Ninh Binh travel information
This Ninh Binh travel information guide is to help travelers to have main touristic information about this destination. If you have any concern or questions about this place, feel free to send us an inquiry at www.ecotravel.vn
Where to stay:
Ninh Binh city itself is not so attractive. It is a better option to stay in Tam Coc or Trang An. Many of the buses starting from Hanoi can drop you there directly. Coming from the train station, taxi is an easy option to reach your hotel.
You will find many different options suitable to your budget and your expectations either in Tam Coc or Trang An. From the traditional homestay in stilt house with comfy dorms, bungalows spread along the river or in the country side to the high standards accommodations, everybody can find his peace of heaven in Ninh Binh area.
It is better to choose your hotel depending on sites you would like to visit. For example, if you are willing to do the boat ride in Tam Coc and visit Mua Cave, it will be more convenient to stay in tam Coc area while if you are planning to visit Hoa Lu Ancient capital and do the boat ride in Trang An, a hotel in Trang An will be a better option. That works for travelers with a limited time. Otherwise, it is quite easy to move around in this area by bike or motorbike.
What to do:
There are plenty of activities to do in Ninh Binh, the Halong Bay on land. Most famous ones are to enjoy a boat ride in between the karst pics and contemplate the fascinating nature surrounding the river. Best 3 options are Trang An , Tam Coc and the less known Van Long Reserve Nature.
Beside of the boat rides, some other places are full of interest. Visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital at the 10th century is a fantastic trip in the past and a good way to learn about the History of Vietnam.
Another site which is very famous is the Mua Cave. The cave itself has a small interest but climbing the 400 steps to reach the top is definitely a must do. it is not an easy climbing but the reward worth the effort. A stunning view of the valley and of Tam Coc river will offer you memorable souvenirs and incredible pictures.
Another place which deserves a stop will be Bai Dinh Pagoda. This is not really an historical place even if it has been built around an old temple but the temple, which construction ended in 2010, is nowadays the largest temple in Vietnam. A very long hallway with 300 steps is ornated all along the way of sculptures. There are many levels in the Pagoda as the whole area extends on 700ha and is located on the top of the hill. The main temple includes 3 huge statues and an overview of the temple and the valley; There is also a high tower (extra fee) that you can reach the top by a lift to have a 360 degrees view.
One very convenient thing about Ninh Binh is the flat land and the proximity of the main touristic sites. Cycling is quite easy and a full day on the bike allows to reach different sites while passing through local villages and rice fields in middle of impressive karst pics.
A little bit further but deserving a stop if you have time, the beautiful Cuc Phuong National Park, located 45km from Ninh Binh, is an interesting place to get closer to the nature. All hotels and homestays can arrange a transfer to there. Better to plan a full day so you can enjoy a hike in there and visit the animal rescue center.
How to come to Ninh Binh:
From Hanoi, the easiest way is to take one the many shuttle bus doing the trip several times a day. The trip last around 2 hours and people can usually get dropped off in Tam Coc. The train from Hanoi doesn’t really worth a short trip.
Many travelers come from the south (Hue or Phong Na National Park). They can choose between a night bus or a night train to save time. I will recommend for the people choosing the train to opt for the first class to ensure to have a relaxing time on board.
It is quite easy also to organize a transfer from and to Ha Long or even cat Ba. Some companies organize bus + speedboat + bus to go directly to Cat Ba center.
Ninh Binh gets advantage of a relative good climate all year long. It is almost always a perfect time to come there.
As it is the winter from december to march, temperature lighlty decrease, mostly at night, and some days can be cold. It is also the driest season so you would have less chance to be bothered by the rain while you are sightseeing.
Summertime, from mid-june to mid-september are the hottest and temperatures can go up to 35 degrees. it is also the wettest time and you can expect some showers or even some big storms with heavy rain at this time.
Rest of the year is a good time for outdoor sightseeing with sunny days and temperatures around 28 degrees.
Highway 1 runs through the centre of Ninh Binh, from north to south, and is named Tran Hung Dao Street. Most services you’ll require are located along or just off this main road, although the train and bus stations and some good hotels and eateries are to be found on the other side of the river: cross over the bridge where Tran Hung Dao meets the river.
Vietcombank and Techombank have branches with ATMs on Tran Hung Dao Street: Techombank is between the junctions of Van Giang and Le Hong Phong and Vietcombank is further north, on the other side of the road near Luong Van Tuy. The post office is also on Tran Hung Dao Street, just before the bridge.
Ninh Binh has both a General Hospital (Duong Tue Tinh St, Ninh Binh, T: (030) 387 1030) and a Traditional Medicine Hospital (7 Tran Hung Dao St, Ninh Binh, T: (030) 387 6336), but for anything serious head to Hanoi. There are many internet cafes located on Luong Van Tuy St.