Ninh Binh Included in Forbes’ List of Top Destinations to Visit in 2023

Visitors to Vietnam now consider this incredible natural wonder, dubbed the "Inland Halong Bay" or the "Little Great Wall of Vietnam," a must-see destination.


Ninh Binh, a picturesque tourist attraction located in northern Vietnam, is one of the world’s top 23 places to visit in 2023 as selected by a renowned US magazine. Situated not far from Hanoi, Ninh Binh offers stunning landscapes, including mountains, rivers, and limestone karsts. Visitors can explore the area’s many temples, such as Bich Dong Pagoda, and take boat rides on the Hoang Long River to marvel at the lush scenery. For a unique experience, visitors can even take a bike tour around the Tam Coc-Bich Dong area. With its stunning views and rich culture, Ninh Binh is sure to be an unforgettable destination for those looking to explore the beauty of Vietnam.

The magnificent yellow rice fields in Tam Coc – Bich Dong complex in Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province. Photo: Hoang Luong 

Asia is well represented in Forbes travel experts’ list of “The 23 Best Places to Travel Around the World in 2023,” with Ninh Binh in Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Hong Kong in China being selected. These destinations offer a range of unique experiences, from stunning natural landscapes to bustling metropolises. Whether you’re looking for a cultural adventure, an outdoor excursion, or a luxurious escape, these cities have something to offer for everyone. So be sure to add them to your travel wish list for 2023!

Catarina Mello, an American luxury travel content creator and photographer, has declared Ninh Binh one of Asia’s most underrated destinations. This scenic area in Vietnam has been overlooked for too long – but not anymore, according to Mello. She believes that Ninh Binh is a hidden gem, offering travelers an array of stunning landscapes and cultural experiences.

It is often referred to as one of the most stunningly beautiful places on the Asian continent. Social media has been helping to spread the word, so it won’t remain a hidden gem much longer. Now is the time to go and experience the true, authentic northern Vietnam experience!

The stunning scenery, the majestic mountains, the lush karsts, and the winding rivers make this a true paradise. The locals are also friendly and hospitable, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing vacation. In 2016, the box office hit Kong: Skull Island was filmed in Ninh Binh Province, making this poetic land a popular destination for international visitors. The majestic mountains, lush karsts, and winding rivers create an idyllic paradise, and the hospitable locals make it the perfect spot for tranquility and relaxation. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Ninh Binh Province is the ideal destination for your next vacation.

It takes approximately two hours to make the journey from the heart of Hanoi to the northern province, a stunning region boasting majestic limestone karst mountains, verdant valleys, and golden rice fields. “You’ll be charmed and captivated by its beauty,” Catarina proclaimed.

Forbes recommends that travelers explore the stunning countryside of Vietnam by biking through rice fields, hiking limestone mountains for breathtaking views, visiting awe-inspiring pagodas, and taking a leisurely rowboat tour through the picturesque landscape and through hidden caves.

 Vietnam’s northeastern province of Ninh Binh is considered ‘the Inland Halong Bay’. Photo: Hoang Luong

According to the experienced traveler from the American magazine, Ninh Binh is often called “Ha Long Bay on land” due to its impressive cliffs that rise from the lush valleys of rice fields and rivers.

Regarding gastronomy, Catarina suggests travelers try mountain goat meat, a specialty of Ninh Binh. “The most renowned dishes are goat soup, grilled goat meat seasoned with five spices, and steamed goat meat with ginger,” she said.

Nguyen Van Minh, the Director of the Ninh Binh Tourism Promotion Center, declared that this is not the first time Ninh Binh has received such an honor. In fact, back in February 2023, Ninh Binh ranked among the top 10 friendliest destinations in the world, according to the Traveler Review Awards.

For many years, the tourism industry in Ninh Binh has been striving to transform the area into a welcoming tourist destination with its natural beauty, so as to entice both domestic and international travelers. “We have been making every effort to make Ninh Binh a great place for visitors to explore,” he added.

As a province with a very varied landscape, Ninh Binh is home to diverse and unique natural resources ideal for tourism development. These include the UNESCO-recognized Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Bai Dinh Mountain, Cuc Phuong National Park, Van Long Wetland Natural Reserve, Kenh Ga Mineral Hot Springs, and Kim Son coastal area. Additionally, Ninh Binh boasts nearly two thousand historical and cultural relics, some of which are even listed as national treasures.

The wonderful sunset sprays copper-red sunlight all over the limestone mountains in Ninh Binh Province. Photo: Hoang Luong

The Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh, Vietnam has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site—the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. This invaluable cultural treasure has made Ninh Binh one of the most desirable destinations in the country, offering visitors a unique experience of both natural and cultural wonders.

The province of Ninh Binh in Vietnam aims to become a leading tourist hub by 2030. In the first three months of 2020, the province welcomed an impressive 3.2 million visitors, a remarkable increase of 4.8 times compared to the same period in 2019. Revenue from tourism is estimated at over VND2.5 trillion (US$106.4 million), a 5.5 times growth year-on-year.