Guide To Explore Ninh Binh Caves – Vietnam’s Best Kept Secret


Located amongst the lush limestone hills of northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh caves will captivate any tourist with the magnificent displays of subterranean beauty, handcrafted by nature over millennia. Lace-like rock formations tower above crystal-clear pools in caverns that seem to tell tales from another world. But Ninh Binh offers much more: a feast for both culture lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, from the bucolic countryside and historical villages high above to a magical realm of impressive rock art down below.

This guide shines a light on each cave’s splendors and provides practical tips to help you plan an unforgettable adventure exploring the underground masterpieces of Ninh Binh.

What Makes Ninh Binh A Must-Visit?


Ninh Binh, where ancient landscapes and timeless serenity converge

Nature: A Symphony of Limestone Karsts and Verdant Valleys

Ninh Binh unfolds as a natural masterpiece, boasting limestone karsts pierce the sky and lush valleys stretching as far as the eye can see. Embark on a boat journey through the meandering rivers of Tam Coc, where towering limestone formations reflect in serene waters, creating a living, breathing landscape. Traverse the emerald rice fields, witness the dance of fireflies in the evening, and immerse yourself in a tranquil sanctuary where nature paints its most exquisite canvases.

Culture: Where Ancient Temples Whisper Stories of Dynasties

Ninh Binh is a living testament to Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. Explore ancient temples and pagodas, each stone intricately carved with stories of dynasties and spiritual devotion. The Bai Dinh Pagoda, a colossal complex nestled against limestone hills, stands as a modern testament to ancient architectural traditions. Traverse the pathways of Hoa Lu, the ancient capital, and feel the palpable history in the air. Ninh Binh is not merely a destination; it’s an immersive cultural journey through the corridors of time.

Cuisine: Savouring the Flavours of Authentic Vietnamese Delights

Ninh Binh’s culinary offerings are a feast for the senses. Indulge in local delicacies, from savory dishes like com chay (burned rice) to the flavorful goi ca trich (raw fish salad). The province’s proximity to water bodies ensures an abundance of fresh seafood, making each culinary exploration a delightful adventure. Don’t miss the chance to dine amid the stunning scenery of Trang An or Tam Coc, where the flavors of Ninh Binh come alive against a backdrop of natural splendor.

>> Read More: Ninh Binh Trip From Hanoi: Top 5 Excursions For A Wholesome Adventure

Best Time To Explore Ninh Binh Caves

Best Seasons To Visit Ninh Binh

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are perfect seasons to visit Ninh Binh. The weather is pleasant, with moderate temperatures during the day and slightly cooler evenings. The lush greenery of spring and the vibrant foliage of autumn make these ideal seasons for outdoor sightseeing and activities.


It is ideal to explore Ninh Binh Caves in spring and autumn

Other Seasons During The Year

  • Summer

From June through August, the Ninh Binh summer months see an increase in rainfall, which can disrupt plans, but the lush scenery remains beautiful. Some attractions, like caves, may require advance reservations due to higher visitor numbers. However, the moderate heat still allows for leisurely sightseeing between showers.

  • Winter

Winters from December through February are generally dry with lower humidity. Dropping temperatures after sunset can require warm layers, but days are comfortable. Since flooding is rare during this time, this is a good time to experience cultural festivals like the Temple Festival in February.

In general, be sure to schedule flexible time buffers in your itinerary to account for potential rainy day adjustments and a relaxed experience of this charming region at a leisurely pace. The rewards are great for those willing to embrace Vietnam’s seasonal rhythms.

Ninh Binh Caves: A Journey Into Subterranean Wonders

In the heart of Ninh Binh, where limestone karsts guard secrets carved through time, embark on a subterranean odyssey that unveils both natural marvels and cultural significance.

Tam Coc Caves


Garish illumination in Tam Coc Caves

Tam Coc, meaning “Three Caves” in Vietnamese, is a picturesque area renowned for its stunning beauty and historical importance. It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex and has attracted many foreigners yearly. 

Within Tam Coc, three caves have captivated travelers for generations: Ca Cave, Hai Cave, and Ba Cave. The journey through this trio of caves is magnificent on its own, but what awaits you after is much more to expect. As you exit the last cave, a golden field greets you, accentuating the river effortlessly and creating a sense of elegance that contradicts the rugged beauty of the caves.

>> See Tour: World Heritage Sites of Vietnam

Thien Ton Cave

Thien Ton is a unique complex that acts as both a cave and a pagoda, with a focus on Buddhism and Taoism. The serenity and traditional architectural aspects create a soothing ambiance for visitors. It’s an ideal location to unwind, reflect, and escape the hustle of modern cities. For history buffs, Thien Ton Cave presents an opportunity to delve into Vietnamese culture and spirituality.

Mua Cave


Panoramic steps leading to Mua Cave

Mua Cave, also known as Dancing Cave in Ninh Binh, offers dreamy views and a peculiar but beautiful name. Ngoa Long Mountain, the main attraction of Mua Cave, requires tourists to ascend for panoramic glory. At the peak, visitors can capture memories with a tower or an ornate stone dragon. Alternatively, the lotus pond at the foot of the mountain offers breathtaking views. Walking on a small wooden bridge or hopping on a boat to explore the lotus pond are both enchanting experiences.

