With stretches of rice fields, karst landscape and friendly people, Ninh Bình is a peaceful retreat in the heart of Vietnam. Although a comparatively lesser-known destination in the country, Ninh Bình is gaining fame as a major hub for adventure and nature lovers.
Ninh Bình is all about natural beauty. One such place to connect closely with nature is Tam Cốc – located right outside the city. Here, you can hop on a boat for sweeping views of rice paddies backdropped by hilly mounds and lush greenery as you glide past limestone caves and palm-lined river banks. Another site outside Ninh Bình that teems with natural beauty is the wetlands of Van Long Nature Reserve. The marshes offer excellent birdwatching opportunities. And if you're in luck, you can spot the endangered Delacour's Langur too.
During your Ninh Bình trip, make sure to visit the Phat Diem Cathedral, located just a few kilometres away from the city centre. Surrounded by canals and rice paddies, this 19th-century cathedral was once the primary place of worship in the area. If you want to know more about the cultural side of the city, head to Bai Dinh Pagoda – an extensive complex housing one of the largest golden Buddha statues in Asia. This holy place hosts a variety of religious and cultural events, including the important day of Vesak and the International Conference on Spiritual Tourism in 2013.