Ninh Binh with a Baby
Written by: Mama Bea , 16 Oct 2018
I legitimately still cannot believe this place is real! The city of Ninh Binh lies 95 km south east of Hanoi, near the Red River delta. Although we didn't see much of the inner city itself (apart from the train station), I can honestly say the surrounding countryside was beyond anything I could have imagined. Gigantic limestone karsts covered in tropical rainforest tower over flooded rice fields and a network of tranquil flowing waterways, interconnected by narrow and dramatic subterranean cave passages. The steep green karsts create magnificent reflections in the glassy water below whilst brilliant green rice paddies contrast with the murky blue sky. We had the best time in Ninh Binh, spending our days cycling around rice paddies, cruising through cave formations and climbing mountains. We stayed at the Ninh Binh Panorama homestay where we had our own little bungalow hut, our hosts provided excellent food and company just a few metres away in the communal hut and we were treated to absolutely incredible views from our terrace. The huts are situated about 1 km from the main road down a dirt track and are cosily nestled into the backdropping mountain, it felt like living in a different world.
We climbed Hang Mua whilst staying in Ninh Binh, a local mountain requiring a climb up 500 very steep steps and also took a boat cave tour around Trang An. I would highly recommend doing them both, they're not expensive at all and really allowed us to get up close to the local landscape. I'm not sure how we managed to keep a 20 month old happily in a small rowing boat for 3 hours, I feel we may have been incredibly lucky that day! I think the mantra of snacks, snacks and more snacks actually kinda worked.
We stayed in Ninh Binh for 6 nights and I still didn't want to leave, it was one of those places that immediately felt like home and the first place during our current big trip where I know we will definitely return one day. Travel vlog episode 4 all about our time in Ninh Binh is linked below. However, I don't think any photo or video could really do this place justice. It quite frankly blew us away! Enjoy watching and don't forget to subscribe to my channel and follow our instagram accounts to find out where we're headed to next.