Just about 100km from Hanoi, Ninh Binh with many beautiful attractions has become a destination many visitors choose to visit in their holiday. If you have the opportunity to visit Ninh Binh, the following 8 attractions are the places that visitors should not miss during their journey of discovery.
Cuc Phuong National Park – Discover the Primary Forest
Cuc Phuong National Park is located deep in the Tam Dieo Mountain Range. It spreads over the three provinces Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa. Covering a total area of 22,408 hectares, it offers beautiful natural landscape, diverse ecosystems, and a rich history and culture.
Top tips: Many tourist activities are on offer here such as hiking or cycling in the forest, visiting the wildlife at night, observing the life of reptiles, amphibians and insects, learning about the local ethnic communities and visiting the first Carnivore and Pangolin Education Centre in Vietnam. Tours can last from a few hours to two or three days, depending on the season.
Cuc Phuong National Park offers a wide range of tour services, accommodation and dining options, which makes it easier for tourists who wish to stay overnight.
Dining: Dining services inside the national park or nearby restaurants include Cuc Phuong, and Thuy Lam Restaurant.
Phat Diem Cathedral – the ‘Catholic Capital’ of Vietnam
Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Phat Diem Town of Kim Son District. The cathedral combines oriental religious architecture with the Gothic architecture of Western churches. Inside the cathedral, there’s a splendid complex with lakes, caves, the Phuong Dinh Bell Tower, main hall and chapels. The most prominent is the chapel of Our Lady.
The cathedral is constructed mostly from stones, with its floor, walls, pillars and window bars all made from the material, which is why it’s also known as the Phat Diem Stone Cathedral.
Must see: Kim Son Sedge Weaving Village.
Dining: Restaurants near Highway 10 include Vu Bao Restaurant, Thanh Rau Restaurant and Hung Lien Restaurant.
Dong Dac Pagoda – Oldest religious architectural structure in Kim Son
Dong Dac Pagoda is located in Dong Dac Hamlet, Dong Huong Ward, Kim Son District. The pagoda is considered the oldest religious building in Kim Son, constructed decades before Phat Diem Cathedral. Through the years, Dac Dong Pagoda has been renovated several times and new features have been added. The pagoda is made entirely out of ironwood with tall wooden columns, trusses, bars, and spars. The architecture showcases the talent and skills of the Kim Son artisans who created it. Their skills are also displayed in other renowned works in the area, such as Hoa Lu Citadel and Phat Diem Stone Cathedral. The pagoda also hosted revolutionary soldiers and the army during the resistance war against France.
Must see: Nguyen Cong Tru Temple.
Dining: Restaurants near Highway 10 include Kim Son, Vu Bao Restaurant and Thanh Rau Restaurant.
Non Nuoc Mountain – The Most Beautiful Mountain in Ninh Binh
Non Nuoc Mountain is 100-metres high and located Northeast of Ninh Binh City, where the Van River and Day River intersect. The foot of the mountain has been eroded by waves. From afar, the mountain looks like a dome canopy shading the river. Non Nuoc mountain has been a witness to many historical events, and is a muse to many renowned poets in Vietnam.
Top tips: To get to the top, you must climb 72 stone steps. The top of the mountain is flat and covered with greenery, which is perfect for resting or sightseeing. From the top, you can see the entire Ninh Binh City and Ngoc My Nhan Mountain.
Must see: The gazebo located on top of the mountain, Truong Han Sieu Temple, Non Nuoc Temple, Thuy Son Park, and Ninh Binh Museum located at the foot of the mountain. About 1 kilometre from Non Nuoc Mountain is Rong Market.
Dining: Ms. Phan eel vermicelli, Trau Vang Restaurant (Tran Hung Dao Street) and Duc De Ninh Binh Restaurant (Nguyen Hue Street).
Van Trinh Cave – Paradise on Earth
Van Trinh Cave (also known as Giang Tien Cave) is located on Mo Mountain, Thuong Hoa Commune, Nho Quang District. This large cave is one of the most beautiful in Ninh Binh. Intricate stalactites decorate the inside of the cave, turning it into a magical maze.
Top tips: Sail along the Hoang Long River to reach the foot of Mo Mountain, and follow the hillside to reach Van Trinh Cave. There’s a huge stalactite wall, 7 metres tall, 10 metres long, and 1 metre wide, dividing the cave into two halls (Tien Bai and Hau Cung).
Dining: Many travel companies offer tours of Van Trinh Cave and the nearby Kenh Ga Hot Springs – a convenient option for visitors.
Dong Chuong Lake – Romantic Natural Scenery
Dong Chuong is a natural freshwater lake located on the border between Phu Loc and Phu Long Commune, Nho Quan District. The lake is pristine and tranquil and surrounded by pine hills, creating a cooling and poetic natural atmosphere.
Top tips: Guests can take a boat ride around the lake to enjoy the nature and daydream. You can climb the hills to find Troi Pond, located on top of the hills. The pond is relatively small, but it is always filled with water as blue as the sky.
You can also find activities in Dong Chuong Ecotourism Complex such as amusement parks for children, a sports complex, campgrounds and a nine-hole golf course.
Must see: The 40-metre tall Ba Tua Waterfall and Chin Suoi Spring.
Dining: Dining services are available in the tourism complex and you can also bring food and camp here.
Dong Thai Lake Ecotourism Zone – The Soul of the Ancient Capital
Located 25 kilometres Southeast of Ninh Binh City, Dong Thai Lake Ecotourism Zone covers an area of 2,185 hectares in Yen Dong Commune, Yen Mo District and Dong Son Commune, Tam Diep Town. The main attraction here is Dong Thai Lake, located next to the majestic Tam Diep Mountain, creating a beautiful natural landscape.
Top tips: Dong Thai Lake is the ideal location for a weekend getaway. Many activities are on offer here such as boating, sightseeing, camping, exploring the local culture and history and shopping.
Must see: Ma Tien Cave
Dining: You can bring food for a picnic, or return to the city centre for more choices of restaurants.
Royal Golf Club – Rendezvous Spot for Golfers
Located in Yen Mo District and Tam Diep Town, surrounded by thousand-year-old rock mountains, Royal Golf Club Yen Thang Lake lends the golf course its beauty underlined by rolling hills covered in trees surrounding the lake. The golf club gets a cool breeze from the ocean (Kim Son Beach is located 20 kilometres away) and Yen Thang Lake, creating a cooling and comfortable space for golfers who come here to relax.
Top tips: Wide and deep sand pits are interesting challenges for professional golfers. Holes are diverse in range and distance, which suits golfers of all levels, allowing them to use a diverse range of golf clubs. After playing, you can relax at the clubhouse located on top of the rocky mountain, with a number of premium services including restaurants, an entertainment area and a spa and beauty area.
Dining: An Asian – European international restaurant is located inside the golf course.
Van Ly | Wanderlust Tips | Cinet