Popular boat tours in Ninh Binh
Boat trip is one of the best things to do in Ninh Binh where the landscape is so supportive for this activity. Some of the most popular and hidden places to enjoy a boat trip are:
Tam Coc also called Halong Bay in land, which offers you an embarkation on a small traditional boat called sampan, rowed by a local inhabitant, what is rather funny is that the person who directs the boat, rows with his feet. You will have the opportunity to admire the landscape and pass through 3 small caves during 1h30. The boat can accommodate between 2 or 4 people maximum per boat so if you are a big group, you will have to split the group in several parts.
This small cruise in a traditional boat also hand rowed by a local, you have the choice between 3 different routes. Between 1 hour for the small route and more than 2 hours for the big one. You will discover beautiful scenery such as one of the places where the movie King Kong was shot, you will make several stops and get off the boat to discover temples, hidden pagodas to stretch your legs 5 or 10 minutes before returning to your boat. Oars are available in the boat if you want to have fun rowing too.
Trang An tour is bigger than the previous one but also more famous and therefore more touristic with more people, please note that you will not be the only boat.
Van Long nature reserve is just popular recently so it is still less touristy and really authentic for those who want to immerse in serene nature. You may have the chance to observe some rare animals as well, like langurs for example.
A lesser-known but worthy place for boat ride is Thien Ha wet cave. The cave is famous for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites, as well as its underground river that runs through it. The cave's name "Galaxy" comes from the sparkling effect of the stalactites that look like stars in the night sky. With a good imagination, you can see many interesting rock formations such as the Buddha's hand, the Milky Way,..
Tips for your boat trip:
Avoid weekends, especially Sundays, when Vietnamese people take a weekend getaway from big cities. And it is not pleasant when there are many boats.
Take an umbrella or avoid this activity on rainy days, the boat being small, you will be completely wet, take waterproof clothes and something to protect you from water if it rains. And take a hat to protect you from the sun on hot days.