Two hours from Hanoi, Ninh Binh is surrounded by a stunning landscape of lush green paddy fields and striking limestone outcrops. It is a must if you plan to see the best of North Vietnam.
Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam, or Dai Co Viet as it was then called, from 968 to 1009, founded by King Dinh Tien Hoang. He reigned for twelve years followed by King Le Dai Hanh who ruled for twenty-nine years.
In 1010 King Ly Thai To moved the capital from the Hoa Lu citadel to the site of present day Hanoi, which he called Thang Long (meaning Rising Dragon). Today there are two temples built in the grounds of the former royal palace, each dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh.
After lunch in a local restaurant in Tam Coc, where goat meat is a specialty, a short stroll brings us to the boat station for a wonderful two-hour boat trip around Tam Coc. The name Tam Coc means Three Caves and is considered Ha Long Bay on land. The three limestone caves stretch along the Ngo Dong river and are named Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba. Lie back in the boat rowed by a local lady – often using her feet – and enjoy the fabulous views of limestone mountains, rice paddies and temple sites as you drift leisurely from cave to cave. Please contact the front office for more information and a full itinerary.