"I Loved Ninh Binh" Ninh Binh by largerama

Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 224 photos

THE PROVINCE

Arguably this has some of VIetnam's most stunning scenery at Tam Coc, Cuc Phuong National Park and fascinating ancient structures at Hoa Lu.

Tam Coc has limestone karst hills and a meandering river which makes it way through caves before unveiling a secluded valley rising from the water. Rivers merge into rich green rice paddy fields, and village houses all built from quarried stone and painted in loud colours, contrast against the grey cliff faces of the rocky outcrops. Locals make money from rowing tourist boats. These are rowed through caves naturally carved at the base of the cliffs, and between the looming cliffs. Fabulous scenery as far as the eye can see. Perched on the cliffs are shrines and Pagodas.The Limestone cliffs house caves with amazing rock formations.

Then, if you like partially restored pagodas and temples and mysterious old places that seem like they are out of a film then the nearby Ancient Capital is a must see. All this can easily be reached by moped or bike through the charming villages alleys and roads, surrounded by yet more cliffs and paddy fields.

Cuc Phuong National Park is further afield, though, and for some may be too much for the posterior on a motorcycle and more suited to a car. It is a national park with yet more limestone cliffs, breathtaking views and a beautiful lake. There are amazing trees, unusual vegetation and wild animals such as deer, golden monkeys and flying squirrels.

NINH BINH TOWN

A stop on the cafe bus route, the town has one main road that runs through it which is in typical Vietnamese style, a little chaotic, noisy and busy but nowhere near like those in Hanoi. It is served by the North-South train line. There aren't many people who visit Ninh Binh and those who do generally come from Hanoi on a day trip or stop over on the way down (or up) from Hanoi. Thus, there are only a small number of travellers staying there, giving a nice little 'off the beaten path' feel to it.

The town's real beauties lie in the little streets away from the main road and the overwhelmingly friendly people. The town has many little streets and alleys with fascinating tall and thin houses, courtyards and old buildings. The town is clean and pleasant with traveller amenities catered for through a small number of hotels, restaurants and internet cafes. If not out sight-seeing, it is a nice place to stroll around.

The people of Ninh Binh make visiting the area all the more worthwhile, though. They are so very friendly and cannnot help but smile and wave. You will be tired of answering the 'hellos' as you walk down the street or ride through the town. Young and old people will greet you warmly.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great little town, mega-friendly locals, loads to see around the area
  • Cons:Are there any? Not in my opinion
  • In a nutshell:More Than Just a Day Trip or Stopover
  • Last visit to Ninh Binh: Mar 2006
  • Intro Updated Mar 20, 2006
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • vuzu's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    I will visit Ninh Binh for the second time this coming November. Thanks for your infos and nice shots, great work, pal.

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Hi Nick....Interesting Ninh Binh page....I think I want to go and see for myself!!

  • zazatann's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2006 at 5:15 AM

    I really enjoy your Ninh Binh page too. I'd love to visit there. Especially, your photos are so nice. thank you.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2006 at 11:59 PM

    Hello Nick! I truly enjoyed going through your Ninh Binh page. Easy to see that you really appreciated this place. Vietnam has a very special place in my heart and I wish to go back there in not faraway future. Thank you for sharing.

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