“How many days to Ninh Binh?” – Actually, the answer to this question definitely depends on your time-spending and which sites you would like to visit.
For an adventurous trip and focus on discovering the featured attractions, ONE day trip absolutely is a good choice. In another side, TWO days seems better if you desire to immerse yourself in a peaceful day, experience the rural atmosphere and spend more time to explore the culture of Ninh Binh (maybe try all the specialities).
Together with Original Hoa Lu Tam Coc, let’s find out what trip legth is perfect for you!
Known as “Halong Bay on rice field” or “The Terrestrial Halong Bay”, Tam Coc looks indeed like a movie scene. Tam Coc has three caves included: Hang Ca, the first cave; Hang Hai, the second cave and the third and smallest cave, Hang Cuoi. Vietnamese call Tam Coc the Green Sea, and you’ll understand why once your eyes witness the scenery of the paddy fields.
To visit Tam Coc, visitors get on the boat at the central station. Local people row the boat on Ngo Dong River through the cliffs, caves and rice fields, which takes two hours. When crossing through the caves, the air becomes cool, the noises become silent, and many stalactites hang down like glossy teeth. There’s no shade in the boats so don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a hat or umbrella unless you want to own a sunburnt skin when coming back.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital belongs to Trang An landscape complex, it contains the history of Vietnam in the tenth century where many important events of our nation took place during the Dinh (968 – 80) and early Le (980 – 1009) dynasties.
Hoa Lu consists of three smaller areas called Outer City, Inner City, and South City. These three cities created a shape like the number 80. Outer and Inner City stood next to each other much like the number 8, and South City is the bigger town alongside the other two. The South City was a military base and locals called it Trang An city. The other two cities were used to place the imperial building and locals called it Hoa Lu city.
Nowadays, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is not intact anymore because of a tumultuous history. However, you can visit the temple of King Dinh and the temple of King Le, which were built in the base area of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital by locals.
The fortress outside is built based on the natural advantages: the mountain provides good background, the deep valley is a basement, and the rivers supply water for people inside the fortress and would become traps to fight against the enemy in any case. This fortress is a very solid one that can defend against even the strongest enemy for months.
The royal family lived in the inner citadel. It is very peaceful inside the complex and you can wander around by yourself or ask for help from the guides at the temple who work for free.
>>> Check out Hoa Lu Tam Coc day trip – the most popular day tour in Ninh Binh
Apart from the breathtaking scenery, the original thing of this attractive tourist site is the way leading to the top of the mountain. The architecture is inspired by the Great Walls with approximately 500 stone steps. Especially, from the top of the mountain, visitors can admire the whole spectacular prospect of Tam Coc as well as other famous scenic spots in Ninh Binh.
Not just the tourist attraction simply, this is a vacation destination that a lot of tourists direct to. It owns a peaceful campus with the birds chirping, the scenic vistas of small fields, lotus ponds, and rocky mountains. Located in the centre of the relic is a large artificial lake, the surrounding sides are covered by the colour green of the trees creating an extremely atmospheric space. The statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva stands on the peak of the mountain looking down to the ancient land.
The heat and humidity can be quite debilitating, so make sure you’re well hydrated and have plenty of water with you at the time.
Being endowed with a beautiful landscape, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province in Northern Viet Nam is called as a “Halong Bay on land” with numerous caves, mountains, valley, trees and historic relics.
Trang An was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 23 June 2014, at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha. The complex is a mixed cultural and natural resources comprised within three protected areas include: the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong, and the Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest.
The scenery of Trang An is actually the legacy of karst topography revolution in tropical climate from the Triassic period (250 million years ago) to the current Quaternary period (starting 2.5 million years ago). Throughout this time, constant geological collapses and movements of the Earth’s crust formed these charming limestone mountains and towers, pristine valleys, mysterious caves, and the complex waterway system that we look at today.
In simple English, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is a relic of the Earth’s history dating back to millions of years ago. In addition, Trang An today showcases a spectacular transition between a plain, common karst topography and the unusual cone-shaped limestone mountains.
According to statistics, Trang An consists of 48 grottoes and caves alternating with 31 valleys. Each valley keeps inside a several bringing a multi-colourful picturesque landscape. Here is evaluated as an area of rare and unique natural beauty of the world with around 500 species of flora, 73 species of birds and 41 species of other animals, and is renowned for its diverse ecosystem, unique natural beauty and geological characteristics.
Located 120 kilometres from Hanoi, Cuc Phuong national park was established in 1962 and is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Stand in an area over 200 square kilometres, Cuc Phuong consists of tropical forest and grottoes, the reserve is rich in wildlife and natural beauty. Besides, and also possesses historical significance, as prehistoric tools and ancient tombs have been discovered in some of the caves.
