Ninh Binh has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers in Vietnam. With endless rice fields, tall limestone mountains and amazing caves, Ninh Binh Province is a must see.
Let’s find out the one day tour with Klook for Hoa Lu, Trang An and Hang Mua Cave Day Tour from Hanoi.
Ninh Binh is a playground for adventurers, and an oasis for nature lovers. Vietnam’s first capital was established here, and today the area is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of pagodas, striking limestone karsts, and surreal landscapes.
An English speaking guide came to pick us up in the hotel in Hanoi at around 8 am.
The distance is about 2 hour drive from Hanoi to our first stop at the historical ancient capital of Hoa Lu. A few years ago we did a similar tour with Klook in Hoa Lu but it has an hour of the bicycle tour cycling around the countryside.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital was the capital of Vietnam in the tenth and eleventh century. The citadel and imperial city are now largely destroyed. The main attractions in the complex are the temples in honor of the two imperial dynasties.
Hoa Lu was the capital of an independent empire among the rulers of the Dinh Dynasty (968–980) and early Le Dynasty (980–1009), before Emperor Ly Thai moved the capital to Thang Long, present-day Hanoi in 1010. The city was strategically located: surrounded by water and the erratic limestone rocks that gave the area the nickname “Halong Bay on land”.
First you need to pass through Hoa Lu Gate and then you will find Le Dai Hanh Temple and Dinh Tien Hoang Temple.
Some of the historical icons you should not missed, below is the dragon bed
Tomb written in Chinese
Lunch is included in the Klook day tour, which consist of beef, chicken, goat meat, fish, egg rolls, tofu, vegetables and soup. About 8 dishes if I remembered well.
Trang An Boat Ride
The boat ride is kind of long, almost 2 hours on the sampan boat to check out the natural landscapes.
There is a boat driver sitting at the back with two large oars, a boat can sit up to 4-6 people. Most of the boat drivers are ladies with strong back. While she paddles down the large river toward some of the impressive limestone karst, the tourists enjoy the view.
It was super hot because it was right after lunch, so many took out their umbrellas to hide under the sunlight. At one point, the sampan boat reached a tunnel and we all have to lower our heads down when the boat crossing the cave tunnel.
Ngoa Long Mountain
The last activity was climbing up the Ngoa Long mountain. There are about 500 steps to go up to the top. In the middle of the climb, there is a little kiosk selling drinks and snacks.
If you look down, the view is simply amazing. The landscape is covered with golden rice paddy fields, valleys, and the karst mountains range.
In the last section of the climb, it gets slightly challenging as the steps get smaller and steeper. Also, it gets more crowded.
At the highest peak, you will find the Lying Dragon Mountain statue stretching out across the top. It gets really narrow there so be extra careful
I think the one-day tour package is value for money. Transfer, lunch, and 3 activities were included. The boat ride in Trang An gets a little bit too long, I think an hour is more than enough. 2 hours ride was too long plus the heat is quite unbearable.
Klook English speaking guide for this tour is friendly and energetic to speak to us about some history or background at each location.
The lunch provided is quite fantastic as it provides us with local countryside cuisine, about 8 variety but may have to share with others in the group of a table of 6 pax
Do remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, drinking water, and a raincoat.