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The Ninh Binh is located in the Red River Delta region of north Vietnam. It is often known as being the Halong Bay on land and is home to lots of amazing natural and cultural attractions. When I visited the Ninh Binh province I stayed in Trang An, a scenic area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site near the main city Ninh Bình. Keep reading to find out about some of the best things to do in Ninh Binh, to make the most of your time in this beautiful Vietnamese province.

THINGS TO DO IN NINH BINH

(All prices listed here are correct at time of visiting Trang An Vietnam in May 2019)


How far is it to Ninh Binh from Hanoi?

Ninh Binh is located just 95km away from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, meaning you can reach it with just a 3 hour bus journey. The ease of getting from Hanoi to Ninh Binh means that a Ninh Binh day trip is very much possible from Hanoi.

How much time do you need in Ninh Bình?

There is plenty to see and do in the Ninh Binh province. As mentioned above a day day trips from Hanoi to Ninh Binh are very much possible and if you plan your Ninh Binh itinerary carefully you can definitely see a lot in a day. However in order to fully enioy the tranquility of some areas, I would recommend spending more than a day there. There are some great hostel / homestay options in the area too, so I would recommend spending 2 days in Ninh Binh Vietnam.

There is plenty to see and do in the Ninh Binh province. As mentioned above a day day trips from Hanoi to Ninh Binh are very much possible and if you plan your Ninh Binh itinerary carefully you can definitely see a lot in a day. However in order to fully enioy the tranquility of some areas, I would recommend spending more than a day there. There are some great hostel / homestay options in the area too, so I would recommend spending 2 days in Ninh Binh Vietnam.

things to do in Ninh Binh

Getting to Ninh Bình – Hanoi to Trang An

My experience getting to Ninh Binh was on a bus from Hanoi. The 3 hour bus journey cost me 165,000VND (£5.50) and I booked it through my hostel in Hanoi. I was staying in Trang An, Ninh Binh but the bus dropped us off near Ninh Binh city. It was around 5km from the drop off point to my Trang An homestay, so after a very stressful and overwhelming encounter with a lot of Vietnamese taxi drivers I arrived at my homestay in one piece. If you are solo travelling, try and find some others who are going to the same area as you, then you can hopefully split a taxi. 

Where to stay in Ninh Bình

There are lots of options of places to stay in the Ninh Binh province. A lot of tourists will either stay in Ninh Binh city, Tam Coc or Trang AnLook at some of the best options of where to stay here.

I stayed in Trang An, Ninh Binh at Trang An Mountain House Homestay. It cost £4.50 per night which included breakfast. The dorms were all huts surrounding a lake area. Bicycle hire was 40,000VND per day (£1.35) and motorbike hire was 130,000VND per day (£4.30). They also offered a laundry service for 40,000VND per kilo.

As well as the free breakfast there was also cheap food served on site all day which was useful as the homestay was pretty isolated. The staff were really helpful, giving us a map on arrival with all the things to do in Ninh Binh pointed out.

things to do in Ninh Binh

Watch my Youtube video from my time in Trang An Ninh Binh.

Things to do in Ninh Binh

Eco Tourism Trang An Boat Tour

Cost: 200,000VND (£6.70)

First on the list of things to do in Ninh Binh has to be the Trang An boat trip. The boat tour was 2.5km from Trang An Mountain House Homestay so it was a good distance to cycle. There’s somewhere to safely park your bike there for 10,000 VND (£0.35) or 15,000VND (£0.50) for a motorbike.

All the boat tours take place in 4 person rowing boats and you are taken around a series of caves and temples. There are three different routes to choose from. I chose route three as this encompassed a 1km long cave – the longest cave in Trang An Vietnam.

Along the boat tour you visit lots of different caves as well as many temples and pagodas. You make stops along the way to explore little islands with temples on them. One of the significant sites on the Trang An boat tour is King Kong Island where some of Kong: Skull Island was filmed. These tours are really peaceful as you just listen to the water and watch the scenary.

things to do in Ninh Binh

Hire a Motorbike to Explore the Area

When visitng Ninh Binh the easiest way to get around is by driving a motorbike. Outside of Trang An, a lot of the sites are too far to reach by bicycle so you are better off hiring a motorbike. You could motorbike to Tam Coc or into Ninh Binh city. The roads are really easy to drive along. Although I didn’t realty back this statement up because I flew off the bike at one point:

things to do in Ninh Binh

Hang Mua Viewpoint

Cost: 100,000VND (£3.40)

This is certainly a must on the list of things to do in Ninh Binh. It is most likely that you’ll be motorbiking here, so make sure you find some motorbike parking to ensure the bike is safe. There’s parking just before you walk into the Hang Mua site which costs 15,000VND (£0.50). There are some food, drink and souvenir stalls at the bottom before you make the climb to the viewpoint.

The climb to the top and to the viewpoint is 500 steps, taking around 20-30 minutes. If the weather is hot and humid it will be very challenging, so make sure you take lots of water! But once you are at the top, it will definitely be worth the time, sweat and money. And thankfully there’s a nice shady spot where you can sit down and admire the view of the Tam Coc valley, rice fields and limestone mountains. On the top of the highest Hang Mua peak there’s a stone dragon overlooking the view. The Mua Cave dragon is a local symbol of prosperity. 

Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong is Vietnam’s largest nature reserve and the country’s first national park. It spans across an area of over 200 square kilometres and is located around a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from Trang An Ninh Binh. It’s an amazing place to explore on bike or on foot, and you can take a guided hike here too!

Don’t forget to check out my vlog from my time in Trang An Ninh Binh.

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