Things to do in
Ninh Bình Province

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Our most recommended things to do in Ninh Bình Province

From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

1. From Hanoi: Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Mua Caves Full-Day Trip

Start your tour early with pick-up at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter at around 7:30 AM, and depart for Tam Coc. At around 9:30 AM, arrive at Tam Coc and take the sampan go along the Ngo Dong river to visit Tam Coc's three caves. Head back to Tam Coc wharf, take your bicycle and cycle around traditional villages and Tam Coc town. At midday, sit down for lunch with Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant. After lunch, hop back into the luxury van to visit Hoa Lu, an ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh king Temple and Le king Temple from the 10th century, and head about the heroic histories of the two Kings during the Chinese Wars. Visit Mua cave, which attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. At around 4:00 PM, return Ha Noi, arriving between 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM. Tour itinerary 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM: Your tour bus will pick you up at your hotel for departure to Hoa Lu. 10:30 AM - 10:40 AM: Arrive at Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh King temple and Le King temple from the 10th century, finding out the heroic histories of these two king in Chinese wars. 11:50 AM - 12:00 PM: Have lunch. 1:00 PM - 1:05 PM: Get on the tour bus, continue to visit Tam Coc wharf and take the sampan along the Ngo Dong river to visit Tam Coc (three different caves). 3:00 PM - 3:05 PM: Biking to visit traditional villages around the Tam Coc area. 3:30 PM - 3:35 PM: Keep going to visit Mua cave. The place attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps, here you can see all the way to Tam Coc, enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and the Ngo Dong river. 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM: Get on the tour bus to return Ha Noi. 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Arrive at Ha Noi, drop off at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter. End of tour!

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Full-Day Trang An, Hoa Lu & Mua Cave Tour with Lunch

2. Full-Day Trang An, Hoa Lu & Mua Cave Tour with Lunch

Start your tour with hotel pick-up at around 7:30 AM, and depart for Hoa Lu. At around 10:30 AM, arrive in this ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit the Dinh King Temple and Le King Temple from the 10th century, and hear about the heroic histories of these two Kings during the Chinese Wars. At around midday, sit down for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant, before you head to Trang An Wharf to take boat trip along Trang An Stream. Visit Trang An cave complex, including Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, Nau Ruou, and marvel at the scenery of mountains and rivers.  At 3:00 PM, head back to Trang An wharf to board the luxury limousine, and visit Mua Cave. Climb 500 stone steps to see all the way to Tam Coc, and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. Finally, hop back onto the bus at 4:30 PM and return to Hanoi, arriving at around 7:00 PM. Tour itinerary 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM: Tour bus will pick you up at your hotel lobby in Ha Noi Old Quarter for departure to Ninh Binh. 10:30 AM - 10:40 AM: Arrive at Hoa Lu the ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh King's temple and Le King's temple from the 10th century, finding out the heroic histories of these two king's in the Chinese wars. 11:50 AM - 12:00 PM: Have a buffet lunch with Vietnamese cuisine. 1:00 PM - 1:05 PM: Get on the bus to go to Trang An wharf to enjoy a unique sampan journey to visit Trang An cave complex and the scene of the King Kong film. 3:00 PM - 3:05 PM: Bike around Trang An area and enjoy a Vietnamese tea break. 3:40 PM - 3:45 PM: Keep going to visit Mua cave. The place attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps, here you can see all the way to Tam Coc, enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. 4:55 PM - 5:00 PM: Get on the tour bus and return to Ha Noi. 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Arrive at Ha Noi, drop off at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter. End of tour!

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From Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

3. From Hanoi: Hoa Lu, Trang An and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

Your tour will start with pickup from your hotel in Hanoi between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. Depart for Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, in an air-conditioned car. Upon arrival, visit the temples of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh. Discover the heroic histories of these two kings during the Chinese Wars. Then enjoy a lunch of traditional Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant. Afterwards, continue to Trang An Wharf by car. From here you'll take a boat trip to discover the cave complex. See Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, Nau Ruou and the mysterious surrounding wilderness. Admire the beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers.  The tour continues to Mua Cave, a popular tourist sight with many interesting stories. Climb the 500 stone steps up to a temple to appreciate the incredible views. From here you can see all the way to Tam Coc, enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. You'll be driven back to Hanoi, where your tour will end with drop-off at your hotel at approximately 7:30 PM.

