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Discover Ninh Binh - 48 hours in Ninh Binh

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Ninh Binh -Travel Tips

Nho Quan is a place where you can "refresh" for a two-day weekend trip to Ninh Binh, with experiences unlike previous itineraries.

Ninh Binh with Trang An, Bai Dinh, Phat Diem stone church, Tam Coc - Bich Dong... are destinations that are familiar to many tourists. But Ninh Binh is home to many other interesting experiences to match your upcoming trip. The two-day itinerary below is for travelers departing from Hanoi and surrounding provinces to Nho Quan, a landmark located northwest of Ninh Binh.

Day 1


Journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh along Phap Van - Cau Gie highway, national highway 1A and DT477 to visit Chau Son Monastery. Visitors should be aware that traffic jams often occur at the entrance to the city on Saturday mornings.

Chau Son Monastery was built in 1939, located in a quiet mountainous area, near the intersection of three provinces of Ha Nam - Hoa Binh - Ninh Binh. The first time you see the Monastery, you will feel like you are in Europe.

According to the Department of Information and Communications of Ninh Binh, the design of the monastery is in the Gothic style with a wall of 0.6 m thick and a column of 1.2 m thick, creating warmth in winter and coolness in summer. The highlight of the Monastery is the columns designed into small symmetrical towers 64 m long. Outside the church are paintings of Jesus Christ, carrying a cross and praying. Inside the cathedral is a wide corridor with natural light. Garden space with hundreds of green trees and carefully cared for.

Note: you need to prepare polite clothes, do not wear revealing or short clothes. "You won't be able to go inside if you're wearing shorts or a two-piece. Time is pretty tight, so it's best to contact us in advance to get enough information," a tourist from Hanoi said.

On weekdays, the monastery restricts tourists, so visitors will not be able to visit. At the beginning of the month with Mass, the church will be open to visitors after the prayer time: Morning: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Sunday to 10:00 a.m.) and afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) except for the Lenten season (around March) and the early August retreat.


There are not many restaurants around Nho Quan area. There should be two options: go to the resort and eat at the restaurant there, or visit any restaurant along the road.

"We went to a restaurant called Beer Garden Hot Pot, right on Highway 12B, just 5 km from Chau Son Monastery as suggested by Tripadvisor and Google Maps. This is a pretty cool garden restaurant, with rustic dishes. The vegetables are grown right in the garden," said Ms. Ha, from Hanoi. The restaurant has also received many good reviews.


Check in hotel, like Cuc Phuong Resort, about 10 km from Chau Son Monastery and about 3 km from the main gate of Cuc Phuong National Park. In addition to Cuc Phuong Resort, visitors to this area can stay at Trang An Golf & Resort or Vedana Ninh Binh Resort, with prices ranging from 1 million VND to 2 million VND per night.

The more affordable level has Cuc Phuong Hotel from 200,000 VND per night. Inside the National Park near Mac Lake, there are stilt houses and hotels with prices ranging from 150,000 VND to 800,000 VND per night.

In the afternoon when the sun is out, you can relax in the resort's premises with a walking path or a light jog about 5 km and at the resort's swimming pool. If not staying in the resort, walking or taking sunset photos by the rice fields on the newly completed wide and beautiful road leading to the gate of Cuc Phuong National Park is an alternative.

For dinner, enjoy typical dishes such as goat, local grilled chicken at the property or restaurants including Thao Linh, Cuc Phuong, 1.5 to 2.5 km from the gate of the National Park.

Read more: Best Things to Do in Ninh Binh 2023 - Vietnam Travel

Day 2

The second full day is the journey to explore Cuc Phuong National Park. If you come here around April, you will admire the butterfly season. At other times of the year, the experience is gentle trekking, walking or cycling in peaceful green spaces. After breakfast, you check out and move to Cuc Phuong National Park.

You should spend at least two and a half hours for the journey to explore Son Cung cave because the walk to the cave entrance takes a long time. The entrance to the cave is full of trees and has many tree-covered paths that are difficult to walk. In addition, you also have to climb many stairs. The inside of the cave is pristine and quite dark, so prepare a flashlight. One of the highlights of the caves in Cuc Phuong National Park is its pristine appearance.

Be prepared to drink water along the way because walking can make the body lose a lot of water and fatigue. Along the journey, do not forget to visit the thousand-year-old cho tree. This is a great tree 45 m high, 5 m in diameter and has a circumference of more than 20 people to hug.

"To explore Son Cung cave and the cho tree, you ride a car to the center of the forest. Remember to dress neatly. It is recommended to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, to avoid scratches as well as possible clinging," advised Mai, a Hanoi tourist.

If traveling with a group of friends or colleagues, it is recommended to rent a bicycle and relax in the forest. Healthy enough, you can pedal straight into the center of the forest about 20 km and rest, camp, have a relaxing lunch. Note, the path has many slopes. If you just want to ride a bike for fun, you can challenge 7 km from the forest gate to the ancient cave.

If the family has young children, the best option is to visit the animal and plant rescue and conservation center (with a guide), then drive into the center of the forest, on the way can do a short trekking (about 1.5 km at a time) into the ancient tree, or climb about 100 steps to go to the ancient cave. In the center around noon, you will walk to a large lawn, where you can camp, have lunch and relax, children can draw pictures, play games in groups...

Families can also choose to join a tour to release wild animals such as birds, monkeys, reptiles, wild cats, civets... to nature in the primeval forest route. When joining the tour, visitors will cross the forest road, admire the pristine scenery and visit some points of the national park. The tour is limited to 15 people at a time so as not to affect the re-drop.

Entry fee to Cuc Phuong National Park is 60,000 VND per adult, 10,000 VND per child, 30,000 VND for a car, 120,000 VND for bicycle rental per day.

In the woods, it gets dark pretty quickly. Around 16:30, you should finish the trip and return to Hanoi. Are you curious about Cuc Phuong National Park or Chau Son Monastery? Contact Threeland Travel to schedule a trip to discover Ninh Binh with your loved one! 

Read more: Why You Should Visit Ninh Binh in 2023