The Ninh Binh Province is without a doubt one of the most memorable stops on the South East Asia travelers route. This guide will tell you everything you need khổng lồ know including the best things to vày in Ninh Binh as well as show you a 2 day itinerary.

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Ninh Binh was once widely regarded as Vietnam’s hidden gem. However, pandora’s box has opened và the secret is officially out.

Our goal is to lớn help you make the most of your time in this stunning rural paradise as well as help you decide how to spend your days in this authentic slice of Vietnam.

In this guide, we will show you:

Where is Ninh Binh in VietnamHow khổng lồ get to Ninh Binh with transport optionsThe 10 best things to vì chưng in Ninh BinhAn example 2 day itineraryPopular tours options for the areaWhere to stay in Ninh Binh & interactive map

Let’s explore the best things to vì in Ninh Binh, Vietnam!

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Table of Contents show
Where Is Ninh Binh, Vietnam?
How khổng lồ Get khổng lồ Ninh Binh Province In Vietnam
Flights to lớn Ninh Binh
Trains khổng lồ Ninh Binh
Sleeper Bus to lớn Ninh Binh
10 Best Things To vì In Ninh Binh, Vietnam
1. Trang An Boat Tour
2. Download Cave Viewpoint
A Word Of Advice For Parking
3. Bich Dong Pagoda
4. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
5. Tam Coc Boat Tour
6. Hang Out At Chookie’s
7. Try The Local Vietnamese Food
Popular Ninh Binh Restaurants Serving Local Dishes
8. Relax At A Local Homestay
9. Cuc Phuong National Park
10. Explore More Temples và Pagodas
2 Day Ninh Binh Itinerary
Day 1 Ninh Binh Itinerary – Morning
Day 1 Ninh Binh Itinerary – Afternoon
Day 2 Ninh Binh Itinerary – Morning
Day 2 Ninh Binh Itinerary – Afternoon
Day 2 Ninh Binh Itinerary – Optional Tour
top Rated Tours In Ninh Binh
Where to Stay In Ninh Binh Province
Tam Coc Sunrise Homestay (Budget)
Tam Coc Wonderland Bungalow (Mid-Range)
Tam Coc Garden Resort (Luxury)
Where Did We Stay In Ninh Binh?
Interactive map For Things To do In Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh, Vietnam Photos
Trang An Boat Tour
tải Cave Viewpoint
Bich Dong Padoga
FAQ’s For Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Where Is Ninh Binh, Vietnam?

Ninh Binh is a small town located in Northern Vietnam’s Red River Delta, around 93km (58 miles) directly South of Hanoi.

Walk roughly 40km (25 miles) lớn the East và you’ll find the Gulf of Tonkin, the Northern part of the South china Sea. Head west for approximately 150km (93 miles) & you would cross into Laos.

Did you know that Ninh Binh, Vietnam has been dubbed ‘The Halong bay On Land?’ You are truly in for a treat when you visit this gorgeous paradise.

Imagine towering limestone karsts enveloped in emerald green vegetation erupt out of waterlogged rice paddies và rivers carve through valleys of karsts as local farmers grow crops at their banks.

Many tourists base themselves in the town of Ninh Binh or nearby Tam Coc in order khổng lồ explore the surrounding rural regions of Vietnam which are still relatively unspoiled.

But the nomenclature around this area can be quite confusing because the town of Ninh Binh also acts as the capital đô thị of the entire Ninh Binh province.

There is not much to do in the immediate town of Ninh Binh & this quaint town is often used as a springboard to lớn visit popular areas of Tam Coc, Hoa Lu & Van Long.

So when people are talking about Ninh Binh, they are usually referring lớn the entire Ninh Binh district.

Over the past several years, Tam Coc in Ninh Binh Province began welcoming an increased numbers of tourists and almost everyone traveling Vietnam will say Ninh Binh was one of their favorite places.

Personally, we thought Ninh Binh was substantially more beautiful and far less lượt thích tourist conveyor belt than Halong Bay. Not khổng lồ mention, you can visit at a fraction of the price.

