Chào bạn! After two rainy days in Ha Long Bay (get to the first part here!), I woke up Southwards of Hanoi in the province of Ninh Binh. We stayed here only for a night, which definitely wasn’t enough to see all. We returned to Hanoi in the early evening. On our day program was a visit of the most famous pagoda of South East Asia (yes, it’s huge!), such as two boat tours – one of them to the filming point of King Kong. Later that afternoon, we also spotted some small versions of King Kong in the trees. So cute!
Hotel-TipS in Ninh Binh
- Tam Coc Family Hotel (from 13€/night)
- Chill House Homestay (from 13€/night, very cute!)
- Ninh Binh Mountain Views Homestay (from 16€/night)
- Bai Dinh Hotel (at the top of Bai Dinh pagoda, from 43€/night)
The most famous and biggest pagoda Southeast Asia’s Bái Đính Pagoda
The pagoda lies on a 539 acre at the foot of the Dinh mountains. The old pagoda lies a little bit hidden on the west side, while the new Bai Dinh Pagoda was constructed prominently on the other side. It was constructed in 2003. We were lucky to be there very early in the morning and went from the upper part down to the entrance. Usually it’s the other way round. Therefore, there weren’t so many people around. The walk through the palace was magical. There are various halls and small temples with huge Buddha statues. I would recommend to visit for about 3-4 hours.
Onto the next filming spot Tràng An Nature Reserve
in Ninh Binh
Given the name ‘scenic landscape complex’, Tràng An was rewarded as UNESCO world heritage. The karst peaks permeated with valleys are indeed beautiful. The region is a popular spot for boat tours but also cave visits (well, there are a lot of them in whole Vietnam). We went on two boat tours that day – the first through the Tràn An Nature Reserve. There you’ll find another filming spot of King Kong. They kept the filming spot and you can visit it now. It’s called ‘Skull Island’.
Finally some sun! Boat tour through the VAN LONG NATURE RESERVE
I was happy like a kid when the sun finally came out. I hadn’t been that lucky with the weather on my last Asia trips. This time the weather god was very kind.
We reached the stunning Van Long Nature Reserve in the early afternoon. I preferred this boat tour much more because it wasn’t overloaded with tourists. It’s located approximately 20km from Tràn An. I highly recommend this tour!
- Luckily Capucine bought some Asian hats in a tourist shop. The sun was stronger than expected and you see how white I was back then!
My absolute highlight of the day was the visit of the Bai Dinh Pagoda that morning. Each place was magical. In the next post, I’ll bring you further to Central Vietnam, to Quangh Binh to the famous Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park!
- From Hanoi to the famous Ha Long Bay
- Ninh Bình – the North & Southeast-Asia’s most famous Pagoda
- Central Vietnam – most scenic morning & a sea of butterflies
- Ho Chi Minh City: The pink church & how much textile fits in a trolley
- Hoi An: the mecca for tailoring & the best Banh Mi Phuong
- Back in Hanoi & the nightlife at Bia Hoi Street