beauty, ancient wonders, and vibrant culture. Pack your sense of adventure, open your heart to new experiences, and embark on a journey that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Start planning your Ninh Binh adventure today by booking a tour with YESD Travel!

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