Ninh Binh

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Ninh Binh
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Ninh Binh

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Vietnam, a country known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and delicious cuisine, has long been a favorite destination for travelers seeking to explore the beauty of Southeast Asia. While iconic destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Halong Bay often steal the spotlight, there is another hidden gem waiting to be discovered: Ninh Binh.

Nestled in the northern part of Vietnam, Ninh Binh is a place of breathtaking natural beauty, historical significance, and authentic local experiences. In this article, we will introduce you to Ninh Binh, providing you with a comprehensive guide to this charming destination that should undoubtedly be on your travel radar.

Location and Getting There

Ninh Binh province is situated approximately 100 kilometers south of Hanoi, making it easily accessible for travelers arriving in the capital city. There are several ways to reach Ninh Binh from Hanoi, with the most common options being by bus, train, or private car. The journey typically takes around two to three hours, and each mode of transportation has its own advantages.

  • By Bus: Many travelers opt for the affordable and convenient bus ride from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. Several bus companies operate this route, offering comfortable seating and air-conditioned vehicles. The journey by bus not only saves you money but also allows you to enjoy the scenic countryside views along the way.

  • By Train: For those who prefer a more leisurely and picturesque journey, taking the train is a great option. The train ride to Ninh Binh provides an opportunity to relax and soak in the beautiful Vietnamese landscapes. Trains depart from Hanoi's main station, Hanoi Railway Station, and arrive at Ninh Binh Railway Station. The train journey takes approximately two and a half hours.

  • By Private Car: If you value convenience and flexibility, hiring a private car or taxi is an excellent choice. This option allows you to set your own schedule and explore the surrounding areas at your own pace. Most hotels and travel agencies in Hanoi can arrange private transportation to Ninh Binh.

Why Ninh Binh?

Now that you know how to get to Ninh Binh, you may wonder what makes this destination special and worth a visit. Ninh Binh offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and tranquility that sets it apart from other tourist hotspots in Vietnam.

Spectacular Landscapes

One of the most striking features of Ninh Binh is its stunning karst landscapes. These towering limestone formations, reminiscent of those in Halong Bay, dot the countryside and create a breathtaking backdrop for your visit. The region is often referred to as "Halong Bay on Land," and it's easy to see why.

The Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex and Tam Coc-Bich Dong are two must-visit areas within Ninh Binh where you can explore these mesmerizing limestone karsts. Take a traditional wooden boat ride through winding waterways surrounded by lush vegetation and towering cliffs, and you'll feel like you've stepped into a natural wonderland.

Historical and Cultural Sites

In addition to its natural beauty, Ninh Binh boasts a rich history and is home to several cultural attractions. The ancient capital of Hoa Lu, dating back to the 10th century, was the political and economic center of Vietnam during the Dinh and Le dynasties. Today, you can visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital to explore the remnants of this historic site, including temples dedicated to the Dinh and Le kings.

Another cultural gem in Ninh Binh is the Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the largest Buddhist pagodas in Southeast Asia. This sprawling complex features intricate architecture, serene courtyards, and stunning statues that make for a peaceful and awe-inspiring visit.

Authentic Rural Experiences

Ninh Binh offers travelers a unique opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the tranquil countryside of Vietnam. You can rent a bicycle or motorbike to explore the charming villages and rice fields, giving you a glimpse into the everyday lives of local farmers.

Don't miss the chance to savor authentic Vietnamese cuisine at local eateries, where you can indulge in dishes like "com chay" (burned rice) and "goi cuon" (spring rolls). Engaging with the warm and welcoming locals will undoubtedly enrich your travel experience and provide lasting memories.

Ecotourism and Outdoor Activities

Nature enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Ninh Binh, as the region offers a variety of outdoor activities. Besides the boat rides through the karst formations, you can go hiking, birdwatching, or explore the caves that punctuate the landscape. The Mua Caves and Hang Mua Peak are popular spots for hiking, rewarding adventurers with panoramic views of Ninh Binh's stunning scenery.

Peace and Serenity

Unlike some of Vietnam's more crowded tourist destinations, Ninh Binh offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere. It's a place where you can escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Whether you're admiring the views from the top of a karst peak or meditating in the quiet courtyards of a pagoda, Ninh Binh provides an ideal environment for relaxation and contemplation.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ninh Binh is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. During these months, the weather is cooler, and you can enjoy clear skies, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the karst landscapes. Avoid visiting during the rainy season (May to October), as heavy rainfall can disrupt your travel plans.

If you're looking to escape the crowds and discover the beauty of Vietnam beyond its well-trodden tourist paths, make sure to include Ninh Binh in your travel itinerary. This charming destination will not only leave you with unforgettable memories but also a deep appreciation for the hidden gems that can be found in the heart of Southeast Asia. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and get ready to introduce yourself to the enchanting world of Ninh Binh.

