We only had 1 day to explore Ninh Binh, and I regret it. I could have spent much longer in this amazingly beautiful and peaceful place. As we only had 1 day, we woke up very early to start with the boat tour and after that, we had enough time to explore the major attractions of Ninh Binh. Staying in Tam Coc was a good decision as once we rented a bicycle it was very easy to go around and see everything we wanted to.
After the boat trip, exploring the area by bike was a great idea. This place reminded me how much I like cycling in simple places like Tam Coc. It reminded me of why I had the dream of traveling Myanmar by bike. Is so good! The inner peace you feel, the gratitude, the happiness to be able to explore such a wonderful place, the enchantment with everything that surrounds us, from the sounds to the landscape to the smiles of the people. I see no better way to explore the area, so we spend the day cycling through lush green rice fields, duck traffic, mysterious sounds, and so many rocky paths that make us smile as we think that cycling this path might have been a bad idea.
Bich Dong Pagoda
First, we went to Bich Dong Pagoda and the surrounding view as we cycled was already good enough to make me love Tam Coc. The Pagoda itself is beautiful and its location fascinating. The views here are wonderful!
Then, we ventured into the rice fields where we were the only people. The simple act of cycling around Tam Coc is already truly beautiful, so we were just cycling and appreciating the view.
Hang Thien Huong Tam Coc
We managed to visit Hang Thien Huong Tam Coc that is a small cave with a temple and a majestic view surrounded by the most dazzling sounds. Cycling in this area is a must!
We also had the chance to see Thai Vi Temple
The cemetery next to the river
We have seen this cemetery in the forest close to the river when we did our boat tour. The place looked cool from the boat, so we decided to visit closer.
The last place visited was Mua Cave, the most tourist spot in Ninh Binh. About 500 stairs and long minutes of climb take us so high that you can see countless limestone cliffs rising between the rice fields. So many until you have no sight. It’s stunning, and all the sweat drops are worth it.
The climb is pretty high so it takes a lot of time to visit the area. We went there from Tam Coc by bicycle which took us about 30 minutes. Some meters before reaching the entrance of Mua Caves there was a guy whistling at us, therefore we stopped. He said that we needed to park our bicycles there before proceeding any further. We did so. We needed to pay to park our bicycles. But we were fooled. It was not mandatory to park our bicycles there. We were at the very beginning of the road that leads to Mua caves and we had to park our bicycles just to walk for 5 minutes. Just after parking and starting to walk we realized that we have been fooled and that there are many other places near the entrance where we can park our bicycles. So don’t be fooled and don’t stop even if they whistle their mouths out.
We went to Mua caves by the end of the day with the intention to watch the sunset on the very top of the mountain. The view from the top is breathtaking. I didn’t tire of contemplating it. I could spend hours and hours of empty thoughts enjoying the moment. Unfortunately, the weather was always cloudy and the view was not the most perfect, but it is nonetheless charming.
This place was super crowded with waiting lines to take a picture at some specific points. I also saw a few brides and fiances taking pictures in this amazing scenery. Due to the affluence of people, the very top of Mua Caves is not quiet or chilled. As the sky was cloudy there was no point in waiting for the sunset.
We got back to Tam Coc being sure that this place is worth more time spent there. I spent a day in Tam Coc but I’m sorry I didn’t spend more. The next destination is Hue where we are going by sleeping bus.