Long time ago, Ninh Binh seemed to become one of perfect destinations for travelers who seek for brand new and exciting experiences in their Vietnam Tour.
Just take 2 hours to the south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh offers travelers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of Vietnam’s capital city in a slower-paced town which serves as a gateway to stunning natural attractions and postcard fantasies of classic Southeast Asia. Though the town may be less popular than Halong Bay, the surrounding area offers plenty of options for travelers who want to spend a few days discovering the wealth of natural attractions without the choking crowds that you will find in places like Halong Bay.
The beautiful landscapes in Ninh Binh
To arrive in Ninh Binh, in my point, taking a train is the best and most fantastic way. Running nearly the entire length of the country and passing through most major destinations, these air-conditioned trains are safe, comfortable, and generally inexpensive, making them the ideal way to travel whether you are going north or south. Best of all, the train journeys become an experience in themselves and one of the best ways to experience Vietnamese as the locals do. Traveling over mountains and along the coast, train travelers are able to experience the incredible natural beauty of the country, as well as viewing the many quaint and picturesque towns along the way. It is a great way to meet local Vietnamese people and experience Vietnam beyond the few destinations that every tourist visits.
One of the most popular attractions in the Ninh Binh area is Tam Coc, also known as “HaLong Bay on the Rice Paddies”. Tam Coc is named after the low caves through which the Ngo Dong River flows amidst a landscape of rugged rock formations, similar to those found at HaLong Bay. It is an unforgettable location, full of jagged limestone mountains rising from vibrant green rice paddies with the Ngo Dong River cutting its way through a sea of green. Most people experience Tam Coc on a day trip from Hanoi, arriving in mid-morning an approximately two-hour trip on a rowboat, passing through several low-hanging caves with only the sounds of paddles churning the water.
Tam Coc is one of the best places in Ninh Binh
Tam Coc is truly a must-see destination of Vietnam, but do you know what the perfect time to make a trip to this beautiful destination is?
It is best to visit in the early morning and evening hours when the weather is cooler and there a fewer tourists. Tickets are purchased at a small booth and boats usually carry two passengers, along with a rower who sits at the back. The rowboats cut down on unnecessary noise in this serene and beautiful area and should provide a relaxing and romantic way of experiencing Tam Coc. The trip takes about two hours and passes through three caves: Hang Ca, the first cave, is 127m long; Hang Giua 70m long; and the third, Hang Cuoi, is only 45m.
Or if you’re a person who’s keen on experiencing and discovering, you can hire a motorbike and ask for some instructions from a local guide to make totally different experiences with this place. The roads may be a bit difficult to determine the directions, because they’re generally unmarked and unpaved, but with the help of friendly locals you will be able to locate the destination, and enter a tranquil setting of bridge-covered ponds and shaded trees. There are many caves to explore, but it is the overlook which brings the few tourists here. A flight of 500 stairs carved into stone leads up limestone crags to a mountaintop overlook with a fantastic vista of Tam Coc and the Ngo Dong River below. The climb is best done in the early morning or late afternoon when it is cooler and the light is better for photographing the gorgeous scene. And once you get to the top, from the overlook you can look down upon the river and see the tiny boats carrying overheated passengers on the Tam Coc river journey. The view is spectacular and it is likely your only company will be the large dragon statue perched upon the craggy limestone rocks overlooking this unforgettable location.
Travel around Tam Coc by motorbike
Well, come to Tam Coc and make memorable experiences just like I did, you’ll soon realize that the natural wonders surrounding Ninh Binh are not limited to Tam Coc, but exist in almost every direction. Dirt paths connect with newly paved roads winding their way amidst an unbelievable range of lush mountains and towering peaks. And especially when you try discovering this place on a motorbike, you can feel totally new experiences, with the wind at your face and the open road before you. With the freedom of your own transportation carrying you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southeast Asia, the days you spend in Ninh Binh will be your favorite in all of Vietnam tour.