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What to know before visiting Ninh Binh

Research weather, respect local customs, pack essentials, and embrace new flavors for a fulfilling travel experience.

Note

Ninh Binh, with its stunning natural beauty and long-standing cultural heritage, is a wonderful destination in Vietnam. However, to have a smooth and enjoyable trip, visitors need to keep in mind a few important things. Below is a list of important notes for tourists when traveling to Ninh Binh:

  • Suitable Time: Ninh Binh weather is divided into four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Depending on each person's feelings, if you have the opportunity to visit Ninh Binh many times, try to go at different times to admire the beauty and feel the changes in the landscape and environment. here.
  • Please prepare clothes that are comfortable, durable and suitable for outdoor travel activities. In particular, bring sports shoes or sandals suitable for walking and climbing.
  • Weather: Monitor the weather forecast and bring a raincoat and jacket if needed. Weather can change quickly, especially during the rainy season.
  • Boat Safety: When visiting marble sites by boat, follow the safety instructions of the tour guide and boat crew. Wear a life jacket if necessary and follow safety rules when traveling on the river.
  • Buy Tickets in Advance: If you plan to visit popular attractions like Trang An or Tam Coc-Bich Dong, buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure you get a spot on the boat at the right time.
  • Traffic: Be careful in traffic if you drive yourself or rent a car. Traffic laws may differ from your country, and traffic may be chaotic in some areas.
  • When Visiting Religious Sites: When you visit religious sites such as pagodas or temples, wear ao dai and avoid short pants, short shirts, or tank tops. Follow regulations on conduct and respect in places of worship.
  • Respect local culture: When interacting with local people, behave respectfully and politely. Ask for permission before taking photos of people or residences.
  • Explore various must-see intersections such as Trang An, Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and Bai Dinh Pagoda. Each spot has its own character, so take the time to visit a variety of places to get the best experience.

Ninh Binh is a great destination for tourists who want to experience the natural beauty and unique culture of Vietnam. Complying with the above notes will help you have a safe and memorable trip to this location. Enjoy every moment and discover the wonderfulness of Ninh Binh!

What guests said about hotels in Ninh Binh

Raunaq
RaunaqSwitzerland
9.7/10

Young couple

Absolute gem of a homestay in Ninh Binh are. Trang An is a quiet part of the area so if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Ninh Binh / Tam Coc - Trang An is perfect and this is also an oasis within Trang An - set away from the main road. The family running the homestay are lovely and very friendly. We rented a scooter from them (the best scooter I´ve rented in Vietnam) and they also helped organize transport out to Hanoi. We liked the homestay so much we extended our stay there!

Chelsea
ChelseaUnited States
9.5/10

Group

Tam Coc Holiday Hotel & Villa is the best place to stay during your trip to Tam Coc. The location is excellent and the rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable. They have a beautiful pool and garden area to hang out as well. We especially appreciated the friendly service from Phuc who assisted with booking limousine tickets for us from Hanoi, getting laundry done quickly, and making suggestions for places to visit while we were in town. We highly recommend staying here!

Julia
JuliaNetherlands
9.6/10

Young couple

We stayed at Windy Fields for 3 days in december. The staff is really nice and helpfull! You can get any advice from them, they help you plan your itinerary when in Ninh Binh. There is a nice pool, and beautiful views of the Rice fields (although it is not very green in december). It is a 15min walk to Tam Coc centre, where the restaurants and bars are, but the hotel restaurant is also open all day and serves excellent food. Bicycles are included, so we biked everywhere.

Shahaf
ShahafIsrael
9.5/10

Young couple

This hotel runs by family, which is so nice and welcoming. we had laundry, scooter for the 3 days all with a very reasonable price. Also the hotel is located in front of a lotus field, probably when they bloom it’s amazing. Even though the location is right outside Tam coc and we weren’t sure that will be ok - we found out that the location is perfect and it’s so easy to navigate and enjoy this area. highly recommended.

David
DavidUnited States
9.2/10

Group

The hotel has a great location, in the central of Tam Coc, just 1 minute walk from the Tam Coc Whaft, close to other tourist attractions, especially the restaurant at the hotel cooks very well, the price is reasonable. Motorbike and bicycle rental at a good price, the staff is very helpful and friendly, the ticket office is right in the lobby, it's easy for us to book the sleeper bus to Hue, everything is perfect!

Krishnakumar KA
Krishnakumar KAIndia
9.4/10

Young couple

Room is big and arranged it creatively. Most of the facilities are there. Owner of the hotel is one of the rarest English-speaking guys we met in Vietnam. Owner is a good businessman, and he really promotes tourism. I had decided to stay for a night and leave for Ha Long Bay next morning. But he has showed things to do in Ninh Binh and arranged a taxi for a tour. With his help we could book a bus to Ha Long Bay.

