Mua (Dance) Cave
Located approximately 90km from Hanoi, the province of Ninh Binh is blessed with an array of fascinating natural landscapes, and one of which is Mua (Dance) Cave.
The Mua Cave Complex, an area composed of an intricate cave systems and limestone mountains, can be found at the foot of Mua mountain within the eco-tourism area of Ninh Xuan Commune in Hoa Lu District.
Upon arrival, visitors will be greeted by a rocky hill dotted with nearly 500 steps leading to the very top. A winding road running around the mountain leads guests to the top, which is covered by towers, making it look like a miniature version of the Great Wall. Two sides of the road are decorated with sophisticated stone statues featuring dragons and phoenixes, with many built in the style of the Tran Dynasty who ruled the country from 1225 to 1400.
Tourists to the site often try to conquer the peak of the mountain so they can enjoy one of the most iconic views in the country, a panoramic view of vast scenic limestone mountain ranges and paddy fields. To the west is the Ngo Dong River which winds through Tam Coc, whilst the other sides offer a view of lush rice fields.
Bai Dinh Pagoda
Situated in Gia Sinh Commune of Gia Vien District is Bai Dinh Pagoda, a place built to commemorate King Ly Thai To who moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long, now Hanoi.
As a tourist attraction, Bai Dinh Pagoda is blessed with both scenic beauty and historical value. It can therefore be considered the largest complex of Buddhist pagodas throughout the country, both old or new.
The old pagoda sits atop a 200-metre-high mountain, a place which has been recognised as a national cultural and historical heritage site. The new pagoda covers a site of roughly 700 hectares close to the old one.
Tourists often pay a visit to the pagoda during their sightseeing tour. Each year also sees the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival take place on the sixth day of the first lunar month, with the event typically attracting tens of thousands of visitors.
The Bai Dinh Pagoda complex also boasts the largest bronze Buddha statue in Southeast Asia, weighing approximately 100 tonnes, in addition to three 50-tonne Buddha statues and two huge bronze bells.
From Bai Dinh, tourists are able to go by boat to the nearby Trang An tourist site in Hoa Lu District. Along with the former imperial capital of Hoa Lu, Tam Coc-Bich Dong caves and Phat Diem stone church are also must-see destinations in the locality.
Trang An Eco-tourism complex
Trang An Eco-tourism complex is a popular option for tourists to pay a visit to the province.
Covering a total area of 2,168 hectares, Trang An boasts Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel preserved area, a centre area, grottoes, and Bai Dinh Pagoda. The site features a total of 47 grottoes and caves, 31 valleys, and the hallowed cultural area of Bai Dinh Pagoda.
Tourists to Trang An often opt to go on a three-hour sight-seeing tour through the temples of Trinh, Tran, and Khong, in addition to the grottoes of Dia Linh, Toi, Sang, Si, Sinh, Tinh, Ba Giot, Nau Ruou, Phu Khong, and Quy Hau.
Caves can be dozens to hundreds of metres long and are often linked together by valleys, making the setting more attractive and mysterious. Each cave has its own natural beauty with many stalactites in a profusion of colours, arousing visitors’ imaginations.