Detailed Guide For Ninh Binh Tourism From Hanoi [UPDATE 2020]

Nga Do
Looking for one of the best side trips from Hanoi? Ninh Binh, Vietnam’s ‘Halong Bay on Land’, is a magical landscape of limestone karsts, winding waterways, and hidden temples.

This guide to travelling to Ninh Binh from Hanoi covers transport, accommodation, food and the ideal Ninh Binh itinerary.

Detailed Guide For Ninh Binh Tourism From Hanoi [UPDATE 2020]Detailed Guide For Ninh Binh Tourism From Hanoi [UPDATE 2020]
Photo by Quangpraha

Best time to visit Ninh Binh

Almost any time of the year is good to visit Ninh Binh.

Like in all the north Vietnam, May to October in Ninh Binh is hot, humid and with high rainfall. The region can be specially vulnerable to typhoons during September. November to April months tend to be cooler and dry. However, the rainy season is also when the rice fields are at their best vivid green, so there's really a reason to visit all year round!

Best way to get to Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is a must-visit place on your trip to Vietnam. About 94 km from Hanoi, there are 4 ways of getting from Hanoi to Ninh Binh:

1. Train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

A journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh by train takes approximately 2.5 hours with Vietnam Railways. There are six trains daily connecting Ninh Binh City and Hanoi.

The earliest departure time from Hanoi is 6 am, and the latest one is 8:10 pm. We recommend taking the early train from Hanoi to explore Ninh Binh in the morning.

Hanoi to Ninh Binh trains depart from Hanoi’s main railway station at 120 Le Duan, and stop at Phu Ly and Nam Dinh before calling in to Ninh Binh’s railway station.

The train crosses over a river bridge right before the Ninh Binh station - this is a good landmark to look out for so you know when to jump off (but don’t be too worried - there are always other passengers alighting at Ninh Binh).

2. Bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

You can get a local bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh at any bus station in Hanoi like My Dinh bus station, Giap Bat bus station or Luong Yen bus station with the price of 80,000VND. You have to take 3 hours to transfer from Hanoi to Ninh Binh by bus.

3. Taxi/Private transfer from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

A taxi (i.e. private car and driver) to Ninh Binh from Hanoi will cost you between 60 and 100 USD one-way. Organise through your accommodation in Hanoi or Ninh Binh.

4. Travel on motorbike from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

It’s also possible to travel to Ninh Binh from Hanoi by motorbike. Follow the route marked out on Google Maps; you can also stop off at the Perfume Pagoda along the way.

If travelling by bike, familiarise yourself with the local road rules (or lack thereof) first, wear an international standard motorbike helmet, and check that your travel insurance will cover you in case of an accident.

- Getting to Ninh Binh from elsewhere in Vietnam

Detailed Guide For Ninh Binh Tourism From Hanoi [UPDATE 2020]
Photo by Vo Thuy Tien

Best things to do in Ninh Binh - Ninh Binh itinerary

Try out this full-day or two-day Ninh Binh itinerary. You’ll also find some attractions further afield if you plan on spending more time in the area.

Day One – Ninh Binh highlights

If you’ve only got one day to spend in Ninh Binh, start with these essential Ninh Binh must-sees.

Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex

Time to spend there: 2 hours
Entrance fee: 200K VND/person (including the boat) + a tip for your driver

The UNESCO-listed Trang An Scene Landscape Complex (Tràng An) is Ninh’s Binh’s crowning jewel and by far the best thing to do in Ninh Binh.

Cycle through the rice fields to Tam Coc-Bich Dong

The ride between Trang An and Tam Coc-Bich Dong is 7km (about 40 minutes) if you follow the roads. We decided to take a few shortcuts through the rice paddies instead. We ventured off road at times, navigating the narrow, muddy dykes that separate the fields.

Tam Coc-Bich Dong

Time to spend there: 2.5 hours
Entrance fee: 120K VND/person (plus 150K VND for boat hire)

Tam Coc-Bich Dong (Tam Cốc-Bích Động) is part of the Trang An complex and offers similar views and similar water-oriented activities. The Tam Coc part of the site is a set of three limestone caves; Bich Dong is a 15th century pagoda complex set on a nearby mountaintop.

Mua Caves & Lying Dragon Mountain

Time to spend there: 2 hours
Entrance fee: 100K VND/person (or free for Mua Caves Ecolodge guests)

Mua Caves (Hang Múa) is a series of grottoes of various sizes set in the bottom of a limestone mountain. What most people come here for is the climb up to the top of Lying Dragon Mountain. Roughly 450 stairs lead to the top, where the path converges into two final stages.

Check out best Ninh Binh one day tours at:

Detailed Guide For Ninh Binh Tourism From Hanoi [UPDATE 2020] 2
Photo by Guerinf
Day Two – Historic Ninh Binh

If you have a second day up your sleeve, take a closer look at Ninh Binh’s historical and religious points of interest.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Time to spend there: 2-3 hours
Entrance fee: 10,000VND/person (15,000VND with a motorbike)

Capital of Vietnam throughout the 10th and 11th centuries, Hoa Lu (Cố đô Hoa Lư) was once a vast complex of inner and outer citadels, palaces, temples and shrines. All that remains of Hoa Lu today is a few relics—the remains of an ancient temple and a collection of new pagodas dedicated to Hoa Lu’s former dignitaries.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Getting there from Hoa Lu: 9.5km (15 minutes’ drive) via Trang An road
Time to spend there: 2-3 hours
Entrance fee: Free

The largest pagoda complex in Vietnam, Bai Dinh (Chùa Bái Đính) consists of a series of Buddhist halls set on a mountain and interlaced by a road. The old original temple and newer temples (many are still under construction) are a popular pilgrimage site for locals.

Your trip to Ninh Binh will be more complete if you spend 2 days in Ninh Binh. The breathtaking scenery, unique architecture and interesting history of Ninh Binh will fill the void in your mind.

More Ninh Binh inspiration with best Ninh Binh itinerary 2 days:

Where to stay in Ninh Binh?

Give Ninh Binh City a miss; it’s much, much nicer to stay out of town near Trang An or Tam Coc. Most homestays and bungalows are located closer to Tam Coc, with some properties featuring water views.

You can contact us to get more information and instructions on the right place for you while in Ninh Binh. Contact us via:

What to eat in Ninh Binh?

Ninh Binh is not only famous for its beautiful with many tourist attractions but also for special and delicious food. The famous food here smell and taste with the flavor of limestone mountains where locals feed animals. The most famous dishes in Ninh Binh can be mentioned as Rice crust (com chay), Raw goat meat with lemon (de tai chanh), Kim Son raw Nhech fish salad, ...

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Accept !