Soaking in hot springs, exploring Ninh Binh caverns
With the weather in the northern region of Vietnam turning cool as of late, a relaxing weekend in a serene village soaking in hot springs and exploring hidden caverns could provide a wonderful escape.
The limestone mountains in Ninh Binh - Vietnam
To turn this idea into a reality, one should visit Ninh Binh Province where the Kenh Ga Hot Spring is located.
Located 90km from Hanoi, the Kenh Ga Hot Spring was discovered and studied in 1940 by the French. The springs hot and salty water has a stable temperature of 53oC and contains minerals such as calcium and bicarbonate that is thought to be good for ones health. The water flows 5,000m3 per hour from the heart of a limestone mountain.
Visitors can reach the Kenh Ga Hot Spring Tourist Area run by Viet Thai Tourism and Commerce Joint Stock Co. via a 15-minute boat ride at the Dong Chua Port in Kenh Ga Hamlet.
The tourist area spans eight hectares and has a 20-room hotel, a stilt house with six rooms and a large room for 30 guests.
The price is VND150,000 for a twin room and VND50,000 per person for the stilt house.
The area also has a 150-seater restaurant serving Ninh Binh specialties such as mountain goat starting at VND40,000 per person.
The areas main attractions are the system of hot spring swimming pools, the whirlpool bathtubs and the hot tub. The staffers of Kenh Ga Hot Spring are ready to introduce guests to the health benefits of bathing in mineral-rich water.
Guests can choose to relax in the 0.5-1.4m. deep whirlpool bathtub that was designed with Spanish technology. When the heat becomes too much, guests can swim in the pool located next to the bathtub. There are special tubs designed for children as well.
Guests in favor of a little privacy can choose a private bathroom; there are 20 private facilities with pine tubs filled with herbal water. Plans are currently underway to build a mud bath in this area as well.
The price for bathing in the hot spring is VND100,000, which includes boat transportation and entrance fees.
After a bath in the hot spring, guests can visit the Van Trinh Cavern, which is located about 3km away.
Van Trinh, the largest cavern in Ninh Binh, spans 3,500m in Mo Mountain. Once visitors reach the foot of the mountain, they must ascend three meters to a tourist house in order to enter the cavern.
Visitors must then climb eighty steps to reach the gate of the cavern, which is located 15m above the foot of the mountain. The cavern has two adjacent caves, one is short, while the other is tall.
The short cave, Ca Cave, is divided by a screen of stalactites. The caves right wall is covered by many formations that resemble string and long hair. Tourists must descend 63 steps to reach the ground level of the cavern. The caverns spacious ground floor spans 150m and gives visitors the sensation of stepping into an ancient castle with sapphire arches and glittering diamonds. The area has many stalactites that resemble people sitting and standing and is nicknamed Heaven Market.
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