Placed in the North of Vietnam, Ninh Binh is the country’s ancient royal capital and the home of the historic Tran dynasty. Most of the city’s buildings are credited to King Le Dai Hanh of the tenth century dynasty. Rather than a destination in its own right, Ninh Binh is an excellent location from which to explore the breathtaking and quintessentially Vietnamese countryside that surrounds it.
Undoubtedly the regions greatest allure is the small village of Tam Coc. Meaning the ‘three caves’, Tam Coc is often referred to as ‘Halong Bay on land’ for its dramatic limestone formations that rise out of rice paddies. The Ngo Dong River flows through the area and floats through three natural caves, Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba, which are home to stalagmites and stalactites, wild vegetation and often, monkeys.
The best way to experience this striking region is with a languorous row-boat ride down the river.
What to do
- Boat ride down the river
- Explore the caves
- Vist the Van Long Nature Reserve of primeval tropical forest