07 May 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: Tràng An

Perhaps the highlight of our stay in Ninh Bình was our visit to the Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex. This area is actually included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as both a cultural and natural site. This is an area that is visited by boat: you basically spend a few hours on the boat, gliding through the rocky landscape and going through caves. Things are quite photogenic.

There are three different boat routes available, with differing things you can see on the way. We selected Tour 2, as it had enough temples, caves, and islands that it would visit. The total boat ride takes about three hours. As you can see above, it is a very serene place, and it is advisable to go early to avoid the crowds, which makes taking photos a little bit tricky.

After some time, we docked at an island, which contained a large temple. As usual, the standard temple furnishings are there, with giant statues and round offerings in front of them.

This repeats a couple of times: after spending some time on an island, we continue with our boat ride, until we reach yet another island with something interesting to see in it. I learned that this area also became a venue to shoot a Hollywood movie, not that I cared about the movie though.

I must say that even though the temple scenery was repetitive and nothing really sticks to mind when recalling all the temples I have seen in Vietnam, the scenery with its limestone rocks jutting out of the water in the middle of the Vietnamese countryside is definitely a highlight. I enjoyed the area and the natural scenes are now vividly imprinted in my head.


  1. Do people... just jump off the boat and go for a swim, once in a while? I'd be tempted (if the water is clean enough!)

    1. Zhu,

      The water is clean, yes, but I am not sure whether the area is conducive to swimming. There are after all plenty of visitors on boats passing through and it's not the most serene area to bathe.