Thung Nham Bird Park near Ninh Binh is a popular tourist attraction.
- Ninh Binh is one of the most popular tourist spots in northern Vietnam. Both because of its rich history, easy accessibility from Hanoi and the many beautiful scenic natural areas around the city. Trang An complex or Tam Coc or Bai Dinh Buddhist complex are the top places just outside Ninh Binh town that you should simply visit. However, there are also places that are a bit on the side. These include the Thung Nham bird park/garden (also known as Thung Chim) or also called as an eco-tourist area for bird watching.
- Thung Nham Bird Park (or garden / ecotourism site) is now a bit of a landscaped nature area adapted for tourists. And mainly Vietnamese tourists are coming, it’s also a popular place because you can also stay right in the park at the very nice and well rated Thung Nham Resort. Apart from the nice natural place, the possibility of accommodation, it’s also a good place for bird watching or visiting some nice caves. Many tourists also come from Hanoi.
Thung Nham Bird Park is suitable for visiting caves or bird watching.
- The whole area of Thung Nham Bird Park is about 350 hectares, there is a lake, canals, some very interesting caves accessible to tourists. The bird observatory at the end of the park, located on a hill, is a good place for bird watching. However, the birds are often quite far away from the birdwatching site, so it might be a good idea to have binoculars with you, otherwise the picture of the place will be distorted. And it also depends when you come to this site. It’s also possible to take a boat ride on the lake that’s next to the park, and if you’re lucky, get a little closer to the birds.
- Officially, it is reported that Thung Nham is home to about 40 species of birds, which together number in the thousands. There are also about 4 caves in the park, I have personally visited 2 of them and I can say that they were very beautiful and interesting. Buddha cave or Mermaid cave – you have to crouch a lot here and Thien Ha cave (Galaxy Grotto) are awesome and quite big. The park is laid out quite tastefully, I personally haven’t seen any large number of kitschy attractions here, it just retains that „eco-touristy feel“. Thung Nham is surrounded by smaller karst scenery and forests, and if there aren’t a lot of tourists, it’s also very quiet.
▶ Mermaid cave (Động tiên cá) – probably the most interesting cave.
▶ Boat ride in Thung Nham – a chance to get closer to the birds.
▶ Restaurant + Thung Nham Resort – possibility of accommodation.
How to get and travel to Thung Nham Bird Park / Garden + Resort?
- Thung Nham Bird Park and Resort is located in Hoa Lu District, about 13 km from the centre of Ninh Binh. If you don’t have private transport, you will have to go on your own from Ninh Binh town or the nearby Tam Coc area or Trang An scenic complex. Most visitors will probably come here from Tam Coc, which is about 7 km away from the park and on the way you can visit the famous and historic Bich Dong Pagoda (+cave).
- I’m not aware of any public buses going to the park, so I would recommend going there on a motorbike or in theory you could rent a bicycle, almost the whole area is in the lowlands and bikes are popular in Ninh Binh. Another option is of course private taxis or mototaxi / Grab with driver, you will definitely come across them in the Tam Coc area or in Ninh Binh town and the prices are low. At the bird park at the entrance to the area, there is a parking lot for motorbikes, cars for a small fee.
- Ninh Binh is easily and relatively quickly accessible from Hanoi, theoretically also from Mai Chau but also from Ha Long. There is no airport in Ninh Binh, so you can either take a train, bus, minivan or private taxi. The more adventurous can of course arrive in Ninh Binh by motorbike. In Ninh Binh I recommend riding either a motorbike / scooter or even a bicycle. Bikes are often available for rent here, even at the place where you will be staying. That being said, most of the area is in the lowlands where there are mostly decent roads and paths (with a few exceptions), so transportation is fairly easy with these means.
When to go to Thung Nham Bird Park? What are the opening hours?
- Thung Nham Bird Park in Ninh Binh can be visited all year round, just like other places near this place. Even so, a good time is either in autumn, e.g. September – October, or the spring months. The summer months are monsoon months and there is a risk of more rainfall, and rarely floods. In spring, some water canals can be seen covered with flowering lotuses, so it can be an impressive sight. This also applies to other places near Ninh Binh town. Lotus flower is well known in tourist sites of Ninh Binh.
