Embark on a journey to the mesmerizing Hang Mua viewpoint in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. This picturesque location offers panoramic views unlike any other, featuring the best of Vietnam’s natural beauty.
From the top, you can take in the stunning sights of the Tam Coc Valley, vibrant rice fields, and impressive limestone mountains.
Whether you’re an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast or simply a family with kids like us, the Hang Mua viewpoint is a must-visit destination.
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DISCOVER HANG MUA VIEWPOINT
The Hang Mua viewpoint, also known as the Mua Cave viewpoint, is one of the most popular attractions in Ninh Binh province and it shouldn’t be missed in any Ninh Binh itinerary. Despite its name, the main attraction here is not the cave but the breathtaking viewpoints atop the peak, offering you a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
Hidden within the Mua Caves Ecolodge resort, the Hang Mua Caves viewpoint consists of two primary peaks – the dragon and the pagoda. A climb to either peak rewards you with unforgettable views of the Ninh Binh landscape.
OUR EXPERIENCE: We visit Ninh Binh as part of a Vietnam itinerary and we decided to stay two nights in the area. We travelled with our almost 7 year old twins, you can read the full Vietnam itinerary here. Vietnam is an amazing country where kids are welcomed almost everywhere, experiencing Vietnam with kids is rewarding for both the adult and the kids. They had no issue climbing up the 500 steps to reach the top of the Dragon Peak!
Introduction and History of Mua Cave Viewpoint
The Mua Caves Viewpoint is not just about picturesque landscapes; it also boasts a rich history that adds to its allure. The name ‘Mua’ translates to ‘Dance,’ and the cave derives this name from an enchanting tale from the past. Legend has it that the ancient kings of Vietnam would visit this cave to watch beautiful dances performed by the royal maids. The mesmerizing dance performances against the backdrop of the stunning landscapes made for a heavenly spectacle.
Over the years, the Mua Cave Viewpoint has seen a steady increase in the number of tourists, thanks to its majestic views and intriguing past. The viewpoint has successfully preserved its historical significance while embracing the influx of modern-day tourism.
Today, the Mua Cave Viewpoint serves as a testament to Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. It stands as a symbol of the country’s glorious past, inviting travelers from across the globe to indulge in its history and marvel at its natural beauty.
What to Expect at Mua Cave Viewpoint
So, what can you expect when you visit the Mua Cave Viewpoint?
When you enter (after paying the entrance fee) you will walk into a well-maintained garden that is shared with the Mua Cave Ecolodge. From there, you have access to the stairs to reach the Hang Mua peaks and the caves. You will also find many little kiosks to buy water, ice creams, and souvenirs.
The cave, though not very large, offers a glimpse into the region’s history and cultural heritage. Even if not so impressive, the cave is located in a really charming setting where also the Mua cave ecolodge is situated. So you can walk around the gardens, the ponds with little bridges, and there are a few vendors to stop for a break.
Then of course you can climb up the mountain where you can enjoy the view not just from one but two peaks.
The climb to the top is a bit challenging but absolutely worth it. The viewpoint is located at a height of about 500 steps, and the climb offers an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
The view is particularly enchanting during sunrise and sunset, and you can spend hours just soaking in the beauty of the landscape.
Climbing the Mua Cave Viewpoint
Climbing the Mua Cave Viewpoint is an adventure that you don’t want to miss. The climb is challenging but rewarding, offering a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and experience the thrill of adventure.
The climb starts from the foot of the mountain, where the Mua Cave is located. The path to the top is lined with beautiful greenery, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
The climb involves about 500 steps and can get quite steep at certain points. Steps are cut into the mountain’s rock and are uneven with different heights.
But don’t worry, there are several resting points along the way where you can take a break and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
And as you climb higher, the view gets more and more impressive.
There are actually two peaks at Hang Mua viewpoint
Halfway up the mountain, you will face a split. There are steps that continue on the left that will lead you to Dragon Peak and steps that continue on the right that will you to Pagoda Peak.
I recommend you tackle Dragon Peak first as it is more challenging than the Pagoda Peak.
THE DRAGON PEAK
The first peak, known as the Dragon, is named for the impressive dragon statue that sits at its summit. As you begin your ascent up the 500 steps, the journey is nothing short of breathtaking.
With each step, the view becomes increasingly stunning, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside, lush rice fields, and winding rivers. The climb is steep and can be challenging, but the reward at the top is worth every drop of sweat.
Once you reach the top, you are greeted by a magnificent dragon statue lying on the mountain peak.