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Hanoi: 2-Night Ninh Binh and Halong Bay Tour

4. Hanoi: 2-Night Ninh Binh and Halong Bay Tour

After being collected from the Hanoi Old Quarter, you will embark on your 2.5-hour journey to the Ninh Binh Province. You will eventually arrive at the Bai Dinh Pagoda complex, where you'll see the largest pagoda not only in Vietnam, but also in Southeast Asia. Leaving the pagoda, you will then climb up to the summit of the mountain to see the 100-ton bronze statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni. Once there you will take a rest whilst enjoying panoramic views of the picturesque landscape, dotted with limestone mountains. Following lunch at local restaurant, you will take a boat trip to explore the cave complex in Trang An. This is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, many of them partly submerged and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. You will later spend the night at a home-stay/hotel in Ninh Binh. Following breakfast on the second day, your bus will pick you up at your accommodation for the 4-hour transfer to Halong Bay. Upon arrival at the Halong Wharf, you will have time to stretch your legs and take some photos. You will then board your cruise boat for a welcoming drink and cruise briefing, before enjoying lunch whilst cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay and admiring the fascinating rock formations along the way. It will then be time to transfer by tender boat to Thien Canh Son Cave to visit the cave which boasts many interesting stalactites and stalagmites in different amazing shapes. After about half an hour visiting, you will go back to the tender and return to the boat to relax, sunbathe, or to enjoy a cool drink on the sundeck. You may also like to spend half an hour kayaking to discover first-hand some of Bai Tu Long Bay's landscape. Following all these activities there will be the opportunity to join the fun with an onboard cooking class. After you've worked up an appetite, you will enjoy a Vietnamese-style set dinner which will be served on board. To end the evening you may like to spend some time chatting in the bar or enjoy some night fishing, before you stay overnight on the boat at a peaceful anchorage. After breakfast and enjoying the sunrise on the third day, you will visit the ancient Vung Vieng floating village. Here you will not only be immersed in the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, but will also be surrounded by the limestone mountains as you are transported by a small bamboo boat for an hour. Following that, you will return to the cruise for some relaxation and lunch. The boat will then return to the Halong Wharf for disembarkation and your return to Hanoi by bus, where your trip eventually ends.

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From Hanoi: Tam Coc and Hoa Lu Full-Day Trip with Boat Ride

5. From Hanoi: Tam Coc and Hoa Lu Full-Day Trip with Boat Ride

Start your day with an early 08:00 pick-up at your hotel before taking the 2-hour ride south from Ha Noi to Ninh Binh Province, known to many travelers as Vietnam’s 'Inland Halong Bay'. Once there, hop into a local boat for a 2-hour cruise along the Tam Coc stream. Take a moment to soak up the spectacular scenery while gliding along the river, surrounded by lush rice paddies and towering limestone mountain ranges. After the boat ride, enjoy an authentic local lunch served at a riverside restaurant. Then take a short trip along the peaceful country road to Hoa Lu, the city that was once Vietnam’s ancient capital 11 centuries ago. Explore 2 of Hoa Lu's remarkable temples, dedicated to the emperors King Dinh and King Le. After exploring this historic region, you'll head back to Hanoi and be dropped off back at your hotel. 

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Private Full Day Tam Coc, Cuc Phuong National Park W/ Lunch

6. Private Full Day Tam Coc, Cuc Phuong National Park W/ Lunch

Arrive at Tam Coc and take the sampan that goes along the Ngo Dong River to visit three different caves. After you finish visiting Tam Coc, bike around the Tam Coc area and enjoy a Vietnamese tea break. Next, enjoy a lunch of Vietnamese cuisine. Then get back into your private car and continue on towards Cuc Phuong National Park to visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center. The primate center was established in 1993 with the help of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Afterwards, visit the cave of Early Man. It is one of the nice cave in this forest, then going to visit some symbal old trees of Cuc Phuong National Park.

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Private Day Tour: Cuc Phuong National Park from Hanoi

7. Private Day Tour: Cuc Phuong National Park from Hanoi

Venture into the heart of the jungle on this full-day tour of Cuc Phuong National Park. Explore the park while on a hike, observing the way the jungle comes alive. Visit the langurs and Endangered Primate Rescue Center as well, witnessing them in their natural environment. In the morning, your private guide will meet you in the lobby of your Hanoi hotel. From there, begin your two-hour ride to the Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh. Upon your arrival, visit the langurs and Endangered Primate Rescue Center. Here, professional staff protect monkeys and langurs from becoming extinct. The environment is kept as close to their natural habitat as possible. Afterwards, enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant, recommended by your guide. Take a trekking trip into the heart of the jungle come the afternoon. As you hike, observe the rare flora and fauna that surrounds you. Listen to the exotic birds as they sing and stand in the middle of the jungle to take in nature in its truest form. From there, continue to walk the trail, taking photos along the way. Late into the day, you will return to the car and transfer back to your Hanoi accommodation.

