Ninh Binh: Top 12 Must-Do Activities for an Unforgettable Experience


Last Update 26 Mar 2024

Ninh Binh beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike, offering a haven of exploration amidst its historical significance and natural splendor. As Vietnam’s inaugural capital, this region now stands as a cherished UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting enchanting moss-covered pagodas, awe-inspiring limestone formations, and surreal vistas. Eager for an escapade? Embark on adventure motorcycle tours with Indochina, as they guide you through 12 essential things to do in Ninh Binh, ensuring an unforgettable journey awaits.

Things to do in Ninh Binh: Take a boat trip to visit Trang An

Lately, there has been a growing trend of online searches on platforms like Google and social media, with many expressing curiosity about the various available Ninh Binh things to do. The scenery of Trang An, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is truly breathtaking, and rightly so. The towering limestone formations, cloaked in lush vegetation, and the sheer cliffs juxtaposed against the serene, glassy waters create a truly dramatic spectacle. Coming here, you can embark on a tranquil two-hour rowboat journey, navigating through enchanting caves, serene temples, and tranquil lakes, all of the remarkable things to do in Ninh Binh. For those seeking more adventurous experiences, consider exploring the region through Northeast Vietnam motorcycle tours for an exhilarating and unique perspective on this stunning landscape.

Dramatic and serene feeling when having a boat trip in Trang An

Visit the Hoa Lu Temples

Nestled amid two majestic limestone peaks lies Hoa Lu, once the thriving capital of Vietnam during the 10th and 11th centuries. Today, it stands as a vibrant cultural hub adorned with ancient pagodas and citadels, many erected in homage to the Dinh dynasty rulers. Exploring this historical gem is undoubtedly among the top things to do in Ninh Binh.

Return to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and immerse yourself in the charming and magnificent mountains

Climb up to the Hang Mua Peak

True to its name, Mua Cave offers more than just cavernous exploration; its crowning jewel lies in the breathtaking panoramic vista from its summit. From this viewpoint, you’re treated to mesmerizing sights of the Tam Coc River meandering through the surrounding mountains, while lush rice fields sprawl beneath. Accessible via a brief 15-minute hike encompassing 500 steps, ascending Mua Cave unquestionably ranks among the premier things to do in Ninh Binh.

Hang Mua Peak is in many“Ninh Binh what to see” search results

Explore Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park stands as a crucial bastion of biodiversity within Vietnam. As the largest nature reserve in the nation, this preserved rainforest shelters over 300 rare bird species and 2000 plant species, all meticulously safeguarded to maintain the pristine natural heritage of Ninh Binh. For an immersive experience, visitors have the opportunity to lodge within the park grounds alongside the local Muong people, an ethnic community residing in the northern mountainous regions of Vietnam. To fully explore the wonders of Ninh Binh and its surrounding areas, consider embarking on Ninh Binh motorbike tours, where you can ride through breathtaking landscapes and encounter the rich cultural and ecological diversity of the region firsthand.

A visit to Cuc Phuong Forest is one of the TOP things to do in Ninh Binh

Furthermore, a visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center offers a poignant glimpse into conservation efforts aimed at safeguarding Vietnam’s most endangered primate species. This sanctuary is devoted to the rescue and preservation of these vulnerable creatures, contributing significantly to the ongoing conservation endeavors within the region.

Go cycling around the village and fields

Cycling is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Ninh Binh, offering both convenience and immersive exploration. Numerous hotels offer complimentary bike rentals or provide them for a nominal fee, typically around one dollar. If your lodging doesn’t offer this service, nearby hotels and shops often do. With a bicycle, you can effortlessly navigate the key attractions in Ninh Binh.

Explore the authentic Vietnamese countryside through Ninh Binh cycling adventures

Venturing around the region by bike proves to be a gratifying experience. The pathways winding through rice fields exhibit particularly stunning scenery. Along the route, you’ll encounter tranquil lotus lakes and charming villages where you can pause for a refreshing beverage. Keep an eye out for stray goats or water buffalo that may cross your path, adding to the rustic charm of your journey. 

Marvel at Bai Dinh Pagoda

The expansive Bai Dinh temple complex holds the distinction of being Vietnam’s largest collection of temples, offering a profound destination for religious devotees embarking on pilgrimages. Moreover, it stands as a revered landmark in Ninh Binh, attracting a plethora of tourists intrigued by spirituality and the intricate beauty of Buddhist art. For visitors seeking enriching experiences, exploring the Bai Dinh temple complex ranks among the essential things to do in Ninh Binh, promising a journey imbued with cultural significance and spiritual resonance.

Bai Dinh Pagoda - A peaceful place to practice amidst the high mountains

Try specialties in Ninh Binh

Regarding things to do in Ninh Binh at night, indulging in its culinary delights is an essential part of the experience, featuring specialties like scorched rice, succulent goat meat infused with zesty lemon, stir-fried and grilled variations, as well as roasted crab enveloped in piper lolot leaves, and refreshing fish salad.

