số 6 Tràng An, Tân Thành, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình.
All year daily.
Adults VND 250.000, Children (1 m-1.3 m) VND 120.000.
|Incandescent Electric Light System
|Hung Trang An, Tràng An, số 6 Tràng An, Tân Thành, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình, Tel: +84-229-3890-217, Fax: +84-229-3891-326. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Hung Trang An (Trang An Cave System) is a series of nine caves which are all river caves of the same river, the Sao Khe River. They are visited by boat, paddling down the river for 15 km, in small boats which seat four to six passengers plus the guide, who is an experienced rower. Outside the caves you are surrounded by the spectacular karst towers of Ninh Binh. It is often compared to Halong Bay, which is obviously correct as there are the same karst towers. The difference is nevertheless, that this area is above sea level and there are lakes, rivers, and fertile flats between the towers. Classical karst cones and towers and a network of enclosed depressions connected by an intricate system of subterranean waterways are typical for a humid tropical tower-karst landscape in the final stages of geomorphic evolution.
The tour is quite popular, although not as crowded as the Tam Coc waterway. Nevertheless, it seems traffic jams are nevertheless quite frequent, we talk about rows of boats waiting to enter the next cave. So you should definitely avoid local holidays and weekends. Also, early morning or late afternoon, because of the sun over midday. In general sun protection is quite important.
The tours include quite different caves. Some have spectacular speleothems, others are full of ceramic jars, where locals used to keep their fermenting batches of rice wine. In some caves animal bones, shells, stone tools, pottery and kitchen floors were excavated.
Actually there are three different routes you can choose depending on the length and the things you want to see. Route number 1 includes nine caves, Toi Cave, Sang Cave, Nau Ruou Cave, Ba Giot Cave, Seo Cave, Son Duong Cave, Khong Cave, Tran Cave and Quy Hau Cave and three temples of the Dinh Dynasty, Trinh Temple, Tran Temple and Khong Temple – Bao Hieu Pagoda. Route number 2 includes only four caves, Lam Cave, Vang Cave, Thanh Truot Cave, and Dai Cave, and three other temples, Thanh Cao Son Temple, Suoi Tien Temple and Vu Lam Royal Steps. Route number 3 includes three caves, Dot Cave, Van Cave and Dai Cave, and three temples, Trinh Temple, Suoi Tien Temple and Vu Lam Royal Steps. For a full dose of cave we recommend route number 3 which includes Dot Cave, the longest cave in the area which is 1 km long. The boats need about 20 minutes to cross it. The other caves are mostly quite short. The tours start at a sort of pagoda which was built on an island into the river. There are hundreds of boats on the shores of the island and on the other side of the river, if they are not on their way.
The cave tour is actually only one stop on day trips which are offered by any hotel in the area. It's strongly recommended to book such a tour, as it is not a good idea to drive yourself in a foreign country with such different traffic rules. Also, the guides know exactly where the sites are located and your cave tour is already reserved. And of course you have a guide who speaks the local language. And for fees around USD 50 for a full day they are definitely affordable.