Travel Guide for 1 Day in Am Tien Grotto, Ninh Binh

Recently, tourists have given each other a place nicknamed "Tuyet Tinh coc" (Tuyet Tinh cave) of Vietnam with the magical beauty, which is not less beautiful than the famous landscapes in Chinese marital art films.
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Recently, tourists have given each other a place nicknamed "Tuyet Tinh coc" (Tuyet Tinh cave) of Vietnam with the magical beauty, which is not less  beautiful than the famous landscapes in Chinese marital art films.

It is Am Tien temple and cave, located in the ancient relic of Hoa Lu, where King Dinh Tien Hoang raised tigers, built execution ground and where dowager Empress Duong Van Nga led a religious life.
To go to this place, depart from Hanoi, you can choose a 2 days 1 night trip to combine Trang An, Bai Dinh ... However, if you do not have much time, you can fully explore Am Tien in 24 hours.


Am Tien temple is about 100 km from Hanoi.

- 7 am: Depart from Hanoi, you can travel by car or motorbike, but you should take a motorbike to take a closer look at other tourist destinations.

+ By motorbike: You can follow the National Highway 1A towards Ninh Binh city. Then, you turn right into the scenic Trang An or the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, go forward you can get to Am Tien. It is a famous tourist site, so there’re clear direction road signs and it’s easy for you to go.

+ For public bus: You can catch the bus at Giap Bat or My Dinh (Hanoi) bus station to Ninh Binh with the price of about VND 60,000 to 100,000 USD (USD 2.4 – 4) per person. It takes about  2 hours to reach Ninh Binh city center. You can stop at Hoa Lu Hotel then take a motorbike-taxi or taxi to Am Tin temple.

- 9h30: now you are at Am Tien cave. This place is under renovation so there are not many services attached. You can park your motorbike at the gate, lock carefully and then visit the site. You can also park it at the serviced parking lot for VND 5,000 (USD 0.2)/motorbike.

- 10h: Start to visit. You will be impressed by the scenery of surrounding mountains creating a separate world. The mountain here is majestic, poetic but haunted by a sad color, which attracts many young people.

Most of the Am Tien cave area is a flooded valley surrounded by cliffs. Legend has it that King Dinh raised tigers here, and then the prisoners were sentenced to death. Anyone who could escape from the tigers would be free of sin.

In order to enter the cave, after passing the gate, you go down a passage on the left side, next to the large lake where lotus, lily, cactus and tortoise are raised. The water here is particularly green, visible to the bottom with plenty of moss. Legend has it that this was a pond to raise turtle in the old days.


After visiting and photographing in pond, you can climb over 205 rock steps through the cliff to get to Am Tien cave on halfway up the mountain. The cave is shaped like a dragon's mouth, so it is also called a dragon cave.

The Am Tien Pagoda is on the mountain. This is where Queen Duong Van Nga led a religious life in the last years of her life. You can burn some incenses and visit the temple. This place is high above, you will see the whole beautiful landscape.

- 12h30: When finishing the visit, it is also at noon, you can take lunch and enjoy the real specialties of the ancient capital, in which the most famous is mountain goat meat served with fried rice. Outside the temple, on the main road, you can meet many goat meat restaurants, such as Duc de, Thang Long restaurant, Hoang Giang ...

- 14h: After lunch and a rest, you can take time in the afternoon to visit the ancient ruins of Hoa Lu nearby, or visit Bai Dinh or Trang An. However, it takes about 4-5 hours to visit these two popular tourist sites, so you will come back very late.

It is best to visit the ancient ruins of Hoa Lu. There are historical relics: Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, Le Dai Hanh Temple, Dinh King Tomb, Le King Tomb ... Ticket is VND 20,000 (0.8 USD) per person.
Come to Hoa Lu, you will be immersed in the natural beauty of this sacred land, admire the remains of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, learn more about the history of the nation.

- 17h: return to Hanoi with an interesting discovery day on the ancient capital city.

Some notes

- If you ride a motorbike, you need to bring full documents, obey traffic laws everywhere, including in tourist area.
- Bring a lock to preserve property in case no parking lot.
- Bring drinking water to avoid dehydration when climbing. Am Tien Temple does not have many tourist services.
- Prepare suitable and safe costume  for the trip, especially climbing. Visiting both Am Tien and Hoa Lu ancient capita requires some climbing and waking.

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Location Ninh Bình, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam

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