Kalinskie
KalinskieUnited States
9.8/10

Solo traveller

I had an incredible stay here. The hosts made me feel very welcome and were accommodating to anything I needed. The rooms were spacious, quiet, and had great natural light. And the daily breakfast was one of the best I've had after three months of hotel stays. If you're coming to the Ninh Binh/Tam Coc area, I would highly recommend staying here. I will definitely be back if I'm in the area again!

Jacky
JackyHong Kong
9.5/10

Young couple

1. The couple who run the hotel are truly cordial and genuinely helpful. Oh, their kids and little dogs are lovely, too! 2. The property is super clean and very well-maintained. 3. Breakfast is good and offers various options. 4. Hotel has multiple motorbikes for you to choose. 5. Location is great, merely 15min away from Tam Coc on foot, or a 10min taxi ride away from Ninh Binh.

Tan
TanVietnam
9.9/10

Young couple

A good place to stay for a getaway weekend. the location is far from Ninh Binh city center & famous attractions, but near Van Long wetland & easy to go to some famous pagodas in Ha Nam province. Hoang - the owner & his family is friendly and warm welcome. You can order meals here and you will get some very tasty traditional Vietnamese meals. Would love to be back for another weekend break.

Efi
EfiGreece
9.6/10

Solo traveller

Oahn is the best person you will meet in Vietnam and the best host. The rooms are clean, spacious, she is cooking breakfast for you every morning and brings fresh fruit. She has bikes and motorbikes for you to rent to move around. The hotel is in the center of Tam Coc you can reach everything on foot. She is so kind and she allowed me to check out late as I had a night bus to catch.

Sam
SamIreland
9.5/10

Young couple

Ideal location & incredible hospitality. the hotel manager Phuc, is the most helpful person I have met in hospitality. Assisted us in our plans to see all of Ninh Binh. after checkout, he let us use the pool & shower facilities as we waited on our night bus. hotel is in the heart of Tam Coc, bike rentals & Motorbike rentals from the hotel.

A
AnonymousUnited Kingdom
9.7/10

Young couple

The hotel is so clean and tidy, the air conditioning is really powerful so you get such a relief after all the hot days in ninh binh. The breakfast included is definitely worth it, lovely selection to start your day. The staff are exceptional, so friendly and helpful. Our best stay in Vietnam so far. Great value for money.

Jennifer
JenniferUnited States
9.8/10

Young couple

This was our very favorite hotel in Vietnam. The service was top notch. The owners are so welcoming and excellent cooks! The foot bath was a very nice treat. It was close enough to walk to town, but far enough to be secluded and peaceful. We would absolutely recommend and would choose it again if we make it back to Tam Coc.

Dawid
DawidPoland
9.2/10

Young couple

Hotel is new and everything is very clean. In the room you will find comfortable bed and big bath with super view. The hotel team is very helpful and and they will try to help you whenever you need. To the centre of Tam Coc is 4km but hotel offer free bikes. Thanks to this you can explore all Ninh Binh area.

Julio
JulioIreland
9.7/10

Young couple

The staff and especially the owner were amazing. Always going the extra mile. One day they even kept some breakfast for us past the time because they knew we went out early on an activity. The room is as you see in the pictures and the bed is super comfy. The hotel is just 2min away from the tam coc cruise.

Paul
PaulUnited States
9.6/10

Solo traveller

Stellar location on a peaceful street away from the crowds, this four room property offers clean (and spacious) rooms with great sunlight overlooking a beautifully landscaped garden. Mr. Viet Homestay is family run by some of the friendliest faces in Tam Coc/Ninh Binh and is definitely recommended.

Vijaykumar
VijaykumarIndia
9/10

Young couple

Hostel was new and pretty good. The Hostel is in Tam Coc but at walkable distance(5-7mins) from all hustle and bustle and market. The rooms were amazing and it was really peaceful. Bathrooms were very clean. It had paddy field and mountain view.

Alexander
AlexanderGermany
8.9/10

Young couple

Perfect to explore the beautiful landscape around Ninh Binh! the hosts are very friendly and supported us from arranging a car back to Hanoi. You can also rent a motor bike here. we really enjoyed our stay at Tam Coc Luxury Homestay!

Arian
ArianCanada
9.9/10

Solo traveller

I had a fantastic stay at Tam Coc Center Boutique Hotel, and Jonny's efficiency and excellent hosting truly stood out. His attentiveness ensured that all my needs were met seamlessly. Highly recommend for a delightful experience!

trevor syrowy
trevor syrowySwitzerland
9.3/10

Family with young children

Good central location between tam coc and ninh binh

FAQs about hotels in Ninh Binh

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