Top things to do

Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh Province

Van Long Nature Reserve

Set amid glorious limestone pinnacles, this tranquil reserve comprises a reedy wetland that’s popular with bird-watchers. Among the bird species that have been spotted here are the rare black-faced spoonbill, cotton…
Church in Phat Diem

Phat Diem Cathedral

The cathedral’s wooden interior boasts a vaulted ceiling supported by massive columns. Above the granite altar Vietnamese-looking cherubs swarm, while Chinese-style clouds drift across the blue ceiling. Beneath are …
Cave in Ninh Binh Province

Mua Cave

Down a sleepy road between rice paddies, this cave is not terribly impressive, but there are panoramic views from the peak above. A stone staircase beside the cave entrance zigzags through the karst (beware the goat…
Cave in Ninh Binh Province

Trang An

Rowboats bob along the Sao Khe River through limestone caves. It's a relaxing trip, but many caves have also been enlarged to accommodate boats. Boat trips (150,000d per person, or 800,000d for your own boat) take t…
National Park in Ninh Binh Province

Cuc Phuong National Park

Established in 1962, this national park is one of Vietnam’s most important protected areas. Though wildlife has suffered a precipitous decline in Vietnam in recent decades, the park’s 222 sq km of primary tropical f…
Beer Garden in Tam Coc

Chookies Beer Garden

The comfy deckchairs and rustic shared tables at Chookies Beer Garden are the place to be after a day boating or mountain biking around the Tam Coc and Trang An areas. As well as frosty beers, there's also a small m…
Vietnamese in Ninh Binh

Trung Tuyet

Expect filling portions, options for vegetarians, and a warm welcome from the host family at this busy little place that's popular with travellers. The owners will even drop you off at the nearby train station if yo…
Vietnamese in Tam Coc

Thuy Linh

Our pick of the family-owned restaurants along the Tam Coc strip. Good goat dishes – you're in Ninh Binh after all – and cheap rice and noodle dishes when you're watching your travel budget. Look for the red lantern…
Cafe in Ninh Binh

Chookie's

Good-value Vietnamese and Western food, cheap beer, and plenty of local information on what to do and see around Ninh Binh. Burgers, wraps and a few vegetarian options all feature. Also offers tours around the area.
Buddhist Site in Ninh Binh Province

Chua Bai Dinh

Chua Bai Dinh is a bombastic Buddhist complex, built on a vast scale, that rises up a hillside near Ninh Binh. Construction was completed in 2014, and it's now a huge attraction for Vietnamese tourists. The entrance…