Welcome to Discover Ninh Binh, your gateway to a wonderland of karsts, caves, spectacular waterways, ancient traditions, historical monuments, gorgeous landscapes, inspiring natural beauty, fantastic food, and gracious people. Undoubtedly, Ninh Binh is the heartland of Vietnam, with its rich history and culture, breathtaking scenery, and warm hospitality.
Ninh Binh Province dedicates itself to preserving and displaying the rich history, verdant fields, and abundant natural resources of Vietnam, the newest of “old” countries. This is not surprising as the region is considered a national treasure.
In recent years, Vietnam’s population has grown significantly, and the country has rapidly transitioned to industrialization and urbanization. Unfortunately, this, along with the impacts of past wars, has led to the neglect and destruction of many of Vietnam’s ecological and historical treasures.
The Ninh Binh Provincial Government, the Vietnam National Assembly, and the Vietnamese business community are actively working to reverse the trend of neglect and destruction of Vietnam’s ecological and historical treasures. These efforts aim to boost both domestic and foreign tourism, which is hoped to provide a significant boost to the reclamation endeavors.
Vietnam’s first President, Ho Chi Minh, had a visionary outlook that emphasized the significance of preserving the environment to ensure a sustainable future for the country. In 1962, just as the most devastating conflict in living memory was beginning, he inaugurated Cuc Phuong National Park. Despite all the turmoil and strife that followed, subsequent governments, individuals, and even foreign nations have kept Ho Chi Minh’s dream alive by continuing to invest in and preserve the biodiversity of Vietnam’s first and largest national park.
Currently, a significant portion of northern Ninh Binh Province has been designated as an ecologically protected zone. This recognition has resulted in funding and support from various international bodies, including UNESCO and AUSAID, as well as strong support from the Central Government. Furthermore, Hoa Lu Ancient City, the original Vietnamese national capital, has been declared a National Treasure and UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. All this emphasizes the importance of preserving and protecting the rich cultural and natural heritage of Ninh Binh Province.
Despite the positive developments, there are still significant challenges facing the preservation of Ninh Binh Province’s ecological and historical treasures. Reports indicate that wildlife smugglers, illegal logging, and willful ignorance of the protections put in place continue to cause significant damage. Furthermore, the large and wild nature of the area makes it challenging for conservation groups to patrol and preserve. Recognition as a region with an important role in the nation’s history and a critical resource needed for the ongoing biodiversity of the region is only part of the solution.
Benefits of Ecological Tourism
Discover Ninh Binh strongly believes that ecotourism, both domestic and international, can provide a significant boost to the preservation efforts in many different ways. In addition to providing a source of revenue, tourism can also help local communities realize the value of preserving their natural resources, leading to continued support for conservation efforts.
To ensure the success of ecotourism, it is crucial that local communities see direct benefits from the industry. This can include employment opportunities, recognition, and increased business in services such as catering, accommodation, tour hires, and translation services.
For this to happen, visitors should make a conscious effort to support locally-owned businesses and avoid the temptation to patronize global chains like Starbucks or Jollibee. Instead, spending time and money in locally-owned businesses can have a significant positive impact on the community and the conservation efforts in the region.
Education also plays a critical role in promoting awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of Ninh Binh Province. Experiencing the region’s magnificent landscape, waterways, birds, flora, and fauna first-hand can significantly influence people’s understanding of the importance of preserving these protected areas.
With a large demographic shift towards urban environments, many Vietnamese and foreigners may be unaware of the region’s immense biodiversity. This diversity is important to maintaining a healthy environment to sustain clean water supplies, air, and a vibrant food chain. Education and ecotourism can be powerful tools in promoting awareness and appreciation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
Finally, it is essential to recognize the pure enjoyment that comes from appreciating the natural beauty of Ninh Binh Province. Supporting the preservation of this beauty can be a source of encouragement to the many people actively involved in conservation efforts. If their hard work goes unnoticed or becomes expected, it could decrease interest and availability of the workforce needed to continue these efforts. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge the value of preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Ninh Binh Province for future generations to enjoy.
Ecotourism in Ninh Binh does not have to be a dull and depressing experience attended only by environmental activists. Visitors to Ninh Binh will enthusiastically recount their experiences, such as boat rides in Trang An and Tam Coc, the excitement of climbing Hang Mua View Point, savoring the taste of home-cooked Com Chay Ninh Binh, witnessing thousands of birds taking flight at Thung Nham, exploring the forests, caves and observing the wildlife at Cuc Phuong National Park. The list goes on, but it is indesputable that Ninh Binh has become one of the must-visit destinations for tourists in Vietnam, and ecotourism plays a significant role in this trend.