The Hang Mua in Ninh Binh; sunrise, peak, dragon, viewpoint, history and price
The Hang Mua in Ninh Binh is a dream climb for trekkers, hikers, backpackers and explorers. This epic Tam Coc tourist point is situated in a small village of Khe Dau Ha in Ninh Binh and it is the most visited tourist site in Ninh Binh (Tam Coc). This place is most visited by tourist worldwide because it is near to Bich Dong, Trang An, historical caves and gargantuan mountains. It is very famous for its caves as it holds its reputation for being the 3rd world’s largest cave. And this cave is 300 million years old, you can view the whole Tam Coc from the awesome peak of the Mua cave. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Tam Coc on your visit to this amazing destination in Vietnam.
The views at the Hang Mua cave hike is some of the best you will see while travelling around Vietnam. This is one of the most majestic places to visit and you really need to see it!
Let’s look what’s included in this post;
- History of the Mua Cave
- How to get to Hang Mua
- Other places to visit in Tam Coc
- Where to stay in Tam Coc
Hang Mua Cave history
This Hang Mua history is really interesting, why this place is called Hang Mua because of the chronicle of the Tran dynasty. According to the locals, the king of the Tran society chose Hao Lu land to build Am Thai Vi, where he often went there to listen to the music and see the dance performances at the palace. It is also called as the ‘Dance Cave’.
In Vietnamese language, hang means cave and Mua means Dancing.
Nowadays, it is one of the most visited tourist points in Ninh Binh. If you make the climb up to the top of the Mua stairs, it is likley you will be joined by many others enjoying the epic scenery.
Hang Mua Sunrise
If you love amazing scenes that you will remember forever is the Hang Mua sunrise, a spectacular scene that’s worth getting up for. Yes it will it still be dark at this time in the morning, but by the time you reach the Hang Mua peak the sky will be red, lit by the morning sunrise.
You will still have to pay the entrance fee to Hang Mua at this time of the morning, then you will have the 500 steps to climb to wake you up.
Upon your way to the top you will pass one of the pagodas. Then you will make your way to the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue on dragon mountain. Once you reach the top you have successfully done the famous Hang Mua Cave Ninh Binh hike in Vietnam.
From here you can fill your camera with the Hang Mua sunrise 🙂
How to get to Hang Mua in Ninh Binh?
It is best to visit the Ninh Binh dragon mountain cave by the booking through a local tour company. The cave tour offers boating through the tunnels with lanterns, as it is dark inside the caves even in broad daylight. If you don’t want to book through any company you will have ask around for cave entrance. Because most people come here to conquer the mountain steps and visit the viewpoints or see the view of the rice paddies.
How to get to Mua Cave from Hanoi?
Mua Cave is 115km away from and it’s 3 hours’ drive Hanoi. It is 6km away from central Ninh Binh and its 2 hours’ drive. From Hanoi you can take the following mediums of transportation;
- Train: you can get to Hang Mua by train from the station in Ninh Binh. It departs from the station from 6:00am. You can ask the schedule from the information desk. The train ticket costs up to 80 VND.
- Bus: you can also take the local bus to get to Hang Mua. This is the most used transport used by the tourists. The bus leaves from the city center. You can ask around for the bus stops, routes and timings of the buses. The ticket of the bus will cost up to 150 VND.
- Taxi: you can hire a private taxi to get there. There are many taxi rental companies in Ninh Binh that will find near your hotel or stay. The taxi rent is pretty cheap and the fare also depends on the power of your bargaining capabilities. The fare is between $10-15
- Bike: the most famous way of wandering in Hang Mua is by renting a bike. You can easily find many bike rental companies near you. The fare is very cost effective. The awesome cost of a bike rental is 40k to 50k VND.
Look at the map below for the exact location of the Mua Cave Dragon Mountain;
Please leave for Hang Mua early in the morning by 6:00am if you want the epic beauty and less crowd or traffic for that matter.
Best time to visit the Hang Mua Dragon?
The best months to visit are between May and June, in these months you witness the most yellowish green rice paddies. In other months it is mostly raining.
The Hang Mua in Ninh Binh price?
What is the Hang Mua Cave entrance fee? The entrance fee of Hang Mua is 5$. The parking fee is 10k VND. You can use the public toilets with a fee of 5k VND. This site is opened all days of the week at all hours but it is best to leave before dark. After entering, you will see some stalls for snacks.