Among these delicacies, goat meat reigns supreme, captivating the taste buds of numerous tourists. Grazed amidst rocky terrains, Ninh Binh’s goat meat (thịt dê núi) is renowned for its firm texture and satisfying chewiness. To savor this local delicacy at its finest, visitors are encouraged to seek out reputable restaurants nestled in mountainous areas such as Hoa Lu, the surroundings of Trang An, and the Tam Coc eco-tourism regions. Prices typically range from 100,000 to 250,000 VND per serving, depending on the preparation method.

For an authentic gastronomic journey in Ninh Binh, below are recommended dining spots:

  • Chinh Thu goat meat restaurant (Khe Thuong, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh)
  • Duc De Restaurant (446 Nguyen Hue, Ninh Binh City)
  • Dung Pho Nui Restaurant (Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh)
  • Mrs. Phan eel vermicelli (999 Tran Hung Dao, Ninh Binh city)
  • Bun Moc To Nhu (National Highway 10, Kim Son, Ninh Binh)
  • Thanh Hang sticky rice ice cream (Luong Van Tuy Street, Ninh Binh City)

Popular Mountain Goat Meat Dish in Ninh Binh

Adventure in Van Long Nature Reserve

Van Long Nature Reserve stands as the premier wetland expanse in Northern Vietnam, boasting vast stretches of paddy fields and limestone peaks that stretch towards the horizon, creating an unforgettable landscape worth exploring. This sanctuary is not only a scenic marvel but also serves as a vital habitat for various primate species, including the endangered Langur. 

Enjoying the most chilling afternoon at Van Long Nature Reserve

Within its boundaries, animal rehabilitation efforts thrive, providing treatment for injured wildlife before reintroducing them into their natural habitat, contributing to the preservation of biodiversity. Engaging with conservation activities and admiring the stunning natural beauty make visiting Van Long Nature Reserve one of the best things to do in Ninh Binh.

Things to do in Ninh Binh: Visit Tam Coc

Often referred to as the Halong Bay of inland Vietnam, Tam Coc charms visitors with its picturesque landscape. Unlike Halong Bay, here, majestic mountains are enveloped by lush green rice fields and untamed wilderness. Among the myriad of activities available in Tam Coc, embarking on a boat trip reigns supreme. 

Gliding through the golden hue of Tam Coc is the best thing to do in Ninh Binh

Step aboard a traditional rowboat and entrust the locals to guide you through the verdant scenery. As you glide along, you will be treated to breathtaking vistas of karst mountains, hidden caves, and serene surroundings. After roughly 2 hours, you will find yourself deeply enamored with this captivating region, making it an unforgettable part of your Ninh Binh experience.

Things to do in Ninh Binh: See Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda forms a stunning ensemble of mountain cave temples, adorning the landscape with grace. These venerable shrines and pagodas, some dating back to the 15th century, are nestled along the hillside. Accessing each monument requires a journey of walking and climbing, yet the path is richly rewarding. The bridge entrance, renowned among Instagrammers, serves as a notable highlight along the route. Exploring Bich Dong Pagoda is an essential activity for those seeking captivating things to do in Ninh Binh.

Majestic Bich Dong Pagoda - An ancient pagoda on the Truong Yen mountain range

Engage in bird watching at Thung Nham Bird Garden

Thung Nham Park emerges as a recent addition to Ninh Binh’s array of attractions, offering a tranquil escape without the crowds. Renowned for its abundant birdlife, the park comes alive with avian activity, making late afternoon or early morning visits ideal for catching the birds in their natural habitat before they take flight. Although the birds typically return home around 4 pm, the expansive park offers plenty of diversions to enjoy beforehand. Boat excursions are on offer, providing an opportunity to venture into the forest where the birds congregate every evening. Exploring Thung Nham Park promises a serene and enriching experience for travelers seeking leisurely things to do in Ninh Binh.

Admire the pristine beauty of Thung Nham eco-tourism area

Admire Phat Diem Church

When exploring Ninh Binh, a visit to Phat Diem Stone Church is a must for tourists seeking captivating architectural wonders. This impressive edifice, entirely crafted from stone, seamlessly blends Vietnamese and European architectural styles. Complete with a majestic bell tower, a grand main cathedral, and adorned with smaller chapels and statues, the church stands as a testament to remarkable craftsmanship.

Phat Diem Stone Cathedral has the architecture of Vietnamese communal houses and pagodas

Beyond its religious significance, Phat Diem Stone Church draws tourists eager to marvel at its intricate design and delve into its storied past. Nestled amidst a picturesque rural backdrop of rice paddies and limestone formations, the church exudes a timeless charm and allure.

In conclusion, there is a growing interest in discovering Ninh Binh what to do, reflecting a burgeoning curiosity about the diverse range of activities available in the region. Ninh Binh, a scenic gem nestled in Vietnam, offers an abundance of activities and sights to explore. From the breathtaking limestone formations of Tam Coc to the historic temples of Bai Dinh, there’s a myriad of natural and cultural things to do in Ninh Binh. So, why don’t you start mapping out your itinerary for Ninh Binh Motorbike Tour with Indochina Motorcycle today and set off on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Vietnam’s stunning landscapes!


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