Two seats on a sleeper bus in Vietnam

How to lớn Get to lớn Ninh Binh Province In Vietnam

Unfortunately, Ninh Binh does not have its own regional airport. However, Hanoi international airport is only 127km (79 miles) away.

There are a few different ways you can get khổng lồ Ninh Binh. Most travelers will spend a few days in Hanoi before jumping on a train or bus to Ninh Binh.

The easiest và most popular way to get lớn Ninh Binh is by bus, but we will go over all of your options.

Alternatively, you could book a round-trip Hanoi to Ninh Binh private vehicle if you want to lớn travel in comfort.

Flights khổng lồ Ninh Binh

Fly into Hanoi if you are traveling to Vietnam internationally. Moreover, even if you are in Southern Vietnam, there are no closer regional airports than Hanoi so Hanoi is still your best bet.

Once you are in Hanoi, you can easily make your way to lớn the Ninh Binh province.

We always use Skyscanner to lớn find great deals on flights.

Trains to lớn Ninh Binh

Trains are a cost effective & extremely efficient way lớn travel in Vietnam. Why? Because there is one train at a time, running on one track và in one direction.

If you have ever traveledby bus, moped or oto in Vietnam, you will completely understand wanting to lớn avoid the carnage we are talking about.

Although, there aren’t always direct trains running to lớn tourist hotspots such as adventure cave town Phong Nha & trekking haven Sapa.

However, Ninh Binh is incredibly easy to access by train, either from Hanoi in the North or from any of the big cities in the the center & southern portions of the country.

Ahh the joys of the Vietnam sleeper bus. It’s a rite of passage as a traveler in Vietnam. If you haven’t experienced one, we recommend you try at least one during your time in Vietnam.

Traveling down from Hanoi or even Halong bay as we did?

You won’t need a sleeper bus, just a normal day time bus that will take a few hours.Our bus Halong bay to Ninh Binh was 2 hours late setting off và took around 4 (hair raising) hours khổng lồ arrive in Tam Coc directly.

Heading up from Hue, Hoi An or Phong Nha?

Check 12Go Asia below to see availability, times và prices for sleeper buses or sleeper trains. If you plump for the bus, we would strongly advise booking a sleeper bus online before you travel. They are much better than locally organized buses on the day, trust us.

10 Best Things To vì In Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Ninh Binh Province is jam packed full of beautiful scenery. You can visit 300 year old pagodas built into caves, summit a viewpoint with a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view and glide by boat among limestone mountains.

But there is so much more lớn see than just the typical ‘touristy’ attractions.

Simply cycling on a narrow lane cutting through a rice paddy field with a river khổng lồ your left and a limestone mountain randomly sprouting up to your right is enough khổng lồ fall in love with nature in Ninh Binh Province.

Let’s take a look at the best things to vì on your Ninh Binh itinerary:

Several boats at the start of the Trang An boat tour

1. Trang An Boat Tour

Trang An Boat Departure Boat Address: 7W39+7G5, Ninh Xuân, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình, VietnamOpening Hours: 7:00am-4:00pm dailyPrice: 250,000 VND / person (about $10)Time Required: Tours last around 3 hours plus go through 7–9 caves

We begin with the most popular and top rated ‘thing khổng lồ do’ on this Ninh Binh itinerary. Throughout the Trang An Boat tour, you will float through a series of dark caves with low hanging ceilings và intriguing geological features.

At the end of each cave, you slowly glide out into a new scene filled with impressive limestone rocks dominating the terrain.

Remember we mentioned pandora’s box being opened in Ninh Binh? Imagine 2 hands opening the box. In the left hand, we have UNESCO declaring the Trang An Complex a World Heritage Site in the year 2014.

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And in the right hand is Hollywood filming blockbuster, Kong: Skull Island, among the limestone karsts & waterways of the complex.

The Trang An Complex has some serious accolades just by merit alone.

As the tour continues, your helmsman will steer the boat expertly around beautiful landscapes that are the reason Ninh Binh has been dubbed as ‘Halong bay On Land’.

You will be amazed by unrivaled serenity and tranquility as you sit back & simply enjoy Mother Nature at her finest.

