My Yellow Suitcase

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Must See Places in Ninh Binh – Vietnam

If I have to choose one word to describe Ninh Binh, I would say without a doubt – it’s therapeutic! It offers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of Vietnam’s capital city. With its laid back lifestyle, interesting history, and culture along with its incredible food, it is truly a perfect place to find peace and tranquility.

Although I wasn’t there for that long in the grand scheme of things, I really loved the place and definitely, there are so many reasons to make your stay in Ninh Binh longer. I wish I did, but my little knowledge about the place prevented me from doing so.

To help you plan an amazing travel itinerary, here are my top 7 stunning landscapes and attractions to see in Ninh Binh that should be edging your bucket list.

Tam Coc (The Three Grottoes)

Location: Located near the village of Van Lam, 7km from Ninh Binh

Entrance Fee: 200,000 Dong per person

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 5:00 Pm

What to expect:  If there’s one thing that you should not miss in Ninh Binh, this is it. The natural beauty of Tam Coc is just beyond words.  The meandering river was lined by rice paddies and guarded by limestone cliffs similar to that in Ha Long Bay. Thus, Tam Coc has earned the name the “Halong Bay on Land”.

Bich Dong Pagoda


Location: 3 km after the Tam Coc Pier

Entrance Fee: Free

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 5:00 Pm

What to expect:  An interesting 15th century pagoda with three levels in a steep Mountains side, offering nice views. Ha, Trung, and Thuong Pagodas, in ascending order. Some of the temples are build right into caves and you can explore. After the highest temple you may also like to ignore the sign and climb up the rocks (there is a clear path) to the top of the rock, the view is really worth the scramble, but not recommended with flip flops or the like.

Trang An Grottoes

Trang Ang

Location: 7 km from Ninh Binh

Entrance Fee: 150,000 Dong per person

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 4:00 Pm

What to expect:  Trang An Grottoes is similar to Tam Coc but with many more caves to pass through. Most caves have been widened in order for the boats to pass through and as result their natural beauty has been compromised. The first two caves are the most natural and beautiful but are also tight in places, so watch your head. The site was mainly built for Vietnamese and Chinese tourists. However, you are much less likely to be bothered by vendors selling beverages and hand embroidered gifts.

Hoa Lu: The Ancient Capital

hoa lu ninh binh boat

Location: 15 km from Ninh Binh and Tam Coc

Entrance Fee: Free

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 4:00 Pm

What to expect:  Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam under the Dinh dynasty and the first part of the Le dynasty. The area was chosen because the limestone formations surrounding the site were a  natural defense against the Chinese. The two temples, both dedicated to respective Le and Dinh kings, are ornate 17th-century re-creations on the site of some ancient ramparts and walls, but what makes the trip interesting is the beautiful scenery of the area, especially along the rural road connecting the site with nearby Tam Coc.

Hang Mua Peak


Location: 5 km from Tam Coc pier

Entrance Fee: 100,000 Dong per person

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 5:00 Pm

What to expect:  500 steps will bring you to the tip of the peak, from which you have a most spectacular 360° view of the entire region, the Red River Delta on the East and the mountains on the other sides. Definitely a must visit if all those steps do not scare you.

Cuc Phuong National Park


Location: 45km from Ninh Binh

Entrance Fee: 50,000 dong per person

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 5:00 Pm

What to expect:  It is a well preserved rainforest with an Endangered Primates Rescue Centre near the entrance. It is the oldest national park in Vietnam, and the place where the legendary Ho Chi Minh track gets its start. It is famous for being one of the last primary forests in Vietnam, featuring luxuriant wildlife flora and fauna.  It also has committed itself to several conservation programs, including the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) and the Turtle Conservation Center.

Phat Diem Cathedral


Location: 34 km from Ninh Binh

Entrance Fee: 50,000 dong per person

Operating Hours: 8:00 Am to 5:00 Pm

What to expect: One of the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam with special architecture: Mixing Eastern and Western architectural styles, it is quite spectacular, especially because of its size (75m x 27m x 15m height) and its interior with its huge iron wood columns.

Credit:  Photos of Tam Coc, Trang An, Hoa Lu, Cuc Phuong National Park and Phat Diem Cathedral were all taken from

Have you been to a place as calming as Ninh Binh? Would you like to add something on the list? Write it down in the comment box below and I might include it.   If you enjoyed this post, why not follow  my  Facebook  or Instagram page for more travel tips and  inspiration. 

Happy travels everyone!

You may also like:

Tips for a BUDGET TRAVEL in Vietnam

My First Impressions of Hanoi, Vietnam

Scenic Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake – HANOI

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – HANOI

Guide for Choosing a Suitable Halong Bay Cruise

Cruising Ha Long Bay – Vietnam


Picturesque Tam Coc – Ninh Binh Vietnam

Escape to Ninh Binh – Vietnam

Uniquely Hanoi, Vietnam


3 comments on “Must See Places in Ninh Binh – Vietnam

  1. Pingback: 15 Must See Places in Hanoi, Vietnam | My Yellow Suitcase

  2. cha
    February 20, 2017

    hi, may i ask if it is possible to include in our itinerary Halong Bay and Ninh Binh? we only have 5 days and 4 nights to spend in hanoi and im cramming already doing our intinerary coz our trip is this coming March 🙂


    • Ynah CA
      February 23, 2017

      Hi Cha, sorry for my late reply. Five days is not enough to cover all – Hanoi – Ha long Bay and Ninh Binh. 2 days for Hanoi and 2 days in Ha Long Bay – include Caba instead of Ninh Binh.


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This entry was posted on April 14, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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