When visiting a destination, the local point of view has become more and more important to tourists. Listening to Mr. Tien Ngo – an experienced tour guide for the most interesting and unique must-do list in Ninh Binh.
ATTRACTIONS: MUST-SEE LIST WITH TAM COC-BICH DONG, HANG MUA AND MORE
Younary: Can you please introduce yourself?
Mr. Tien: Yes, of course. I am a local tour guide with so many years of working in the tourism industry in Vietnam. Mostly, I have done and continue until now doing the tour in English for foreign tourists. I have had a lot of opportunities to visit most of the cities in Vietnam. However, I do mostly the tour in Ninh Binh, and it has become a comfortable place for me. Moreover, I think if foreign tourists have a chance to visit Hanoi or any other cities in the Northern part of Vietnam, they should spend at least one or two days in Ninh Binh.
Younary: So, in your point of view, what are the most must-try attractions in Ninh Binh?
Mr. Tien: As you know, Ninh Binh has been named “Ha Long Bay inland”. You can visit some extremely famous attractions, also internationally like Trang An – Bai Dinh, or recently, Hang Mua has become a phenomenon thanks to its promotion on media and the viral effect on social media platforms.
Besides, if the tourists prefer to interact more with nature, sailing on the Ngo Dong River at the site of Tam Coc – Bich Dong or visiting Cuc Phuong National Park, the first park recognized and gone under the national protection in Vietnam, can be some great offers for tourists to choose. Also, Cuc Phuong is a “cool” location for trekking and adventure activities.
Younary: Yes, thank you for your answer. The attractions that you mentioned are well-known and wonderful to experience. However, are there any sites that are rarely known by tourists?
Mr. Tien: I think that most parts of Ninh Binh have been discovered and popular. However, some natural parts are remaining the rustic beauty up to this point. Some names can be Kenh Ga-Van Long, a wild, mysterious, and truly natural zone. Tourists can understand more about the marine life of the local people surrounding this area. For me, this location should be surely included in the must-do list in Ninh Binh.
However, for me, it should focus more on how not what when talking about Ninh Binh. I would like to suggest that the tourist can try a two-day bike tour around Ninh Binh to have the full experience in Ninh Binh.
Younary: It sounds interesting. Can you elaborate more on this idea, please?
Mr. Tien: Well, I can say that the tour can include a long bike tour, not a short one as just five to seven kilometres like many popular products on the market right now. It can start from Phu Ly (Ha Nam). Then, on the route, tourists can go through the villages in Ninh Binh to observe the truly local life and the genuine charms of the Vietnamese rural scenery and lifestyle. Then, they can visit Trang An and cycle through Thung Nham. Here in Thung Nham, they can add on a boat experience or continue by bike to Ngan Ha Cave for a bird-watching experience – one of the best experiences that tourists must try when they visit Ninh Binh.
FESTIVAL: MUST-TRY EXPERIENCE IN NINH BINH
Younary: The journey is fantastic. I would like to join that bike tour as well. Apart from natural sites, what are the best cultural experiences for tourists in Ninh Binh in your opinion?
Mr. Tien: In my point of view, I think there are two most notable festivals. If you want to understand more about the historical background, you can participate Hoa Lu festival which coveys many cultural values. It happened in spring every year. The second one is Lua Vang (Golden rice) festival. It is in autumn when all the rice padding alongside the Ngo Dong River turns into a dazzling gold color. This festival is great as the representation of Vietnamese agriculture as well as the value of the beauty of nature.
Younary: Even listening to what you say, I can picture those magical scenes in front of my eyes. Hence, are those the seasons that you suggest tourists visit Ninh Binh?
Mr. Tien: Yes, spring and autumn, definitely, especially autumn. For me, visiting Ninh Binh and the Northern part of Vietnam in autumn is the best idea. Spring is a great idea. However, one tip is to prepare for some typical foggy days during the springtime. Besides, during summer when lotus blooming, in my opinion, that period is also worth visiting and experiencing as well.
EAT: MUST-TASTE IN NINH BINH
Younary: We talked a lot about outdoor and cultural experiences. However, last but not least, we have to talk about cuisine. Food is a very important part as well. Hence, in your opinion, what are the typical dishes that tourists should try when visiting Ninh Binh?
Mr. Tien: Goat meat for sure. I think when searching for Ninh Binh, this could be on top of every must-do list in Ninh Binh. Goat meat in Ninh Binh has an extraordinary quality and can be cooked in various ways. Another can be Com chay (scorched burnt rice). Those golden and crispy rice served with salty dried pork and soup are the perfect combination. Also, it is very convenient and tasty, especially for tourists going on an adventure tour.
Younary: But, if a tourist is vegan, are there any options for him or her as well?
Mr. Tien: Yes. Nowadays, restaurants are very flexible with recipes to make good dishes for all types of customers. They can taste the typical local or traditional Vietnamese dishes in the vegan version. Can be anything, the scorched burnt rice, spring roll, or banh mi. All the ingredients are fresh and cooked flexibly based on the diet plan(s) of tourists.
What a wonderful and interesting talk. Thank you so much for all of your great travelling ideas and suggestions.
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