There are a number of stop off points where you can leave the boat lớn explore small islands with Buddhist temples và shrines khổng lồ discover.

Due lớn Trang An’s UNESCO status, the complex is regulated, therefore you will find no scams, even when it comes to parking which is a relief.

Considering a Trang An Boat tour? Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to lớn the Serene Trang An Boat Tour to lớn learn everything you need to know prior to visiting.

Stunning view over the Ninh Binh province from the tải Cave Viewpoint

2. Download Cave Viewpoint

Mua Cave Viewpoint Address: làng mạc Khê Đầu Hạ, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình, VietnamOpening Hours: 6:00am-7:00pm dailyPrice: 100,000 VND / person (about $4)Time Required: Between 2-3 hours

Although the Trang An Boat tour is the most popular attraction, that doesn’t mean it’s the best one.

For us, the incredible 360 degree panoramic vista from the cài đặt Cave Viewpoint was the peak of our Ninh Binh adventure.

You will have to walk 500 steps up an ancient looking stone staircase to lớn reach the summit, but the majestic views are worth your effort.

However, this viewpoint is certainly not for the faint hearted. When you combine the heat và the humidity, the 500 steps can seem endless.

But once you reach the top, you will forget about the unbearable humidity and your own exhaustion once you feast your eyes on the valleys around you.

Look West & you will see the Ngo Dong River flowing through a range of limestone mountains wrapped in deep green vegetation. The river will be dotted with wooden boats and farmers tending to lớn their rice crops on the river banks.

To the East, you have views over a lower viewpoint at sở hữu Cave, plus in the distance you can see industrial Ninh Binh city.

Don’t forget lớn snap a photo with the stone dragon statue at the summit, with its long meandering tail. Be careful on the sharp rocks & you should know there will probably be a line lớn get a photo with this guy.

A Word Of Advice For Parking

Scammers are at work as you arrive at the mua Cave trailhead. They will try to make you park your bicycle or motorbike in their paid parking lots, but do not stop for any of them.

Unfortunately, we experienced one man who was quite aggressive và almost pushed us off our moped. Some might even be dressed in police uniforms blowing whistles at you, but don’t be alarmed.

The trick is to ignore all the commotion & continue on lớn the end of the road. You can park for free at the mua Cave Ecolodge, right at the entrance to the sở hữu Caves Viewpoint.

Planning khổng lồ visit sở hữu Cave Viewpoint? Read our popular guide khổng lồ the visiting the tải Cave Viewpoint to lớn make the most of your trip.

The stunning Bich Dong Pagoda surrounded by limestone karsts và lotus flowers

3. Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda Address: 6W99+C23, Ninh Hải, Hoa Lư, ninh bình 430000, VietnamOpening Hours: No set opening hoursPrice: FreeTime Required: Between 2-3 hours

The Bich Dong Pagoda is a three-tiered temple half built inside a cave. But the name does not vì the entire complex justice.

As you arrive, you will be welcomed by a lake filled with lotus flowers and if you time it right for Summer, the flowers will be in bloom.

Splitting the lake into two is a narrow stone path with a gorgeous arch, leading to a beautiful triple arched stone entrance gate.

Don’t forget to check out the grounds khổng lồ discover plants, statues và even butterflies before you begin climbing the stairs.

The pagoda is built into a cave that is recessed into a huge looming limestone rock. On the second level, there is a also temple built into the rock.

You will need lớn take a narrow passage lớn the left và enter the cave. Follow the cave khổng lồ a staircase và on the third tier you will leave the cave to lớn overlook views of entrance lake.

Please chú ý you will have lớn pay a small fee lớn park your bicycle or motorbike. Don’t pay any more than 10,000 VND. The locals might try khổng lồ be cheeky và get 20,000 VND or more from you.

Do you think you have seen this whole area? You haven’t! There is a BONUS area that not many people know about.

Let’s say there were around 100 tourists exploring Bich Dong Pagoda & only 4 others (6 including us) found the secret area.

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Planning lớn visit Bich Dong? Don’t miss our detailed walkthrough to lớn the stunning Bich Dong Pagoda including a secret cave tour.