The dragon, a symbol of power, strength and good luck in Vietnamese culture, adds a mystical touch to the already stunning panorama. From here, the view is truly awe-inspiring; it’s like standing on top of the world, with endless beauty stretching out in all directions.
BE AWARE: To get really close to the dragon you will need to step off the path and it could be tricky for small kids.
THE PAGODA PEAK
If you’ve still got energy left after scaling the Dragon Peak, next on your list should be the Pagoda Peak. The path to this peak is a bit more tranquil and less traveled compared to the Dragon peak. The journey to the Pagoda is a serene experience with pockets of calmness that contrast beautifully with the physically demanding nature of the climb. Flanked by lush greenery and an occasional fluttering butterfly, each step towards this peak brings you closer to tranquility.
The Pagoda peak gets its name from the beautiful pagoda that stands majestically at its summit. As you reach the top, you are greeted by the serene sight of this sacred structure surrounded by breathtaking views of Tam Coc river and rice fields below. It’s a sight to behold! The pagoda itself is a place of quiet reflection.
Both these peaks at Mua Cave viewpoint offer unique experiences. While they both require some effort to reach, each one rewards climbers with its own distinct charm. Whether you choose to climb one or both, your journey to these peaks will surely be an unforgettable adventure.
Where are the Hang Mua viewpoints?
The Hang Mua viewpoints are the two peaks you can climb once you enter the Mua Cave complex. The caves and the viewpoints are part of the Mua Caves Ecolodge a lovely resort with a swimming pool located around 6 km from Ninh Binh and 5 km from Tam Coc. Ninh Binh is located around 2 hours by train south-east of Hanoi.
How to get to Mua Cave?
If you are staying in Ninh Binh or Tam Coc you will not have a problem finding a taxi, or renting a bicycle (many hotels and guest houses offer bicycles for free). However, unless you have a lot of time it would be more practical to hire a driver for the day (with a car or scooter) and plan a stop to visit Mua cave together with two or three other sites.
The Ninh Binh area is rich in beautiful sites to visit, you can spend 2 days in Ninh Binh and you will not cover everything. If you are in Hanoi and you are not planning to stay in Ninh Binh overnight it could be useful to join a tour. Below is one of the best options.
BEST NINH BINH DAY TRIPS FROM HANOI: Hoa Lu, Trang An Caves, & Mua Cave Day Trip and Lunch
This tour covers three of the four sights that we recommend to visit on the first day. It maximises the time you have around Ninh Binh and it includes the entrance to all sights, buffet lunch and pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter.
Amazing value for money.
The best alternative to get to see also the Bich Dong Pagoda is this other tour that will bring you to Tam Coc for the boat ride instead of Trang An.
GOOD TO KNOW: these tours are fully refundable up to 24h before they start
If you are planning to stay in the Ninh Binh area don’t miss to look at “Le Clos du fil”, one of the nicest boutique hotels in the area.
Mua Caves entrance fee and opening times
The entrance to Mua Cave and the viewpoints cost 100,000VND (£3.30, €3.9, $4.2) per person also for kids. Usually, the entrance fee is included in all organised tours or day trips. The site is open from 6 am till 7 pm.
How long does it take to hike the Hang Mua peak?
To reach the top of the Dragon Peak you will need to climb 500 steps and the timing really depends on your level of fitness. We are normally fit and it took us around 20 minutes to reach the top including a little stop halfway to take pictures. Overall I would recommend considering 1 hour and a half so you will have time for both peaks and to have a quick walk around the gardens and the caves.
Best Time to Visit the Mua Cave Viewpoint
The Mua Cave Viewpoint can be visited any time of the year, but the best time is during the dry season from November to April. During this time, the weather is cooler and more pleasant, making the climb to the top more enjoyable.
The viewpoint is also particularly beautiful during the rice planting and harvesting seasons when the rice fields are a vibrant green or golden yellow. These seasons usually occur in May and October, so plan your trip accordingly if you want to witness this beautiful sight.
The best time of the day to visit the viewpoint is during sunrise or sunset. The soft, golden light during these times is magical.
HOT TIP: If you’re planning to visit the Mua Cave Viewpoint during the hot and humid season then the climb to the top can be quite challenging. So it’s best to start early in the morning when the weather is cooler. Remember also to bring a hat, as there is no shade during the climb.
MORE ABOUT VIETNAM:
- A tested 10 days Vietnam Itinerary for an unforgettable trip
- The greatest Ninh Binh Itinerary to discover a secret wonder
- Experiencing Vietnam with Kids: The Ultimate Family Adventure
- From Hue to Hoi An: a terrific journey via the Hai Van Pass
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