Mua Caves Ninh Binh, located inside Ngoa Long Mountain, have been the go-to destination for shutterbugs and casual travelers alike thanks to the Instagram-worthy panoramic views from the peak above. Mua Caves are usually featured as the best Ninh Binh cave for their prime location at the center of the Trang An Landscape Complex.
1. Mua Caves Ninh Binh Vietnam: Location and entry fee
After climbing 500 stone steps to the scenic overlook atop Ngoa Long Mountain, travelers will be rewarded with a stunning panorama of Ngo Dong River and the paddy fields below. To add to the incredible 360-degree view, there are a few worship sites along the ascent, offering visitors a glimpse into Vietnam’s long-standing legacy of Buddhism.
Mua Caves Ninh Binh are 5 kilometers north of Tam Coc. A journey there usually takes a 10-minute motorbike ride from the town center.
- Mua Caves entry fee: 100,000 VND
- Opening hours: 6 AM - 7 PM
2. Things to do to enrich your trip to Mua Caves Ninh Binh
2.1. Hike up to the peak of Ngoa Long Mountain
A hike to the summit of Ngoa Long Mountain reveals several picture-perfect spots overlooking the winding Ngo Dong River, verdant paddy fields, and karst limestone mountains in the distance.
About halfway up the ascent, travelers will encounter a fork, with the left path leading to an Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue, while the right one leads to a small pagoda.
If a commanding view is what you are after, take the path to the right that leads to the first viewpoint, where travelers can see all the way down the rugged mountainside to Ngo Dong River. Continue a bit further up to reach the second viewpoint atop Ngoa Long Mountain.
Also known as the “dragon mountain” by the locals, this highest overlook gains its nickname from the ornate stone dragon sitting by the ridge.
2.2. Embark on a captivating photographic journey at the virtual tower
Ascend almost 500 steps that lead to the summit, offering an exhilarating opportunity to unveil the secrets of this extraordinary tower. The ascent to the Mua Cave's elevated platform presents a challenging incline, requiring approximately 25 to 45 minutes for completion, contingent upon your personal vigor.
Upon reaching the pinnacle of the mountain, a splendid spectacle awaits – the preeminent tower within Mua Caves Vietnam, distinguished by its exquisite Vietnamese traditional design. Behold the breathtaking panorama that unfolds from this elevated vantage point, where azure skies meet majestic, undulating mountains, resulting in an awe-inspiring tableau that is bound to leave an indelible impression.
2.3. Take tons of stunning photos at the lotus pond
Vietnam’s tropical climate creates the perfect habitat for lotuses to thrive. So if you time your trip to Ninh Binh between May and July - the blooming season of these flowers - you will have the chance to indulge in the sight and take scores of share-worthy pictures of lotuses.
The lotus pond near Mua Caves Vietnam is one of the town’s largest lotus colonies. Lotus petals open in the morning, so early risers get to see them in their best at sunrise. Make your way across the pond on a simple wooden bridge, and if you fancy getting up close and personal with the flowers, you can take a boat and pick some.
In addition to the lotus pond, there are many other prominent attractions near Mua Caves in Ninh Binh, such as the Trang An Landscape Complex, Tam Coc Town, Bich Dong Pagoda, and Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.
Vietnam is a diverse country with lots of hidden charms, and if you are still not sure of what to do or where to visit, check out things to do in Vietnam.
3. When is the best time to visit Mua Caves? How to get there?
Mua Caves Ninh Binh can be visited all year round. The best time to visit is between November and April, when the weather is cool and dry.
Between May and October is the rainy season in Ninh Binh, characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperature. These months are usually when the town’s vegetation reaches its most verdant state.
Ninh Binh harvest season is from May to June, when the town’s paddy fields turn golden, so time your trip right if you want to see this impressive sight.
Buses traveling between Hanoi and Ninh Binh run daily and the journey takes just 2.5 hours. From the town center, take a motorbike ride and you will reach Mua Caves Vietnam in 10 minutes.
>>> Check out our Vietnam travel guide for everything you need to know before you go!
4. Tips for your most comfortable trip to Mua Caves Ninh Binh
There are some things travelers need to keep in mind before embarking on their trip to Mua Caves Vietnam:
- Clothing: the trail leading up to the summit of Mua Caves Vietnam is an easy hike, however, it is recommended that travelers prepare hiking footwear and breathable clothing, especially during hot days in summer.
- Food and drink: bring your own water, as there are not many shops along the way.
- Parking: free parking is included in the entry fee, so go straight to the ticket booth and leave your vehicle at the parking lot right next to the booth.
- Safety: make sure you have an adequate level of fitness in order to tackle the hike.
Ninh Binh offers a multitude of alluring tourist attractions beyond the renowned Mua Cave, ensuring that visitors have a diverse and enchanting range of experiences to enjoy. From ancient temples steeped in history to picturesque river cruises through serene landscapes, the province has something to captivate every traveler's heart.
- Trang An: Trang An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its stunning karst landscapes, tranquil waterways, and complex cave systems. Visitors can embark on serene boat rides through the meandering rivers, passing beneath limestone archways, and explore the mysterious grottoes that dot this picturesque area.
- Tam Coc: Tam Coc, often referred to as the "Halong Bay on Land," offers a mesmerizing landscape of lush rice paddies and towering limestone karsts. A boat trip along the Ngo Dong River takes you through a series of caves in the Bich Dong area, revealing breathtaking natural beauty and cultural significance.
- Bai Dinh Pagoda: Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the largest Buddhist temple complexes in Southeast Asia. Nestled amidst the Trang An landscape, this sprawling complex encompasses ancient pagodas, grand statues, and serene courtyards, offering a spiritual retreat and a glimpse into Vietnamese religious culture.
- Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: Hoa Lu served as the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, and its historical significance is reflected in its ancient relics. Visitors can explore the temples dedicated to the Dinh and Le dynasties, situated amidst lush gardens and picturesque surroundings, providing a glimpse into the country's rich past.
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Mua Caves Ninh Binh stand out thanks to the commanding view over karst limestone mountains, paddy fields, and Ngo Dong River. The caves and nearby tourist attractions will provide visitors a welcome respite from the hectic pace of life.