Avoid Troubles When You Visit Ninh Binh
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Avoid Troubles When You Visit Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is one of the most attractive place in north Vietnam and is referred to as Halong bay on land. Located 120 km south of Hanoi, travelers usually visit Ninh Binh in a day trip that covers some famous area like Hoa Lu ancient citadel, Tam Coc caves, Trang An complex and Bai Dinh pagoda...

In this post I would like to share some experience so that you guys can avoid possible annoyances in your trip to Ninh Binh.

- Boat trip in Tam Coc: The most common complaint we had from customers is about the boat rowers. They try to make money from tourists by pushing visitors to buy souvenirs, take photos and ask for a tip and always express disappointment if you don't have some money for them. One of my client Claudia Magdalena from Spain told us that the rower of her boat opened a box under the seat which is full of embroideries, pillow sheets, T-shirts, saying that the made by herself with a lot of hard work and wanted to sell at high price, other young ladies followed them all the way on other boats, they took photos and then tried to sell the pictures. At the end of the boat trip she was surrounded by a groups of people selling water and soft drinks, they urged her to buy drinks for the rower...What should you do in this situation? just say no firmly and politely and don't show any interest. About the tip, please have some money handy for the rowers, about 50.000 vnd (2 usd) per person is fine.

- Visit Cuc Phuoc national park: The Monkey Rescue Centre is located in Cuc Phuong forest with it's aim to rescue, provide care to the precious types of monkey in Vietnam and release them back to nature, the Monkey rescue Centre has nearly 160 individuals of monkey such as white head langur...Visitors have to pay entrance to get in plus an extra guiding service. What made visitors annoyed the must is the bad environment, empty cans and plastic bottles can be found everywhere. The trek in the forest takes about 2 hours, remember to wear good shoes as it rains very often in the area, and go to toilet before the trek if you don't want to take a long way back to the centre as there is no toilet around, perhaps the visitors see the forest as a big natural toilet and there is no need to build one, this is a problem many visitors complained in their tours to Ninh Binh.

- Hoa Lu temples of Kings: The temples are dedicated to King Dinh and King Le, said to be built in 10th century however what visitors see is a small temple built in 17th century as the original temple was destroyed in the war, there is nothing special about these temples as they are almost similar to the many temples in Hanoi, unless you are escorted by an English speaking guide you cannot read any sign nor description about the place. Hoa Lu should be only a coffee stop rather than a tourist destination as described by tour companies, ah yes, like any other place in Ninh Binh day trips, Hoa Lu is full of photographer hawkers who trouble your visit.

- Bai Dinh pagoda: One of the biggest pagodas in south east Asia, Bai Dinh was a newly built pagoda, it is like a tourist attraction rather than a Buddhism place as people feel the lack of a spirit of religion. The pagoda is free to enter however you need to pay 1 USD to park the bike plus 2.5 USD transfer by bus from the entrance to the main part of the pagoda. There are many big statues however they are not beautiful. If you want to see a big pagoda building then Bai Dinh is the place and that's it.


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