Nau Ruou Cave

Nau Ruou Cave, named after its association with wine distilling, is a popular tourist spot. Legend has it that the groundwater under this cave was ideal for distilling wine. Nowadays, visitors can see thousands of wine jugs placed throughout the cave, immersing in the aroma of wine that permeates the air. The cave’s unique name and historical connection make it a fascinating stop on the Ninh Binh cave exploration journey.

Am Tien Cave


Entrance to Am Tien Cave in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Am Tien Cave and Pagoda, nestled within the historic Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, bear the romantic nickname of Tuyet Tinh Coc. This destination’s reclusive nature adds to its appeal, making it one of the most popular Ninh Binh caves. Am Tien Cave is surrounded by rocky cliffs with a picturesque pond in the middle and a tunnel through the mountain. Venturing into the cave leads to Am Tien Pagoda, also known as Dragon Cave, due to its resemblance to a dragon’s mouth.

Van Trinh Cave

Van Trinh, among the largest Ninh Binh caves, boasts a colossal 3,500 square meters inside Mo Mountain. The cave’s untouched nature and mysterious limestone structures create an otherworldly experience. With no need for artificial adjustments, Van Trinh Cave is a testament to nature’s grandeur and a visual feast for explorers.

Thien Ha Cave

Underrated Beauty awaits Adventurers
While not among the most famous caves in Vietnam, Thien Ha Cave is a hidden gem for adventure enthusiasts. Its naturally beautiful structure invites exploration of hidden chambers and marveling at geological formations. Let’s venture deeper into Thien Ha Cave to be awestruck by the captivating play of light and shadow on ancient rock formations.

Dich Long Cave


Dich Long Pagoda inside the cave (Source: Wikipedia)

Dich Long Cave, honored as the “third best cave” by Emperor Minh Mang, holds a special place in local culture. Home to the Dich Long Pagoda and ancient constructions, its name stems from the wind resembling the sound of a flute at the narrow entrance. This cave not only echoes with the melodies of nature but also resonates with royal esteem.

Mermaid Cave

Mermaid Cave Ninh Binh, one of the most enchanting caves, is meticulously lit to create illusions throughout. What distinguishes this cave is its pristine water, crystal-clear pools, and shimmering stalactites, creating a magical ambiance that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor.

Ma Tien Cave

Nestled within its namesake mountain, Ma Tien Cave is a God-given gem offering a serene escape. Exploring its chambers treats adventurers to breathtaking views and tranquility found only in nature’s embrace. With an entrance of 100 stone steps above the ground and openings at the mountaintop, Ma Tien Cave is perpetually illuminated, providing incredible photo opportunities.

Ba Giot Cave

Ba Giot Cave, situated in the Scenic Landscape Complex of Trang An, is a testament to the wonders of nature. Its name, “Three Drops Cave,” signifies droplets of water cascading from its ceiling. The local belief holds that receiving three drops of water on one’s palms brings fortune and happiness, adding a touch of mystique to this natural wonder.

>> Read More: Top 12 Things To Do In Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Practical Tips For Exploring Ninh Binh Caves


Useful advice for your journey to Ninh Binh Caves

As you delve into the enchanting Ninh Binh caves, ensure a seamless journey by considering these helpful notes that extend beyond the cave exploration:

  • Wear modest attire to spiritual sites

Tourists visiting spiritual and historically significant sites should dress modestly. Be mindful of local customs and traditions to show respect.

  • Follow photography guidelines

Some sites may not allow photography. Prior to your visit, read and understand the rules to avoid any inconvenience.

  • Respect local culture

Ninh Binh boasts diverse religions and cultural traditions. Show respect for the local way of life and cultural practices throughout your journey.

  • Respect the environment

Maintain cleanliness and avoid littering when travelling. With many national parks and conservation areas, respect the living organisms in nature.

  • Prepare for boat rides

Bring a life jacket, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, a helmet, and enough drinking water for a comfortable and safe journey when going on a boat or ferry ride.

  • Pack light and smart

Check the weather forecast to plan your luggage accordingly. Carrying too much can make it challenging to move around comfortably.

  • Bring cash or credit cards

You can easily pay by cash or cards in most places in Ninh Binh now, from services like accommodation and food to fees for boat rides. Just make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with Vietnamese currency for a smooth payment.

See Beyond Ninh Binh Caves

Whether you are drawn to the ancient stories hidden within Thien Ton Cave, the picturesque beauty of Tam Coc Caves, or the tranquil allure of Mua Cave, each step reveals a new chapter of Vietnam’s natural wonders.

For those ready to turn this journey into a holistic Vietnam adventure, contact Asia Pioneer Travel for your tailor-made trip of a lifetime. Our expertise in crafting seamless and immersive travel experiences ensures that your exploration extends beyond Ninh Binh to cover all the destinations your heart desires. Let this be the beginning of an odyssey where each destination becomes a cherished memory, and every encounter leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

Don't miss out
Stay up-to-date with our special offers