Meandering through the Ninh Binh province, the Ngo Dong River is an unforgettable masterpiece of Mother Nature. Framed by vast fields of rice, a boat journey along the river and through the three limestone caves offers an exquisite opportunity to witness the breathtaking views that will surely leave you in awe.
I – Where is the Ngo Dong river in Vietnam?
Located just 7 kilometers from the center of Ninh Binh city and 100 kilometers from Hanoi city center, Ngo Dong River belongs to Ninh Hai Commune in Hoa Lu District of Ninh Binh Province. Renowned for its poetic beauty, this gentle river cascades down majestic limestone mountains, irrigating the expanses of fertile rice paddies that border its banks, creating a unique and sublime landscape like no other.
The rice fields on both sides of the Ngo Dong River boast their unique beauty in different seasons: all the rice fields are covered in the bright green color of fresh green young rice plants, while the entire area seems to be tinged with a Bright, deep yellow of mature rice plants in harvest season. Taking a boat ride along the enchanting river gives you an unbelievably wonderful and thrilling experience as it takes you through the grandiose mountains, slow moving river and stunning rice fields.
II – Boat trip on the Ngo Dong river
1 – When is the best time for a Ngo Dong River tour?
The best time to take a boat tour on the Ngo Dong River is in the harvest season which lasts from May to June. You have a chance to see the beautiful view when you are surrounded by the charm of boundless golden rice fields, engulfed by an adjoining ridge of majestic mountains. On a tour of the Ngo Dong River, you have a sense of serenity as you are immersed in an absolutely calm environment, inhaling and exhaling the typical fragrance of mature rice plants. The picturesque natural landscape attracts many visitors and leaves an indelible mark on their memories.
Note: As May and June are the two hottest months in Ninh Binh province in a year with a temperature of 36-38°C and long hours of sunshine, it is recommended that you wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin.
2 – Where to buy a ticket for a boat ride on the Ngo Dong river?
The Ngo Dong river is the only way to take you to discover a picturesque place: Tam coc (Three Grottoes), nicknamed as Halong Bay on land. The ticket is sold at the Dinh Cac Boat Pier at the price of 250,000 VND/ticket ($10.77). The duration of a boat tour is around 2 hours. Each simple wooden boat without a roof can carry around 3-4 people. The special feature is that most of the time the boatmen here use their feet flexibly to row a boat instead of their arms, which makes many foreigners sitting in the boat astonished.
3 – Highlights of a Ngo Dong River Tour
On the boat tour along the Ngo Dong River, you have the opportunity to visit the Tam coc (Three Grottoes), which consist of Ca Cave (Hang Ca), Hai Cave (Hang Hai), and Ba (Hai Ba) Cave. The Ca cave is the largest, 127 m long and with a mouth about 20 m wide. It has numerous stalactites in various shapes and sizes. Moving about 1 km further from Ca cave, you reach Hai cave, which is 60 m long with unique and eye-catching stalactites. Located next to Hai Cave on the Ngo Dong River, Ba Cave is about 50 m long with a very low ceiling resembling a sophisticated stone arch. Visitors entering these caves can first feel the freshness of the air and watch the crystal clear water droplets from the stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the caves.
After journeying through Tam Coc (Three Grottoes), you can take a break at the Floating Market. This mooring area for small boats is well known for its abundance of vessels carrying flowers, souvenirs, and Ninh Binh Province specialties. Unfortunately, you cannot ride along on the boats, as they must adhere to the local authority’s stringent laws. You can find an abundance of snacks and drinks, like lotus buds, peeled pineapples, bananas, candies, and more!
Here people do not use motor boats, but rather small rustic wooden boats so as not to generate noise or pollute the river. Also, the experience of sitting on a boat slowly meandering down the river is more special and makes for more impressive moments where you may feel like you are gradually getting lost in an amazing fairyland.
III – More beautiful pictures of the Ngo Dong River Vietnam
The magical Ngo Dong River in Ninh Binh province would be a promising place for those who would love to enjoy peace and serenity that can hardly be found in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For more information on travel in vietnam in general and in Ninh Binh province in particular, please follow us, Vietnam Travel Guide and get ready for the extremely fantastic virtual tours!