If you’re backpacking, this fee might seem a little expensive, we thought the same. However, it’s completely worth it for the views you will see.
Tam Coc is a really cool place check out;
Hang Mua Cave Viewpoint peak 1
As you enter the Hang Mua, after walking a little further you will see the Mua mountain with a serpentine staircase consisting for 500 steps, these can be a little fun challenge (Hard work ;)). These steps will lead you to altar of Quan Am, in English it means the Goddess of Mercy. The altar is very simple but the view is very scenic and give you the feeling of tranquillity. You will also see a dragon made of stone. This viewpoint is also called the ‘Lying Dragon Viewpoint’. This part of the climb via staircase if very steep. The staircase is constructed with the idea of ‘Great Wall of China’.
The Tam Coc dragon statue is one of the coolest things to see on your visit and it’s worth the hike to take a few photos of this epic statue.
Hang Mua Dragon peak viewpoint 2
As you hike a little more you will see a pagoda on the edge of a cliff. It is a temple of Hang Mua. This viewpoint is a little dangerous as the cliff edges and rocks are very pointy and steep but the effort will be worth it.
The video below gives you a good insight the Tam Coc dragon mountain, credit to the guys for filming;
Useful Tam Coc Hang Mua and cave tips
Here is some useful things to know about the Hang Mua;
- Take a lot water with you while hiking on the stairs because the stairs are very steep and it may be exhausting and you might get dehydrated.
- If you are asthmatic or you have some other breathing problems, hike slow or take medications with you.
- Wear hiking boots and avoid flipflops.
- Be sure to leave before 4pm as it gets dark very early.
- Be sure to hire a local guide for the cave tour.
- Keep a fanny pack with you at all times to keep your entrance ticket, parking ticket, room keys and mobile phone safe with you.
- Always remember where you parked you motorbike as there are many other motorbikes which almost look exactly the same. To be on a safer side take a picture of your motorbike number plate.
- If you want to take a picture at the pagoda on the edge of the cliff, make sure to keep a good grip or hold on to something firm. Same advice goes from the lying dragon viewpoint.
- The recycle bin or dustbins are distant from each other, take a plastic bag with you to avoid littering.
Other places to visit near Hang Mua
You can visit this place in 3 to 4 hours or less if you are a very fast hiker. If you get free really soon from this place there are a lot of near-by places which you can visit on the same day:
- Visiting the Thung Nham Bird Garden
- Visiting the temples and the pagodas
- Eat local food
- Visit the Mua Cave Ecolodge
You can also visit the awesome Tam Coc boat tour which was one of the best things to do in Tam Coc for me. You can be amazing by the mountians as a local rows you around the river with their feet. Awesome.
Where to stay in Tam Coc?
If you wish to stay at a hotel that is near by the Hang Mua and visit more caves, then you must check-in or book your rooms before in Mua Cave Ecolodge. This hotel is 20 to 30 minutes away from the Ninh Bing city center. If you have booked your reservations in advance the hotel will provide you pick and drop from your current destination or the airport.
- Each hotel room has a striking sunset view and dragon peak view. The cottages are made up of wood and the bathroom are made of black rocks with a fusion of ancient design and modern comfort and technology You can also view the mountains while showering. It near to small temples and shrines and also very near to the rice paddies. You can also visit the countryside by renting a bicycle.
- This hotel also offers boat tour to Trang An riverside. The rooms have a free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and free coffee and tea maker. It also has a large flat-screen TV.
- And the restaurant specialises in local and Asian cuisine. There most tried and famous dishes are; goat blood soup and other goat dishes.
- The hotel gives you a tour of near by caves; Hang But Buddha Cave and Dong Hoang Ho, also known as the Tiger cave.
- The hotel is opened all days of the week and the reception is open 24 hours. As you enter the hotel you will be welcomed with the traditional tea.
Book A Room: Mua Cave Ecolodge
another amazing place to stay in Ninh Binh is the Tam Coc Garden resort on your visit.
If you’re looking for an awesome activity in Ninh Binh to do, then you need to visit the Hang Mua cave! The views are amazing, even though the climb might be little difficult. But just put the effort in for 15 minutes and you will soon be at the top taking selfies with the dragon statue.
If you’re travelling through Vietnam, you need to visit the awesome Vinpearl land