- The opening hours of Thung Nham Bird Park are from 7 am to 6 pm, please note that these hours may change and may be different, for example on public holidays. If you would like to see birds returning to their nesting sites in this park, it is specifically recommended to arrive in the afternoon. This is between approximately 3-5 pm. Personally, I visited this place slightly after noon and it is true that I did not see many birds here. It was only at the very end of the park at the observation point that it was possible to see some birds in the trees, over the water.
▶ Opening hours are from 7 am to 6 pm. (time may vary).
▶ Birdwatching – preferably in the afternoon, about 3-5 pm.
Where you can stay, in Thung Nham Bird Park or elsewhere in the area?
- You can stay at the wonderful and friendly Thung Nham Resort located directly in the park. It is very well rated, stylish huts and wide services. You can also stay in front of the reserve in Ninh Hai village (about 1.5 km from the park) there are several accommodations, homestay, resorts. Well then further away from the park, about 7 km is the tourist centre and popular place Tam Coc and there is a lot of accommodation here. Prices in Tam Coc are low, but they can be also very high, it just depends on the quality of the accommodation.
icon-home Accommodation around Thung Nham Park:
Practical information – Thung Nham Bird Park / Garden + Resort:
1️⃣ Where is Thung Nham Bird Park + Resort located?
- Thung Nham Bird Park + Resort is located 13 km from the centre of Ninh Binh town in northern Vietnam, a short drive from Tam Coc – Bich Dong (a popular tourist site).
2️⃣ How to get to Thung Nham Bird Park?
- From Hanoi to Thung Nham: you can travel by tourist bus or train to Ninh Binh town or some minivans / buses to Tam Coc. From Ninh Binh town you can take a private taxi or mototaxi / Grab. If you will be in Tam Coc, you can also travel easily by motorbike, bicycle.
- From Ninh Binh to Thung Nham: buses do not come here, you have to use taxi or mototaxi / Grab.
3️⃣ Is the Thung Nham Bird Park a top tourist attraction?
- Whatever. If you are already in Tam Coc, there is no harm in coming here, but you should take into account that the whole area is more like a modified eco-tourist resort. So you might even see a lot of tourists here (e.g. at the weekend days). If you come here out of season, e.g. in winter, there may not be many visitors. Even so, this place is offered by some travel agencies as part of various private tours.
4️⃣ Where to buy tickets to Thung Nham Bird Park?
- The tickets to Thung Nham Bird Park you can buy on the site, about 1 km from the entrance to the park (check the position here). There is no online booking site for these tickets.
5️⃣ What is the entrance fee to Thung Nham Bird Park?
- The official price of admission to the park is 100,000 VND, this information may change over time and according to the season. I also registered information that some foreign tourists paid 200,000 VND. Children pay about half the entrance fee (depending on their height). Some caves may also charge a fee, boat rides do too and motorbike parking is also charged.
6️⃣ What is the size of Thung Nham Bird Park?
- The area of Thung Nham Bird Park / Garden in Ninh Binh – Vietnam is around 350 hectares.
7️⃣ Is it possible to buy something at the Thung Nham park?
- Yes, there is a restaurant, refreshments, a shop and all sorts of tourist trinkets.
8️⃣ When to visit Thung Nham Bird Park? What is the best time?
- The Thung Nham park is open to the public and tourists from 7 am to 6 pm. Suitable time to visit is either September-October or spring months. If you can, skip the winter or summer monsoon season. Afternoon hours are recommended for bird watching and specifically from 4-5 pm when they return to their breeding grounds.
9️⃣ Will we see any birds here at all?
- It depends on when you arrive and it can also be about luck. I personally visited the site a little after noon and didn’t see many birds, only at the observation point. So it’s just never a 100% guarantee that you’ll see a flock of birds here.
🔟 What to see in Thung Nham Bird Park?
- The main attractions are bird watching, boat rides and visits to the caves, relax. The caves are really very nice, some of them are nicely lit and even relatively large and easily accessible. On weekends or in high season there can be more tourists and a bit more noise.
➡️ Where to stay if I want to be close to the park?
➡️ What else you can also visit or try nearby of Thung Nham Park?
- You can also take a boat ride in Ninh Hai village. There is a boat ride similar to Tam Coc and Trang An. The boats depart from Linh Co boat wharf, about 2.5 km from Thung Nham, it is also called like Linh Cốc – Hải Nham Boat Ride.
Map of the travel route from Ninh Binh to Thung Nham Park:
(Thung Nham Bird Park is located about 13 km from the center of Ninh Binh, it is advisable to visit Tam Coc on the way)