Trang An Ninh Binh is a popular tourist destination that has been featured in several blockbuster movies, such as Blood Letter, Tam Cam: The Untold Story, and Kong: Skull Island. Known for its stunning natural beauty with majestic mountains and tranquil waterways, this location is a must-visit in your Vietnam travel itinerary.
1. Introduction to Trang An Ninh Binh
1.1. Location of Trang An Eco-tourism Site
Trang An Eco-tourism Site is part of the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, situated in Ninh Binh Province, 90 kilometers south of Hanoi. Covering over 2,000 hectares, the site comprises a network of waterways, limestone karsts, and caves.
Trang An Vietnam features a 250-million-year-old geological system of limestone mountains with diverse ecosystems, including flooded forests, limestone mountains, and archaeological and cultural relics. Emperor Đinh Tiên Hoàng chose Trang An as the southern protective barrier for the imperial capital of Hoa Lu in the 10th century. Later, during the resistance against the Yuan dynasty, the Trần Dynasty used it as the Vu Lam Palace. The site still retains many historical relics from the Dinh and Tran dynasties.
It is renowned for its striking natural beauty, including towering limestone cliffs, verdant forests, and pristine rivers. Moreover, Trang An caves enchants visitors with its beauty of magnificent stalactite formations. It attracts a considerable number of both domestic and international visitors. In 2014, Trang An Eco-tourism Complex was also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural and cultural significance.
1.2. Trang An Ninh Binh Ticket Prices
The entrance fee for Trang An Eco-tourism Site is as follows:
- Adults: 250,000 VND/person
- The elderly (60 years old or above with ID card): 125,000 VND/person
- Children from 1 to 1.3 meters tall: 120,000 VND/person
- Children under 1 meter tall: Free of charge
- Tour guide fee: 300,000 VND/tour
2. When is the best time to visit Trang An Ninh Binh?
Trang An Ninh Binh offers something fascinating to explore in every season, adorning itself with a new coat of beauty.
In spring, visitors can participate in unique festivals like Trang An Festival (in the middle of the third lunar month) and Co Lau Festival (from the 8th to 10th day of the third lunar month). In summer, the enchanting golden rice fields and fragrant lotus ponds are a sight to behold. When fall arrives, the weather becomes pleasant and cool, making it perfect for outdoor activities. And in winter, Trang An transforms into a misty fairyland, adding to its charm.
With something special to offer in every season, Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam is a destination worth visiting year-round.
>>> Read more: The best time to visit Vietnam to have a truly unforgettable vacation in this beautiful S-shaped country!
3. How to get to Trang An Ecotourism Complex?
To travel to Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex from Hanoi, there are several transportation options available. The most common way is by road, which includes taking a taxi, private car, passenger car, or riding a motorbike.
If you opt for a taxi or private car, the trip from Hanoi to Trang An Ninh Binh takes about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic. National Road 1A is the most popular route to Ninh Binh City, from which you can continue on to Trang An Eco-tourism Complex. The road is well-maintained and easy to navigate, with signposts along the way.
Alternatively, you can take a passenger car or limousine bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, with fares ranging from around 70,000 VND to 150,000 VND. Riding a motorbike is also an option that provides a more personalized experience. However, keep in mind that traffic in Vietnam can be chaotic, so ensure you are comfortable with riding a motorbike before embarking on this adventure.
If you are traveling from Ho Chi Minh City or other Southern provinces, you can fly to Hanoi and use the above transportation options to get to Ninh Binh. It is worth noting that Ninh Binh does not currently have an airport. Trains and passenger cars are other options to reach Ninh Binh.
4. What to do in Trang An?
4.1. Take a Trang An boat tour
The Trang An boat tour offers visitors a memorable experience with 3 different routes. The cruise takes you around 3.5 - 4.5 hours, depending on which route you choose. You will immerse in the tranquil nature, passing by stunning limestone karsts and picturesque landscapes. You also pass through Trang An caves to explore the spectacular karst formations.
Along the way, the boat will stop by several temples where you can go sightseeing and worship. Also, the boat drivers will share the history and stories of the landscape while they are paddling down the river. You can find the detailed attractions included in the boat trip in the next part of this article.
4.2. Kayaking in Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam
Kayaking is a new and exciting way to explore the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. There are two kayaking routes to choose from. The first route spans 8 km and takes you through notable sites such as Trinh Temple, Tam Quan Gate, Dark Cave, Quy Hau Cave, and Nui Ngoc. The second route covers approximately 5 km, passing by Kong Island, Thuy Dinh, and Vu Lam Palace.