>>> The best way to explore Cuc Phuong is definitely taking a trekking tour
The 200-meter-high Bai Dinh Pagoda Mountain, with its many caves and areas of worship, is part of the larger Trang An Grottoes eco-tourist complex and is slotted for serious improvements. Ecologically and historically rich, much like the rest of the province, in 1997, the Bai Dinh Pagoda Mountain area was recognised as a cultural and historical heritage site.
A recently undertaken project for the 1.07 square kilometers area will involve the construction of a 100-ton bronze statue of the Great Buddha Sakyamuni, three bronze statues Tam The (50 tons each) and 500 statues of La Han (Arhats) made of Ninh Van stones.
Built-in 2003 and finally complete in 2010 to celebrate the 1.000th anniversary of Hoa Lu-Thang Long-Ha Noi capital. The new Bai Dinh Pagoda covers a total of 7 million square metres and adheres to traditional Vietnam design aesthetics with special materials from local handicraft villages was selected for the interior. The old Bai Dinh Pagoda is located some 800 metres from the new one, smaller and stayed into a series of small caves on the mountainside.
>>> Find more Best Things To Do in Ninh Binh 2019 <<<
The scenery in itself is absolutely worth the trip. You will figure out why Vietnamese people call Ninh Binh as “Vietnam’s Hidden Gem”. Not so far from Hanoi, it is possible to get to Ninh Binh by any vehicle you can think out. When you come to Ninh Binh, the most interesting thing appears in your eyes is the karst – rock formations in the mountain rising from the mist.
The trip should be started at 7:00 am to 7:30 am, it will spend more time to explore when the sun still stays in the sky. Lunchtime means the time of 12 pm or quite later (12:30 pm). The summer of Vietnam owns a high temperature in day-time so make sure you bring enough water by your side and don’t forget to wear a hat.
>>> See the detailed itinerary here
>>> Phat Diem is an alternative choice for anyone wishs to visit a “not-so-crowded” place. Explore more in Phat Diem Tam Coc Tour
>>> Check more day tour at Best Ninh Binh day tours <<<
This is the best Ninh Binh Itinerary for 2 Days 1 Night that our local experts come up with. Or you can contact us for a customized itinerary!
In the Morning
Depart from Hanoi to Bai Dinh Pagoda (Ninh Binh), travelling time about 2-3 hours. If you go in the direction of high-speed Phap Van – Cau Gie – Ninh Binh and then turn to Highway 10, which is just 10 kilometers from the city centre – Ninh Binh, it takes about 1.5 hours to get there.
It’s about 15 kilometers from here to Bai Dinh. Some famous tourist sites, beautiful landscapes for tourists to visit and explore Bai Dinh pagoda such as Ancient Pagoda (4 kilometers from New Pagoda), Light cave, Dark cave, Holy Nguyen temple, Cao Son temple, Ngoc well. It will take you nearly 2-3 hours to discover these places.
If you want to save time for other places, as well as for your health, you can buy electric car tickets to visit. The temple area is quite wide. When you have finished sight-seeing Bai Dinh Pagoda if you still have time, you should visit King Dinh Temple, Le King, it is far about 4 kilometers from Bai Dinh.
In the noon
Have lunch and rest for 1-2 hours.
In the afternoon
After you have rested a short time, about 14:00 pm you will move to Trang An Grottoes, time for sightseeing is about 3-5 hours. Key locations throughout Trang An: Trinh Temple, Tran temple, Cay Thi temple … If you want to enjoy goat meat, rice fire which get local flavours in Ninh Binh province, you can choose Ba Cua restaurant. Then you will return to Ninh Binh City and check into your hotel, have dinner & rest
It has ended the first of two days of the journey Ninh Binh. There’s so much night-life in this small town such as Quarter 8, Co Do Stilt House, eat some special foods at Huong Mai Restaurant or other restaurants.
In the morning
It is time for you to continue your journey in Your 2 Days Ninh Binh Itinerary. It is 28 kilometers from Ninh Binh to Phat Diem stone church. After having breakfast, you will depart. It is 2-5 hours for you to take a photo, visit Phat Diem Stone Cathedral.
In the noon
Have lunch near the stone church.
In the afternoon
Visit Tam Coc and take a boat ride on Ngo Dong River to know why it’s called “Halong Bay on land”. Also, let’s yourself immerse in the beautiful scenery here!
You can also replace the second day with visiting Cuc Phuong National Park or Thung Nham bird garden, Van Long Swamp. These places are also ideal destinations. It’s more convenient to combine the hot mineral spring in Kenh Ga with the Van Long Swamp because 2 places are quite near each other.
Hope you find the perfect legth for yourself. If you have any question, feel free to contact Original Hoa Lu Tam Coc. Our local experts are more than happy to help!