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Full Day Trang An, Bich Dong Pagoda, Biking & Family Visit

8. Full Day Trang An, Bich Dong Pagoda, Biking & Family Visit

This full-day tour departs Hanoi on a drive to Trang An, with a short break en route. Spend a couple of hours exploring Trang An in a small boat, rowed by a local. See the many limestone caves along the Sao Khe River and the temples along the way. Stop for lunch that features local Vietnamese dishes. Enjoy a cup of Vietnamese green tea or coffee before cycling to Ninh Binh. Explore the area for around an hour, taking in the rice fields and limestone mountains. Next, visit the Bich Dong pagoda and learn about Vietnam’s history and its Buddhist culture. Later see the temple of King Dinh in Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Itinerary 07:15 AM – 07.45 AM Pick-up from your hotel or private address and departure to Ninh Binh. 10:00 AM Arrive at Trang An, spend about 2 hours exploring Trang An - the core of natural heritage in a small boat, rowed by local people. Visit many limestone water caves along Sao Khe river, King Kong film set and temples along the way. 12:30 PM Come to a local restaurant, refresh with a welcome drink then enjoy a special lunch with the local cuisine featuring the yin-yang balance of the Asian culture. 02:30 PM Visiting a local family in Van Lam village, Tam Coc area. Spend time to interact and learn their tradition and lifestyle. Here, see their house architecture and decor, as well as their daily life and handicraft job of making traditional embroidery. 03:30 PM Leave the family, take a bike and start riding around the village to explore the gorgeous rice fields surrounded by limestone mountains with a unique route. 04:00 PM Visit Bich Dong Pagoda under the introduction of your local guide, get to know more about the Vietnam history and understand the origin of Buddhism. 04:30 PM Leave Ninh Binh and drive straight back to Hanoi. 06:30 PM Arrive in Hanoi, get dropped back to your hotel or private address in Hanoi. Trip ends.

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From Hanoi: Bai Dinh, Trang An, and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

9. From Hanoi: Bai Dinh, Trang An, and Mua Cave Full-Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM and drive by bus to Bai Dinh Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam. Explore this beautiful Buddhist place of worship, with 500 La Han statues and the largest bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam, 10 meters tall. Enjoy some free time with your guide to visit the pagoda and learn more about Buddhism.   Enjoy a lunch of Vietnamese cuisine after you've seen the pagoda. Then hop back on the bus and continue to Trang An wharf. From here, take a boat trip to visit Trang An cave complex. After the boat trip, you'll take a bike to visit traditional villages around the Trang An area.   The tour continues to Mua Cave. Listen to interesting stories about this place from your guide. After climbing 500 stone steps, you'll be able to see all the way to Tam Coc. Enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. At the end of the day you'll get back on the bus and drive back to Hanoi, where you'll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Old Quarter.

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From Hanoi: Ninh Binh & Cuc Phuong National Park 2-Day Tour

10. From Hanoi: Ninh Binh & Cuc Phuong National Park 2-Day Tour

Get back to nature on a guided tour of Vietnam's first national park and marvel at the lush landscape of the Red River Delta. Visit the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and see the amazing pagoda temples of Bai Dinh. Day 1: Hanoi – Ninh Binh Province – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (L, D) Depart Hanoi and relax on the 2.5-hour journey to Ninh Binh, where you will check into your homestay before a lunch of local food. Then, explore the ancient capital of Hoa Lu before continuing to Tam Coc to row around the rice fields by boat. Marvel at the caves and Bich Dong pagoda temples among the limestone mountains. Take a bike tour of the village to experience the sights and sounds of everyday life, before dinner at your homestay. Day 2: Cuc Phuong National Park – Hanoi (B, L) Get back to nature on a morning drive to Cuc Phuong National Park via a prehistoric cave. Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center before taking a guided walk with lunch inside the park. Return to Hanoi and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

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What people are saying about Ninh Bình Province

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 983 reviews

the tour was excellent, the boat trip was particularly incredible. Nghia was an excellent guide, he spoke English very well and was extremely helpful, responsible and friendly. Some reviews comment on not having much time but that is the nature of a one day trip that is 100km out of a busy city. Definitely worth it if you have day to spare :)

Enjoyed the biking and the steep hike (view was worth it)! The boat ride, not so much - around 1.30hrs sitting under the sun. It was pretty hot so make sure you bring a hat and sunblock. Overall, it was good. Our tour guide Zuy (Frank) was knowledgable and fun. He adjusted the itinerary that fit to our liking :)

This is a must do activity when in Hanoi! Do not miss it! The view after climbing 500 steps is just unparalleled and beautiful!! The 1 hour boat ride though the green fields surrounding by hills is just splendid! Highly highly recommended activity!! Our guide Mr Kay (Mr K?) is just awesome!

The trip was amazing and the scenery beyond mesmerizing . The whole trip was really organized and even though the boat trip was cancelled, they provided an alternative in order for us to expereinece it to the fullest . Our guide Franky (Dyi) was great !

This was a great tour....a very full day! Our tour guide seemed to really like his job as he was enthusiastic and upbeat. Loved everything about it!!