The price of kayaking service range from 250,000 VND to 400,000 VND, depending on the kayak type and kayaking time(2 or 3 hours). You will be instructed on basic skills before kayaking. Remember to follow safety rules, including wearing life jackets, padding the designated routes, etc.
5. What to see in Trang An Ninh Binh?
5.1. TOP 4 enchanting caves in Trang An Vietnam
Trang An is known for its stunning caves that attract tourists from all over the world. Here are the top 4 enchanting caves in Trang An that you should not miss out on:
- Dia Linh Cave: Located in the heart of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Dia Linh Cave impresses visitors with its stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. The cave is also known for its cool, fresh air, making it a great escape from the heat outside.
- Nau Ruou Cave: Nau Ruou Cave is known for its unique history of local rice wine fermentation. This cave is home to a deep well with crystal-clear water, renowned for producing delicious rice wine.
- Ba Giot Cave: Ba Giot Cave is one of the most popular Trang An caves, known for its three natural waterfalls. It is an ideal destination for those seeking a refreshing break during their journey. The cave also has a legend associated with it, adding to its mystical vibe.
- Bright Cave - Dark Cave: These two caves are located next to each other and are often visited together. Bright Cave is named for its natural lighting, which illuminates the entire cave, while Dark Cave is completely dark, requiring visitors to use headlamps to navigate its depths. Both caves offer unique and contrasting experiences for visitors.
>>> Check out the Vietnam travel guide before your departure!
5.2. TOP must-visit cultural and historical sites
Trang An Ninh Binh is known for not only its stunning natural beauty but also its rich cultural and historical heritage, with a range of fascinating sites to explore. Here are some must-visit cultural and historical attractions in Trang An Vietnam:
- Vu Lam Palace: This is a hidden gem nestled deep within Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. The palace follows the traditional architectural style of Vietnamese temples, and stands majestically amidst the natural beauty of mountains and waters.
- Trinh Temple: This is a temple dedicated to the four loyal generals of the Dinh Dynasty, who were responsible for safeguarding the royal treasury and the king's precious metals. The temple follows the traditional Vietnamese pagoda architecture, and is protected by two bronze lions at its entrance. Trinh Temple is a popular spiritual destination during holidays and the Lunar New Year, when visitors come to burn incense and pray for good luck.
- Phu Khong: Phu Khong is located in an extraordinary setting, with Khong Cave in the back, a range of stone mountains to the right, and a vast valley in the front. This place of worship honors seven high-ranking officials of the Dinh Dynasty.
- Tran Temple: Tran Temple is dedicated to the deity Quy Minh, who is said to guard the southern gate of Hoa Lu citadel. The Tran Temple festival takes place annually on the 18th day of the third lunar month in Ninh Binh. Visitors to Trang An Vietnam during this occasion can experience the festive atmosphere at this sacred temple.
>>> Read more: Things to do in Vietnam for a wonderful getaway!
6. What to eat in Trang An Eco-tourism Site?
Visiting Trang An Ninh Binh, you simply cannot afford to miss out on the delectable Ninh Binh delicacies that have made the region famous. Here, you can indulge in the crispy texture of the golden rice crust, relish the fragrant aroma of the raw fish salad, or savor the tempting fermented pork roll.
Moreover, you will have an opportunity to explore a variety of other specialties, including Hoa Lu goat meat, steamed mountain snails, grilled field crabs wrapped in betel leaves, sour fish soup, Nho Quan sticky rice with ant eggs, Gia Vien shrimp paste, Nho Quan rice wine, and "banh troi" (glutinous rice ball with mung bean fillings), just to name a few. These dishes are some delicious and unique offerings of Ninh Binh cuisine that you must try when exploring Trang An Vietnam.
After enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Trang An Ninh Binh, it is highly recommended that you explore other captivating destinations Vietnam has to offer. Whether it is the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc, the coastal city of Nha Trang, the heritage-rich town of Hoi An, the vibrant city of Da Nang, or the picturesque bay of Ha Long, there are countless places to visit.
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With stunning natural landscapes, unique cultural sites, and irresistible food, Trang An Ninh Binh offers an unforgettable experience for all visitors. Whether it is exploring the mysterious caves and limestone formations or experiencing the vibrant festivals and local cuisine, there is something for everyone here. Pack your bags now and discover all that this amazing destination has to offer!
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