Mua Caves Ninh Binh is one of the most popular and breathtaking viewpoints in Vietnam. One super unique feature of this viewpoint is the giant dragon statue which lines the top of the mountain. The viewpoint provides some spectacular views overlooking the iconic Vietnamese landscape and is a spot you can’t miss when visiting Ninh Binh. Once at the top, you can even admire the river which flows between two giant cliffs. Hiking to the top is an awesome way to start your day while watching the morning fog roll over the vast landscape. Be sure to also visit early so you can have this spot all to yourself!
How to get to Mua Caves Ninh Binh
From our accommodation in Tam Coc, we decided to drive ourselves on our scooter which took roughly 10 minutes. You can rent a scooter for around 100,000 VND ($6 AUD) per day. The roads are very easy to follow so you’ll have no issue finding Mua Caves once you type it into your GPS. If you’re not a confident driver, another way you can reach Mua Caves is by bicycle. Many hostels and guesthouses offer bicycle hire so you can explore the surrounding area with ease.
As you approach the entrance, you’ll find a bunch of different carparks. Avoid parking in these carparks as they’ll try charge you for parking. You can keep driving right up to the ticket booth where you can park inside for free.
To get to Ninh Binh, we used 12Go to book a bus from Hanoi. 12Go is a super cheap and reliable way to get around Vietnam and other popular Southeast Asian countries. Whether you’re looking to get to Ninh Binh or travel to your next spot in Vietnam, we definitely recommend using 12Go.
↠ Book: Latest 12Go prices and timetables.
There are currently no set hours for Mua Caves Ninh Binh. When we arrived at 7am there was already a man at the ticket booth so we were able to purchase our tickets and enter. We’ve heard that the ticket man is there for the majority of the day from early morning to late evening so you should be able to visit at any hour.
When we visited, we had the whole place to ourselves for about 40 minutes before more people came and got quite busy. If we had visited any later it would have been very hard to take photos or enjoy the place to ourself. The earlier you go the better so that you also won’t have to walk up in the hot midday sun. Be sure to get there early so you can avoid the crowds.
Mua Caves Ninh Binh Entrance fee
Entrance costs 100,000 VND ($6 AUD) per person.
What to expect
Mua Caves is the perfect place to observe the insane landscape of Ninh Binh from a unique viewpoint. To reach the top, you’ll have to walk up roughly 500 stairs which should take you 15-20 minutes. Reaching the top can get hot and tiring, although you won’t regret it once you’re there! One thing to look out for during the hike is to avoid all the goat poo. It should only be there in the mornings before it gets cleaned but it sure smells and the added humidity makes it slightly hard to breathe as you climb the stairs.
As you approach the top, you’ll notice a split in the pathway. Continue left to reach the dragon statue on top of the mountain, or you can head right to reach a pagoda which stands on its own. We decided to head straight for the dragon statue so we could admire the crazy valley views and have the place to ourself. Once you reach the top you’ll have an incredible view of the surrounding fields and river which cuts through 2 towering cliffs. It was amazing to watch the locals rowing their boats so calmly down the river. We also loved climbing around and admiring the super unique dragon statue. The statue spans across the top of the viewpoint and adds a cool element to this already amazing viewpoint.
One thing you might notice at Mua Caves is that the locals are trying to make the entrance to the hike very touristy. When we visited, they were in the process of building different restaurants and photo attractions. We hope that this doesn’t take away from the natural beauty of the hike. Either way, this viewpoint is one you definitely shouldn’t miss!
Best time to visit Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is popular to visit all year round, although if you get unlucky you can come across some bad weather. Ninh Binh experiences a dry season and a rainy season. The dry season is from November to April, while the rainy season is from May to October.
The weather during the dry season is mainly on the cooler side. You’ll only have the occasional wet day with temperatures staying below 26 Degrees Celcius. If you want the best chance of perfect weather, try to plan your trip in the dry season. The rainy season is quite the opposite with it being hot, humid and heavy rainfall. In September, Ninh Binh is sometimes hit with typhoons. If you want to stay on the safe side, then you can skip visiting in September.
We actually decided to take the risk and visit Ninh Binh in mid September. Despite the rainy season, we actually had a perfect stay in Ninh Binh with no rain. We may have gotten very lucky, although for us our trip in September was perfect.
Where to stay
There are two main areas you can stay in when visiting Ninh Binh. You can either stay in Ninh Binh Town or Tam Coc which aren’t too far from each other. We personally preferred to stay in Tam Coc. There are plenty of accommodation options as well as restaurants and we really enjoyed the laid back vibe.
Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort – Luxury: This hotel is definitely the best in the area and for the affordable price, you can’t beat it! Located only a short distance from the centre of Tam Coc town, it’s the ideal choice if you’re looking for a luxury getaway for an affordable price.
Tam Coc Boutique Garden – Midrange: Tam Coc Boutique Garden is the perfect place to stay if you’re after large clean rooms and a good breakfast. This hotel is located along the rivers edge and only a 5 minute walk to the very centre of town. The owners are also super friendly and help you with anything you need.
Tam Coc River View Homestay – Budget: Everyone who stays at this super affordable homestay only has positive things to say! From it’s perfect location to friendly owner and nice breakfast, it’s everything you need for the perfect stay. This homestay is also located along the river so you can watch the local boats row by.
↠ Check availability: Tam Coc accommodation