Ninh Binh is one of the top 4 tourist hotspots in Nothern Vietnam, a must-see destination when traveling to Nothern Vietnam, just 2 hours drive or 60 miles from the Old Quarter of Halong, Ninh Binh is knowns as “Halong Bay on land” with tons of Instagram Locations and Photography spots.
In this article, I will walk you through the 10 best locations for Ninh Binh photo spots and Instagram locations by our local expert.
Your Ninh Binh photography tour won’t be completed without visiting the Mua cave complex. It’s a must-see destination in Ninh Binh for photo lovers.
Mua Cave is just 3 miles from the well-known tourist spots (Tam Coc) and is accessible by push bikes, motorbikes, and cars. You can easily reach the Mua cave area from Tam Coc.
I would recommend seeing Mua viewpoint either for sunrise and sunset because you’ll the magical beauty of the towering limestone cliff, rice paddy field and the Ngo Dong river from the Mua peak. Just take my advice for the summertime and fall since the weather is nice, sunny with bright sky from May to Octorber.
Don’t be surprised if you see tons of people on the Mua peak for the sunrise during the weekends of the summertime because Vietnamese are early risers, you can’t beat them.
During the wintertime and springtime, from November to April, it’s getting dark pretty, around 5pm. You may not be able to see the sunset.
There are two peaks to hike:
The dragon peak (Aka Hang Mua viewpoint). This is the best location for shooting awesome photos; you won’t regret it. The only challenge is to hike 500 steep steps to reach its peak. Believe me; it’s totally worth it. There are also some spots to rest and take cool photos.
The dragon viewpoints with towering limestone cliffs, sampan boat trip in Ngo Dong river (Tam Coc boat trip). You can also take awesome photos of the rice field from May to the first week of June during the rice harvest season. You won’t regret it for sure.
On the top of the peak, there is a statue of the God of Mercy, My advice is not to face your back to the statue to show respect.
The second peak of the Mua cave complex is the virtual tower peak. I think it is less beautiful than the main one, the Mua cave viewpoint, but still very beautiful. the pathway to reach its peak is a better level of fitness than the other one but smaller.
Trang An complex isn’t very far from the well-known spot, Mua cave viewpoint, just only 7 kilometers or4 miles from Tam Coc, Trang An will be on the top list for Instagram photo spots in Ninh Binh. Trang An is also known as the homeland of King Kong since the Kong Skull Island movie has been shot here in 2017
There are 3 routes to choose from
Route no 1 : Temple route, including a sampan boat trip through 3 caves. I think it might not a scenic route for taking cool photos.
Route no 2 : 2 hours boat trip is the shortest route for those with limited time; it is a nice route for photo lovers.
Route no 3 : 2.5 hours boat trip, I personally like this route a lot because it includes a boat trip through the longest cave in Trang An (1 kilometer long), the King Kong spots, and the pavilion
Please note that route no 2 and route 3 both takes you to the pavilion on the water which is the most popular spots for photos in the Trang An area.
Hire a private sampan boat ride valued at $45 (1 million Dong) and ask the rower for help to get the best shoots while cruising on the water.
Avoid travelling during the peak season like May Day, and Independence day, which is the 2nd of September, the beginning of the Lunar new year in Vietnam. Believe me, people are everywhere, just people watching not enjoying the scenery.
Sit on the front seat so you can take photos much easier than sitting in the back seat.
Tam Coc is considered the best tourist hotspot for Ninh Binh. For all visitors, Ninh Binh is a must-see spot. Why is that? It only takes a 1.5-hour boat trip, which is way less than a trip in Trang An, from 2.5 to 3 hours. Many visitors who have limited time want to see the highlights of Ninh Binh just in a day, so Tam Coc is a great choice. You can also see one more tourist attraction. In terms of duration, a boat trip in Trang An is equal to the duration of the boat trip in Tam Coc plus a visit to one other tourist attraction such as Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital, Am Tien cave.
For a Ninh Binh photography tour, I recommend including it in a day trip to Ninh Binh from Hanoi, the boat trip in Tam Coc with amazing scenery of towering limestone cliffs, river, the country scenery, and more. There is a couple of photo spots, actually there of them. I like the one near the temple near Hang Ba (the third cave). You’ll take a short hike to reach the viewpoint for shooting cool photos from above.
Thung Nham is a less-known tourist attraction in Ninh Binh with foreign visitors since it is a bit far from Tam Coc, the main tourist hotspot, about 5 kilometers away from Tam Coc.
You can get there by push bike, which takes half an hour from Tam Coc, or 10-minute ride on a scooter or car.
Thung Nham is home to 50,000 birds of over 40 species, including cranes, phoenixes, storks, bitterns, and some rare breeds listed in the Red Book that might be extinct soon.
Thung Nham bird park is perfect for Instagram Photo lovers and nature lovers, with lots of trees, orchard gardens, birds and more.
If you stay overnight in Tam Coc, add Thung Nham in your list of the Ninh Binh photo spots
Avoid travelling during the weekend because there is a lot of Vietnamese travelling to Thung Nham bird garden with families, friends, and co-workers, especially in the summertime when is the peak tourist season in Vientam.
Hire a private boat if you would love to take photos with birds and pay extra to the rower for longer stay.
Walk through Mermaid cave which is almost empty but has beautiful scenery with colorful rock formation with almost ZERO visitors.
Thung Nham is perfect for those who spend the night in Ninh Binh and love taking photos with lots of birds
Am Tien Cave is a lesser-known tourist attraction than the Mua Cave viewpoint. Just 1 kilometer away from Hoa Lu ancient capital
The view from the above platform is absolutely stunning. Believe me, it is a mind-blowing view of the limestone mountains and water. You must take a short hike of 200 steps to reach the viewpoints.
Add Am Tien cave in your Ninh Binh photo spots list and shoot cool photos
6am : Hotel pick up and drive to Tam Coc
7.45am : Sampan boat trip in Tam Coc
10.00am : Hiking Mua cave
12pm : Lunch at a local restaurant
1pm : Checking out Am Tien cave
2.30pm : Visit Hoa Lu ancient capital
3.30pm : Head back to Hanoi. Arrive Hanoi around 6pm. Tour ends
Read more : The best Ninh Binh itinerary
We hope this Ninh Binh photo spots guide helps you someways to plan a Ninh Binh photo tour, don’t forget to like and share this article to photo lovers and encourage them to travel to Ninh Binh for the best photo shoots.