What you should know when visiting Trang An

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Trang An is an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The perfect combination of water and mountain there ensures to bring you unforgettable experiences.

From Hanoi, tourists can easily get a coach to Ninh Binh. The journey takes exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes, so you will reach the destination before you know it. It may even  be more convenient if you choose motorbikes because after you get to Ninh Binh, you will also have to hire a motorbike or grab a taxi to reach Trang An – which is 8 kilometres away from the bus station.

Accommodation

Trang An can basically be divided into two types of places: places to do sightseeing and places to incense. To enjoy Trang An thoroughly, you should take a two-day trip in order to visit all the destinations. Therefore, you will need a place to stay overnight. Here is a quick overview of some of the local accommodation options.

Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh (Van Long, Gia Van, Gia Vien)

Constructed with a traditional Vietnamese model and environmental-friendly materials, Emeralda Resort offers exquisite and glamorous guest rooms, restaurants, spa, mini golf course and conference rooms. You can wake up in a majestic mountain scenery or have a cup of tea in your bedroom looking directly over the large garden.

Vissai Hotel Ninh Binh (848 Tran Hung Dao Street)

 
Located in the centre of Ninh Binh, Vissai Vasi Hotel has a desirable combination of luxurious facilities and friendly staff. All rooms are furnished in a modern Vietnamese architectural style with a spectacular view of the city. Services and amenities of the hotel include of restaurants, bars, swimming pool, spa, karaoke and fitness room.
Ngoc Anh Hotel (36 Luong Van Tuy Street)
The hotel is well regarded with its large, neat and shiny rooms, tasty breakfast and cosy atmosphere. The enthusiastic and joyful staff are always willing to help you with any travel problems to assure your best experience.
Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh (via booking.com)

Queen Hotel Ninh Binh (20 Hoang Hoa Tham Street)

This hotel provides tourists with basic requirements and nice view on the high floors. The food is not so good but acceptable with the low price.
Nam Hoa Hotel Ninh Binh (Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Hoa Lu)
Separated itself from the crowded city, Nam Hoa is an old but neat hotel, serving tasty and proper breakfast. The restaurant is situated on the 7th floor with a beautiful view to a mountain range and paddy fields.

Foods and drinks

“Cơm cháy” (Scorched rice)

Scorched rice is one of the most well-known specialties of Ninh Binh. This dish in Ninh Binh differs itself from other provinces as it is scorched to its sauce. A perfect plate of scorched rice is filled with light yummy yellow, and the rice is crispy but still sticky, sweet and not greasy. On my visit to Ninh Binh, I had a chance to taste both scorched rice and grilled goat. The scorched rice is not supplemented with rousong but served with dipping sauce extracted from broth of grilled goats and many other spices.

“Tái dê” (Salad with goat meat)

The overall impression on my latest Ninh Binh trip is the feeling of peace and serenity. If you are half the way but have yet to acquire that sense of tranquilisation, a small bowl of salad will certainly ease your mind. Goats in Ninh Binh are free range on sheer mountains so the meat is firmer and leaner.

“Gỏi nhệch” (Salad with snake eel)

“Gỏi nhệch” in Kim Son is considered the most delicious dish. Fresh fish must be rubbed with salt and several kinds of leaves to remove all the mucus. After being marinated with spices, snake eel is eaten with fig leaf and sauce. The dipping sauce called “Chẻo” is also quiet special, the grinded bone from snake eel, blended with fermented rice and then boiled. “Chẻo” is pretty condensed, meaty and distinguishably fragrant.

Com chay (scorched rice) via opentour

Destinations

Trang An Ecotourism

Trang An Ecotourism is probably the most outstanding destination in Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. The place is recognised by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage and World Cultural Heritage. Trang An Ecotourism is widely noticed after the screening of Kong: Skull Island thanks to its breath-taking background. Coming to Trang An Ecotourism, you will not only admire the splendid scenery but also have fun experience passing through very low browed caves (to avoid getting hurt, please make sure to keep your head down, sometimes with your forehead meeting your toes) or encounter multiple aging barrels in the caves for their cool temperature. Apart from “floating” on the water, you can visit ancient temples and pagodas hanging on the mountains (one of which I would really recommend is Am Tien pagoda – 300 metres away from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital).

Bai Dinh Pagoda

If you consider yourself as a pilgrim or just want to have a deeper understanding of Vietnamese religion, the Buddhist Bai Dinh is a priceless treasure to explore. Bai Dinh has set numerous records such as the biggest Buddha gold gilding statue in Asia, the longest hall of Arhat in Asia, and the biggest Maitreya silver statue in Southeast Asia. Visiting Bai Dinh, you will have a chance to see multiple caves, Nguyen temple, Cao Son temple, Gieng Ngoc and more.

Trang An is a perfect place to do sightseeing, instead of adventurous or physical activities.

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