All your Vietnam dreams come true when you visit Ninh Binh. It’s a province in the Red River Delta and is about 90km from Hanoi; a not too expensive taxi ride can get you there.
The rural and traditional area is rich in greenery and rice fields; it remains almost untouched, because of the low number of visitors to the area. Once you do discover the land, it’s easy to enjoy the slow pace of the place, with tourists observing and learning just what the locals do.
You can bunk in a homestay and enjoy the home cooked meals like traditional Vietnamese pancakes. If its banana juice you crave, watch the staff pick fruit from the garden make it fresh right then and there. Interestingly, a lot of the staff speak both fluent Vietnamese and English making it easier to communicate. At sunrise each morning the government shares the news with everyone on speakers throughout the entire town.
Once you’ve taken in the beauty of the place, then it’s time you explored a little further. Make your way up to the peak of the Mua Caves to witness the most magical view of Ngo Dong River. The panoramic views from the peak make the 500-steps up definitely worth it. Words can’t describe the stunning view; it’s like a painting. Hot tip: Make sure you get there in the morning, because the view can get a little foggy later on in the day. A water bottle is a must as it takes about 45 minutes to make it to the top.
Another activity you have to try is the Trang An Grottoes. Climb into a small boat and paddle through the caves. It’s absolutely amazing. Just sit back, relax and take in the stunning scenery. You will be taken on a trip through dark and eerie caves, so watch your head. Some of the caves are a tight fit, so take your snap and prepare to duck.