Ninh Binh, the tourist attraction located in northern Vietnam and not far from Hanoi, has just been selected by a US magazine as one of the world's top 23 places to visit in 2023.
|The magnificent yellow rice fields in Tam Coc - Bich Dong complex in Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province. Photo: Hoang Luong|
Accordingly, Ninh Binh (Vietnam), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Hong Kong (China) represent Asia in the list of "The 23 Best Places to Travel Around the World in 2023" selected by Forbes travel experts.
Catarina Mello, an American luxury travel content creator and photographer, named Ninh Binh one of Asia's most underrated destinations.
"It is often referred to as one of the most beautiful hidden gems on the Asian continent. It's gaining popularity on social media, so that it won't remain a hidden gem for too long. Go while it still offers a very authentic northern Vietnam experience," she wrote.
In 2016, the movie Kong: Skull Island was filmed in Ninh Binh Province, making this poetic land popular with international visitors.
It takes about two hours to drive from the center of Hanoi to the northern province, which is home to magnificent limestone karst mountains, green valleys, and yellow rice fields. “It’s so beautiful that you’ll immediately fall in love with it,” Catarina stated.
Forbes also suggests travelers bike through rice fields, hike limestone mountains for incredible views, visit pagodas, and take a local rowboat tour of the scenic countryside and through caves.
|Vietnam’s northeastern province of Ninh Binh is considered ‘the Inland Halong Bay’. Photo: Hoang Luong|
According to the experienced traveler from the American magazine, in Ninh Binh, the cliffs emerge from the valleys covered with rice fields and rivers - that is why the province is nicknamed "Ha Long Bay on land".
Regarding gastronomy, Catarina suggests travelers try mountain goat meat, a specialty of Ninh Binh. "The most famous dishes are goat soup, grilled goat meat with five spices, and steamed goat meat with ginger," she said.
Nguyen Van Minh, Director of the Ninh Binh Tourism Promotion Center, said this is not the first time Ninh Binh has been honored. Previously, in February 2023, Ninh Binh was ranked among the top 10 friendliest destinations in the world by Traveler Review Awards.
"For many years, the tourism industry in Ninh Binh has always tried to find solutions to turn this place into a friendly tourist destination with great nature to attract travelers at home and abroad," he said.
As a province with a very varied landscape from the mountainous, plain, river to coastal areas, Ninh Binh is home to diverse and unique natural resources for tourism development, such as UNESCO-recognized Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Bai Dinh Mountain, Cuc Phuong National Park, Van Long Wetland Natural Reserve, Kenh Ga Mineral Hot Springs or Kim Son coastal area. Moreover, Ninh Binh also has nearly two thousand historical and cultural relics, including those listed as national treasures.
|The wonderful sunset sprays copper-red sunlight all over the limestone mountains in Ninh Binh Province. Photo: Hoang Luong|
In particular, the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage, the first mixed heritage in Southeast Asia. The invaluable cultural heritage treasure has made Ninh Binh one of the country’s most appealing destinations.
The province aims to become a leading tourist hub in Vietnam by 2030. In the first three months of this year, Ninh Binh welcomed 3.2 million visitors, an increase of 4.8 times over the same period last year. Revenue is estimated at more than VND2.5 trillion (US$106.4 million), up 5.5 times on year.