Ninh Binh is a firmly provincial industrial city but also an interesting tourist destination, which is famous for breathtaking and quintessentially Vietnamese limestone scenery. Though the city is not a tranquil place due to the busy highway No.1 crossing through the heart of town yet there are some awe-inspiring backstreets and traditional neighborhoods.
A steady trickle of Western tourists come here, but far frequent flocks of holidaying Vietnamese head nearby sights including Bai Dinh Pagoda, known as the nation’s biggest pagoda and the Trang An grottoes. The city is a congenial base for seeing some lovely rural sights by day, then unwinding at night like the locals and tasting delicious grilled goat meat and bia hoi (draught beer) beside the local brewery.
What could be more interesting than boating through the waterways between vast limestone cliffs that rise out of the rice paddies in the spectacular Tam Coc or stunning Trang An grottoes while passing through naturally gifted caves. Cuc Phuong National Park is a well preserved rainforest with an Endangered Primates Rescue Centre. It is highly recommended for bird, butterfly and orchid flower watching.
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