Ninh Binh. The city itself doesn’t have anything remarkable but surrounding areas are definitely worth of visiting: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bai Dinh Temple, Bich Dong Pagoda, Phat Diem Cathedral just to mention a few.
Our first stop was Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel; capital of Vietnam till 11th century. Even if from citadel remained very little, it is still a nice walk through temples and royal tombs.
Road from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital with its steep milestone mountains brought us to Trang An boat tour. We saw a lot of caves and navigated on a lot of boats but this one, we should admit, was quite remarkable. The trip will take around 3 hours with several stops to enjoy surroundings. To add some adrenaline you can always help your guide with paddling!
If you wanna enjoy 360 view on surrounding areas and don’t mind climbing over 500 steps, then Hang Múa view point is the right place for you!
One of the biggest and most remarkable attractions in the area is Bai Dinh Pagoda Temple. This complex consists of old and new parts, that was built not even 10 years ago. Be ready to walk a lot cause the complex is enormous. Strangely for us, there was no entrance fee and just small charge for a lift to the main gate.
After long and tiring exploration of the Bai Dinh Complex we were happy to hit the road again. This time we were going to Cuc Phuong National Park. Talking about park: it’s the oldest in Vietnam and well maintained. On the way from headquarter, where rangers gave us some information about the park, we stoped at the Prehistoric Man cave, before coming to the visitors center, where we were going to celebrate Maksym’s Birthday! What an experience for contemporary person to stay one night with no electricity, hot water and mobile connection. Basically back to the roots!
And what can be better way to celebrate someone’s birthday!?!
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