British magazine Time Out has named Ninh Binh, where Hollywood movie "Kong: Skull Island" was shot in 2016, as one of five underrated travel destinations in Southeast Asia.
"Defined by towering limestone karsts, tranquil rivers and mystical historical and religious sites, Ninh Binh is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure travellers keen to see another side of Vietnam, off the beaten path," it said.
Situated some two hours from Hanoi, Ninh Binh was home to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu during the reign of the Dinh Dynasty (968-980), but has not been on tourists' radar for years.
The magazine recommended that tourists should climb the 500 white stone steps to the top of Mua (Dancing) Mountain to see the vast green paddy fields below and visit the Bich Dong pagoda complex, which can only be reached by boat.
A boat ride around the Van Long wetland nature reserve, which appeared in "Kong: Skull Island," is also a must-visit place, it said.
The other four destinations in the list are Lombok in Indonesia, Luang Prabang in Laos, Rayong in Thailand, and Seberang Perai in Malaysia.