Ninh Binh is “one of the best opportunities to see the rural way of living in Vietnam,” recommends Just Globetrotting. “The whole province is super relaxed, there’s barely any traffic, the roads are wide and flat, foreigners are few and far between, touts are minimal and it felt extremely surreal … a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, that’s for sure.”
The Karst limestone scenery is “truly a wonder and always present,” writes Geeky Explorer. “The best I can describe it is like I was trapped inside a National Geographic documentary all the time.” But the best thing about Ninh Binh is “authenticity … it’s all about the peaceful rural and real Vietnam.” And the “first thing I did” in Ninh Binh, which “turned out to be one of my favorite things of the whole trip,”was to “hop on a small rowing boat and a lady rower takes you on a 2-hour journey through caves, temples and lakes.”
There is “no shortage of temples in Ninh Binh,” adds Geeky Explorer. “Perhaps the most dramatic” is Hang Mua, sitting on top of hill 500 steps above ground, where the views over Tam Coc “are stunning.” And if you’re looking for something “less challenging, but equally impressive,” the recently built Bai Dinh Pagoda is “HUGE and is mostly visited by Vietnamese people.” As well, Bich Dong Pagoda is a set of three temples “carved into a limestone mountain” next to Tam Coc.