Ninh Binh is 120km south of Hanoi, famed for its tranquil countryside typical of northern Vietnam. While Halong Bay has karst islands sprouting out of the emerald water, Ninh Binh has karst mountains sprouting out of the sea of green rice fields. On Halong Bay, travelers take luxury junk cruises amid the islands; at Ninh Binh, they embark on rowing boat trips gliding on rivers flanked by towering mountains or take bicycle tours through the villages and rice paddies.
Besides, Hoa Lu District of Ninh Binh was the site of the capital city of Vietnam in the 10th century before it was moved to Thang Long (Hanoi nowadays). There are still two temples dedicated to the Royal Families of Vietnam in the 9th and 10th centuries at Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh.
Other tourist attractions in Ninh Binh include: Tam Coc, Trang An, Thung Nang and Van Long Nature Reserve, all of which are flooded land encircled by sublime karst mountains. For those who love to learn about the Vietnamese spiritual life, then you should visit Bich Dong Pagoda and Bai Dinh Pagoda. Bich Dong is built into a limestone mountain and Bai Dinh is the biggest pagoda in Vietnam nowadays with walls stretching over a kilometer and with thousands of statues of different sizes.