What to Expect in Thung Nham – Ninh Binh?
Don’t you think Ninh Binh only has Trang An or Tam Coc with the stunning landscape? The land of Vietnam's ancient capital has much more hidden beauty waiting for you to explore. And this post is to tell you about one of the raw gems of Ninh Binh – Thung Nham. So what to expect in Thung Nham – the new attraction in Ninh Binh?
Thung Nham or officially known as Thung Nham Bird Park Ecotourism is a new tourist attraction in Ninh Binh located only about 12km far from Ninh Binh City and belongs to Trang An scenic complex. Thung Nham stays right next to Tam Coc – Bich Dong and from Bich Dong Pagoda, you have to travel only about 4km to get to the stunning Bird Park Ecotourism.
Thung Nham from above
How to get to Thung Nham?
Starting from Hanoi, you can either book a private car, a shuttle bus, or taking a motorbike to get to Thung Nham. As Thung Nham Bird Park is more than 100km far from Hanoi, you will have to travel on the route in about 2 hours. Below are some of our recommendations for you to consider:
- By shuttle bus: You can take a shuttle bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh following the highway. When you reach Ninh Binh city, you can also catch a motorbike or grab a taxi to Nham valley. Shuttle bus ticket is around 70.000 to 90.000 VND per person then going from Ninh Binh station to Thung Nham Bird Garden costs around 50.000 VND.
Traveling to Ninh Binh by motorbike
- By motorbike: You can follow Highway No.1 to reach Ninh Binh. After arriving at Ninh Binh City, you continuously travel on highway No.1 until seeing the sign show direction for “Tam Coc – Bich Dong” and turn right to DT491C Rd., turn right after seeing “Tiem Dien Tuan Phu”. After about 2km, you turn left at Gia Hung restaurant then continue driving for about 4km before turn right to reach Thung Nham Bird Park.
Please note that, for a more detailed direction, a smartphone with the 4G connection to use the Google Map is a must-have item if you want to travel alone or else it will be really easy to get lost. If the Internet connection is lost for a moment and you don’t know where to go, just try to ask the residents around (some pictures of Thung Nham, a pen, a notebook, and a paper local map will be so useful in this case).
- By Train: Buy a ticket from Hanoi station to Ninh Binh station, the train fare is relatively cheap. After about 2 hours, you will arrive at Ninh Binh station. From here you can take a taxi to the hotel, the road in Ninh Binh is extremely comfortable.
What to see in Thung Nham?
The large of Thung Nham is about 40ha – quite large for a tourist attraction and that is absolutely the reason why Thung Nham has many things to satisfy every traveler who comes here and is ready for an interesting adventure. Below is some suggestion of what you can see in Thung Nham and please remember this is not all Thung Nham can show you, we only can tell you some of the most popular places in Thung Nham and you should discover the rest by yourself in Thung Nham, that’s what an adventure means, right?
Dong Vai Gioi (Vai Gioi Cave)
500m far from Thung Nham Bird Park entrance is Dong Vai Gioi. After challenging yourself with 439 stoned stairs, you can reach Dong Vai Gioi which is at the top of a high mountain and has 5000m2 large with 3 floors represented for the Earth, Hell, and Heaven. According to the ancient legend, thousands of years ago, this place is where the God altar placed and people come here to organize ceremonies wishing for bumper harvest seasons.
Magnificent stalactites insides Dong Vai Gioi (Vai Gioi Cave)
Hang But (But Cave)
This is a narrow natural cave inside Thung Nham Bird Park which is 500m long but quite narrow with the largest area is just 70m2 and 30m tall. The reason why it is called “Hang But” or “But Cave” is that it has a big stalactite with “But” (or in English – “fairy man”) appearance. Another interesting fact of Thung Nham’s But Cave is that different from many other caves in Vietnam which have colorful lights inside, there is no light in Hang But, you have to explore the cave with a LED torch and tour guide’s instruction.
Dong Ba Co (Ba Co Cave)
This is one of the most famous caves in Thung Nham but it’s not because of the beauty of the cave, it’s about the mysterious legend around the name of Ba Co Cave. It is said that when Dinh Tien Hoang Emperor (the king of Vietnam in 968 – 979) was poisoned, and his doctors couldn’t heal him, therefore, they announce throughout the country, try to find someone to help the King. One night, in Hoa Lu Capital, 3 sisters of a family dreamed about the water in a Thung Nham’s cave can heal the King. The next morning, these girls went to the cave; however, when they arrived, a tiger killed them. Since then, the cave was called Ba Co Cave (“ba co” means “3 ladies” or “3 sisters”).
Dong Tien Ca (Mermaid Cave)
Dong Tien Ca or Mermaid Cave is a wet cave in Thung Nham which is quite long with 1500m in length. It is said that there is a stoned mermaid there with a sorrowful story behind and that’s why this cave was named “Mermaid” or in Vietnamese: “Tien Ca”. Although this is a wet cave, however, you don’t need a boat to explore inside the cave, there is a system of bamboo bridges that can definitely help you to walk on your feet and admire the stunning ancient stalactites in Dong Tien Ca.
Bamboo bridge in Tien Ca Cave
Most of the people come to Thung Nham because it is a natural park with almost 50 types of wild birds and many of them have their names in the world preserved list. Not only the birds, but Thung Nham Bird Park also is the home for hundreds of types of flora, fauna, fish, reptile, etc.
The best way to explore Thung Nham Bird Park is by boat. You have to pay a small amount of money to hire a boat to see the birds here and the sailor will stop at a spot that is convenient for you to admire the birds and not make them scared. Please note that the best time to see birds in Thung Nham is from about 5 p.m. when the flocks of birds here come back from a full day feeding themselves outside the Bird Park. The number of birds in Thung Nham is less in the daytime so try to visit here at the end of the afternoon if you can.
Birds in Thung Nham
Self-Moving Banyan Tree
This is an extremely special attraction in Thung Nham valley. The Banyan Tree has been existing here for about a thousand-year and stays beside an ancient temple. It is said that this Banyan Tree moved around the temple by “itself” and it moved 3 times up until now. Some scientists confirmed that this Banyan Tree moves every 300 years.
Self-moving banyan tree in Thung Nham
Above are just some basic information about Thung Nham Bird Park Ecotourism and this awesome place has many more incredible things to show you so don't hesitate, get your luggage and come to Ninh Binh and pay a visit to the amazing Thung Nham. If you want to book Ninh Binh tours to see wonderful attractions, just CHECK HERE for the more useful information!
(Image source: Internet)