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Likened to an inland Halong Bay, Ninh Binh's attraction is in its limestone karst topography.

The town itself is fairly unremarkable, but as you head further out into the countryside, there is a chance to see rural Vietnam at its best.

With rivers that snake through cave formations and farmers tending their fields with water buffaloes, the scenery around Ninh Binh is compelling. Although spectacular, Tam Coc is the most notorious of the region's caves for being a tourist trap, swamped by over-zealous vendors peddling their wares.

A local fisherman in Ninh BinhFor this reason we avoid it and visit other equally impressive cave formations, where local guides will gently row you through a network of waterways out into lakes dwarfed by limestone mountains. Cycle along raised paths that criss-cross paddy fields. You can also visit the remains of the ancient citadel and temples at the nearby settlement of Hoa Lua, once the capital of Vietnam, as well as exploring the Cuc Phuong National Park.

Within a two-hour drive of Hanoi it is possible to visit Ninh Binh as a day trip, but we would encourage you to stay a night or two to unearth this intriguing and charming area.

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Audley Travel specialist Dan

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Map of Ninh Binh

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    Places near Ninh Binh

    Accommodation choices for Ninh Binh

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Ninh Binh. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Ninh Binh

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Ninh Binh, and which use the best local guides.

    • Ninh Binh by bike and boat
      But Cave, Ninh Binh

      Ninh Binh by bike and boat

      Ninh Binh by bike and boat

      Explore the area of rural landscape of Bai Dinh by bicycle and boat. See pagodas, visit a local village and have lunch and end your trip on board a traditional sampan to the But Cave complex.

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