Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh, located 2 hours from Hanoi by car, is a popular choice for a short trip out of Hanoi within a day. Let’s see how we get on the journey and move on this trip.

1. Best time to visit Ninh Binh

You can visit Ninh Binh any time of the year, but the summer (from May to July) when there are yellow paddy fields, is ideal for taking photos. Autumn, from August to October is also a beautiful and cool golden sunshine. During the rest of the year, the fog is quite dense and difficult to take pictures.

2. Transferring

From Hanoi, there are 9 national highways connecting Ninh Binh with Hanoi. It will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel time. Buses to this destination leave from Giap Bat or My Dinh bus station. Alternatively, it will be possible to reach the destination by cab but the price will be a bit higher.

Ninh Binh Tam Coc

There are many ways to get around Ninh Binh. Here are the easiest ways:

- Cab: This is the most convenient means of transportation, especially for large groups or families. There are many cab companies in town, and you can ask the hotel reception to make a reservation for you. Don't forget to ask the price before you get into the cab.

- Buses: Ninh Binh currently has about 10 bus routes designed to meet the travel needs of the local population. These, however, do not pass by the famous attractions in Ninh Binh. Therefore, you need to consider taking the bus, which is ideal only if you want to admire the scenery and discover the life of local people.

- Motorcycles: If you know how to ride a motorcycle, you can rent one to get around with total freedom. There are many motorcycle rental stores in Ninh Binh. We recommend that you ask for the contact information of those stores at the hotel reception.

If you travel with Asiatica Travel, a private car will be at your disposal throughout your trip in Vietnam. Your private driver and guide will pick you up at the airport for the transfer to the hotel and afterwards, to move between various attractions.

3. Itinerary to explore Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh has many attractions but the most popular ones are Tam Coc, Trang An, and Mua Cave. Because within one day, it is not enough to visit all the places, we only stop at 2 of them. You can combine Tam Coc + Mua Cave or Trang An + Mua Cave. You can also combine Van Long + Tam Coc or Van Long + Trang An. But in my opinion, Trang An, Tam Coc, or Van Long have no big difference so it is not recommended to combine those 2 or 3 points together. You should combine one of them with Mua Cave since you will have a chance to admire the panoramic view of Ninh Binh.

ninh binh Van Long

Van Long Lagoon

Personally, I prefer Tam Coc because it can be combined with visiting Bich Dong pagoda, and the scene in Tam Coc is less affected by people than Trang An. Tam Coc fare is 200,000VND, Trang An is 200,000VND and Hang Mua is 100,000VND.

Ninh Binh Tam Coc

Tam Coc

4. Where to visit?

During this trip, we visited 2 famous destinations in Ninh Binh, the most visited destinations in recent times: Mua Cave and Trang An. 

After 2 hours on the shuttle bus from Hanoi, we went to Mua Cave when it was still foggy in April. We choose Mua Cave as the first destination when we are still full of energy to conquer 500 steps. Mua Cave has 2 peaks, one with a stone dragon statue, overlooking Tam Coc, which is a very famous check-in point on Instagram. The other peak has a beautiful tower very few people know about. When climbing out of the cliffs to take pictures or be careful with sharp rocks.

Mua Cave

Mua Cave

We had lunch with a goat hotpot at the Pho Nui restaurant. Goat meat is very soft and fragrant, and rare meat has a really sweet taste. After that, we went to Trang An, which has clearer water than Tam Coc. You can clearly see the mosses on the bottom. However, the temples here are all newly built temples, stone caves are also chiseled to make the boat go easier. Compared to Tam Coc, Trang An is a bit more “artificial”. In the afternoon, we came back 1 hour later than expected since there was a huge traffic jam on Ninh Binh - Hanoi Highway, especially on holidays.

ninh binh trang an

Trang An

5. Lunch

- Ninh Binh’s cuisine is famous for specialties dishes made from goat. We recommend the Pho Nui Goat Hot Pot restaurant, located on the road from Hang Mua through Trang An.

- Dishes to try: goat hotpot, goat sautéed and lime dipped goat.

ninh binh cuisine

6. Souvenirs

Ninh Binh has many specialties you can buy as gifts but the most famous is scorched rice soaked with spice and then dried at high temperature. In addition, you can buy fish sauce, this is a sauce made from a small crab that lives in the sea, with a salty taste and smells like fish sauce.

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