One of the most fascinating landscapes in Vietnam, Ninh Binh is usually overlooked for more famous places. The iconic limestone pinnacles of Vietnam jut out of rice fields in this area, giving it the name “Ha Long Bay on land”. The Van Long Nature Reserve here is an absolutely pristine wetland surrounded by the famous limestone cliffs. There are also several caves to explore including the Mua Cave and Trang An. Lastly, the Cuc Phuong National Park is over 200 sq. km of lush tropical forest and one of the country’s most important protected areas. Vietnam’s rural and authentic side is more affordable and accessible at Ninh Binh.
Tam Coc: Ninh Binh town, Tam Coc is one of the best nature destinations in Vietnam although it remains firmly off the tourist trail. Tam Coc is known for its karst landscape which is similar to the better known Halong Bay, although here you will find some scenic limestone hills which are dotted amongst emerald green rice paddies. Halong Bay has larger cliffs, although it is also more crowded, so Tam Coc is the place to come if you want to get off the beaten track and you can explore the area by boat which takes around two hours.
Phat Diem Cathedral: The center of Ninh Binh is Phat Diem Cathedral which sits in the middle of some scenic canals and rice paddies. This would have been the central place of worship for the commune of Phat Diem which was also called the ‘Vatican of Vietnam’ during the colonial period. The cathedral dates from 1898 and was built using a mix of Vietnamese and Western styles which include two gothic chapels and some massive iron wood columns. The scale of the cathedral and its location are extremely impressive and this is one of the top sights not to miss in Ninh Binh district.
Bich Dong Pagoda: Bich Dong Pagoda is a cluster of majestic mountain cave temples elegantly residing around the area. These ancient shrines and historic pagodas are scattered in intervals along the hillside, some dating back to as early as the 15th century. You’ll have to walk and climb to get to each monument, but the journey en route treats you to lavish views of the valley and luscious greenery.
Mua Cave: The highlight of the Mua Caves would be the panoramic view of the mountains and rice fields from the very peak of the area. It’s just a short 15-minute trek up 500 steps, so it’s definitely one of the most worthwhile activities to spend time on in the area.
Tuyet Tinh Coc: The region of Ninh Binh has its fair share of scenic spots for the keen traveller, and in recent years, it has become famous for another beautiful attraction: Tuyet Tinh Coc (also known as Am Tien Pagoda). Consisting of a gorgeous temple carved in a mountain overlooking a breathtaking emerald lake, all in the middle of a lush green valley, Tuyet Tinh Coc has become a little-known gem in Ninh Binh. To reach it, you must climb over 200 stairs up into the mountain.
Cuc Phuong National Park: Cuc Phuong National Park is one of the main national parks in Vietnam and was established in 1962. This is part of a huge swathe of protected land in Ninh Binh and was set up in order to take care of the wildlife in the region which has been in decline for many years as a result of poaching. The park now spans 222 square kilometers and is made up of tropical forest which is home to a plethora of wildlife. On a visit here you will find some 307 species of birds as well as 133 species of mammals and 122 species of reptiles.
Fried Rice (Com Chay): Ninh Binh Province, Fried Rice is what you must try for sure when visiting this land. This specialty is mainly found along National Route 1, in Ninh Binh City, and tourist attractions. What to distinguish the food from that in other regions is the way to fry rice and the sauce going with it. While the rice is slightly fried to have a beautiful yellow, this way to fry makes it tasty, crispy, and great to enjoy. The sauce surely enhances the rice’s flavor.
Kim Son Salad with Fish Raw: When experiencing a trip to Ninh Binh Province, you ought not to ignore Kim Son Salad with Fish Raw as it is considered as the most delicious specialty here. To prepare this food requires a cooking process of many complex steps. It is a perfect balance of local ingredients: thin slices of eel, fried glutinous rice, vinegar, chilly, pepper, garlic, citronella, etc. All harmonious together create the unique taste and unforgettable flavor. Another interesting thing is, this salad must be served with a local type of pâté which is just found in this province, but anywhere else.
Mountain Snails: The range of limestone mountains at Tam Diep, Yen Mo District, and Nho Quan Communes is home to this type of snails. They often occur from April to August, the rainy season when the weather is humid. The snails’ staple food is different sorts of mountainous plants, some of which are valuable herbs. Therefore, it is believed that eating this snail type is probably good for your health. The food from it includes mountain snails steamed with ginger, mountain snails fried with chilly and citronella, and salad.
Hoa Lu Rare Goat Meat: Despite the fact that there are lots of dishes from goat meat, the Hoa Lu people love to prepare and enjoy, such as fermented goat meat, steamed goat meat, grilled goat meat, etc., rare goat meat is still considered to be the top position of the list. What makes the dish more special than the others is the secret recipe to cook it and the way to add spices. The goat meat is not only luscious, but also nutritious since the goat is supposed to feed on precious herbs on the mountains.
Ruou Can Nho Quan: Ruou Can Nho Quan (Nho Quan wine drunk out of a jar through pipes) is one of the special cuisines in Ninh Binh. You can come there to try or also buy for your friends, family and gather together to enjoy it, you will have unforgettable moments. Ruou Can is inside a jar, the size of the jar will depend on your hobby. To get a good bottle of wine, it must undergo several stages: from selecting ingredient to the processing and especially to calculate the appropriate time so that just in time. The main ingredient depends on the region, it may be corn, rice or cassava, but the best is sticky rice. To make Ruou Can Nho Quan is made from sticky rice. The Sticky rice must be chosen new rice, the alcohol will be delicious. Alcohol yeast are made from the peel of trees mixed with chili powder, ginger powder, rice powder and water, this combination is cut into smaller pieces and dried in 10-15 days, then crushed and mixed with the dried mixture of cooked rice and rice hulls, which is kept in the vase in 1-2 days, then dried banana tree’s leaves are covered on the surface of the mixture in 1 month before the wine is ready to drink. The longer the wine is kept, the better taste it has; each material has its own taste. Drinking Ruou Can with Com Chay Ninh Binh (Ninh Binh Rice Crust), it will be the best combination.
Cassava Vermicelli Soup with eel (Mien Luon): Apart from fried rice and rare goat meat, cassava vermicelli soup with eel is also referred to as the must try food in Ninh Binh. The place where you can savor these three dishes is street corners at the intersection Tran Hung Dao, Ninh Binh City. The tantalizing aroma of the soup wafts everywhere, encouraging you to try it. Surely, for a Vietnam tour package to Ninh Binh Province, it is difficult to ignore this wonderful delicacy.
Copyright © 2019-2020 Dynasty Vietnam . All Rights Reserved