Explore Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long Nature Reserve is another spot for nature lovers who want to discover the Vietnamese wildlife. Van Long Nature Reserve is actually the biggest wetland reserve in Northern Vietnam which is home to a number of Vietnamese species like monkeys, reptiles, and especially birds. Some of them are the endangered ones.
It is a unique complex and charming landscapes with heaving rock islands standing in immense water. As the transition region between the plain and the mountainous region, the reserve retains the diverse and varied terrain, including a tropical forest ecosystem in karst and the vast system of marshes.
Visit Turtle Conservation Center
The Turtle Conservation Center houses more than 1000 terrestrial, semiaquatic and aquatic turtles representing 20 of Vietnam’s 25 native species. Many have been confiscated from smugglers who have been driven by demand from the domestic and Chinese markets – eating turtle is thought to aid longevity. Visitors can see turtles in tanks and incubators, as well as in ponds in near-wild settings. Signs in English about the endangered turtles are informative. Your entry ticket also allows access to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center.
Explore Mua Cave
Without a doubt, Mua Cave is one of the most alluring views in Ninh Binh. Mua Cave is located at the foot of the Mua mountain and you have to climb up to the top in order to admire the panoramic view.
To reach the top of Mua Cave, visitors will cross a small bridge over the stream gently flowing, then a paved way covered with green trees and about 500-steps stair up to the top. Standing on the top of Mua Mountain, visitors will admire the most magnificent scenery. In May and June, the entire landscape of paddy fields is minimized in your view.
Take a Tam Coc Boat Trip
A boat trip through the rice paddies, between the karst hills is a must-do in Ninh Binh. The ladies row the boats with their feet which makes for a slow and relaxing journey. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and the journey will take you beneath 3 caves carved into the rock by the river. Make sure to go in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light and to escape the crowds of day-trippers from Hanoi.
Be aware that the ladies selling crafts and snacks inside the caves can be rather boisterous. Be polite and smile if you are going to let them down.
Try Goat Meat
If snail dishes are not your thing, then you can try goat meat, another special cuisine of Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh’s goat meat taste better than other regions because the goats are raised by the local here as this area is very suitable to raise goats. And the locals know how to cook the goat meat to produce the best goat meat dishes.
The meat has a gamey flavor and it is usually barbecued to produce a smoky and delicious dish that is a must-try while you are in Ninh Binh.
Grab a beer at Chookie’s Beer Garden
Chookie’s Beer Garden is a heaven for anyone loves drinking fresh beer. Chookie’s Beer Garden is known as the prime spot to grab a beer in the evenings. To drink with beer, they also serve some delicious Vietnamese and Western food at cheap prices. The nightlife scene in Ninh Binh can be a little sparse and boring and this is properly the best spot to spend at night in Ninh Binh.