Things to do in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Nestled in the northern part of Vietnam, a short train ride from Hanoi, lies a beautiful destination: Ninh Binh.
This picturesque province, often referred to as the “Halong Bay on land,” boasts stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and lots of fun activities to fill your day(s).
From majestic caves to tranquil river boat rides, Ninh Binh offers a ton of amazing experiences that are worth the trip.

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The best things to do in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Fun things to do in Ninh Binh

Mua Cave Viewpoint

Opening times: Monday-Sunday 6:00-19:00
Entry fees: 100.000 VND (about 4 €), plus parking 5-10.000 VND (0.20-0.40 €)

Begin your adventure with a hike to the summit of Mua Cave for panoramic views that will take your breath away.
As you ascend the 500 steps, be prepared to be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding karst landscape, dotted with limestone formations and lush greenery.

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Bich Dong Pagoda

Entry fees: No entry fee but donations are appreciated, and parking costs around 5-10.000 VND (0.20-0.40 €)

Dating back to the 15th century, Bich Dong Pagoda is actually a complex of three stunning buddist temples built into the side of a limestone hill. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens and marvel at the intricate details of the pagodas.

Tam Coc River boat ride

Tickets: 390.000 VND for 2 people

No visit to Ninh Binh would be complete without a boat ride along the scenic Tam Coc River.
Drift past towering limestone cliffs, emerald rice paddies, and quaint rural villages as you soak in the breathtaking beauty of your surroundings.
Allow yourself to be captivated by the rhythmic rowing of your local boatwoman as she navigates through the narrow waterways, offering glimpses of rural life along the riverbanks.

The best restaurants in Ninh Binh

Bánh Mì Giòn

Yummy rating: 🤤🤤🤤🤤🤤
Must try: Vegetarian banh mi and drip coffee

If you’ve never had drip coffee, be prepared for a slow and strong start to your day.
While you wait for your Vietnamese coffee to fill your cup, dig into a crispy sandwich filled with delicious fresh ingredients.

Chookie's Beer Garden

For a taste of local delicacies, head to Nha Hang Chookie, where you can savor traditional dishes such as grilled fish, clay pot rice, and crispy spring rolls. The restaurant’s rustic charm and mouthwatering flavors are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Restaurant Trung Tuyết

At Restaurant Trung Tuyết, you’re in for a treat!
This cozy spot in Ninh Binh serves up mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes like pho, bun cha, and delicious seafood in a laid-back atmosphere that’ll make you feel right at home.

Where to stay in Ninh Binh

Stay over night and explore more of Ninh Binh and Tam Coc.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splurge on luxury accommodations, the province offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s preferences.

BUDGET

Tam Coc Smile Homestay

Charming and affordable accommodation with a welcoming atmosphere.

BOOK HERE

Mid-Range

Le Maison Tam Coc Boutique Hotel

A luxurious retreat combining elegant accommodation, personalized service, and stunning views of the surrounding karst landscape.

BOOK HERE

Luxury

Tam Coc Garden Resort

Nestled within lush greenery and tranquil surroundings, this place offers a perfect blend of comfort and convenience.

BOOK HERE

More helpful travel tips for planning your trip to Ninh Binh

Getting to Ninh Binh from Hanoi

The most convenient way to reach Ninh Binh from Hanoi is by train, with regular services departing from Hanoi’s main station to Ninh Binh. The journey takes approximately two hours, offering a comfortable and scenic ride through the Vietnamese countryside.

The best time to visit Ninh Binh

For the best weather, not so many crowds and an overall amazing time, the best time to visit Ninh Binh is during the dry season, between November and April.

Travel costs to help you budget

Depending on how you travel, and where you want to splurge vs save, costs for visiting Ninh Binh vary.

Overall, while costs may vary based on individual preferences and travel styles, budget-conscious travelers can expect to spend approximately 1,000,000 VND to 2,000,000 VND (40-100 €) per day on accommodation, meals, transportation, and entrance fees when exploring Ninh Binh.

To explore Ninh Binh at your own pace, consider renting a motorcycle upon arrival. It’s a convenient and affordable way to navigate the region’s winding roads and access remote attractions.

Transportation

One-way train ticket from Hanoi:
100-300.000 VND (4-13 €)

Motorcycle rental:
100-200.000 VND (4-9 €) per day

Accommodation

Budget:
100-500.000 VND per night (4-22 €), depending on shared vs private rooms

Mid-range:
800.000-1.500.000 VND per night (35-65 €)

Luxury:
3-5.000.000 VND per night (130-220 €)

Foods & drinks

30-100.000 VND (1-4 €) for local street food

Admission fees

Mua Caves:
100.000 VND (about 4 €), plus parking 5-10.000 VND (0.20-0.40 €)

Bich Dong Pagoda:
No entry fee but donations are appreciated, and parking costs around 5-10.000 VND (0.20-0.40 €)

Tam Coc boat ride:
Between 150-200.000 VND (7-9 €), plus tips

What to pack

Pack light and breathable clothing for Ninh Binh’s varying climate, including a light jacket or sweater.
Bring comfortable footwear for walking around, and a rain jacket for the occasional downpour.

A reusable water bottle and some local currency will come in handy.

Also, to fit everything nicely into your backpack, use packing cubes! They’re a game changer and make it possible for me to basically travel with hand luggage only whenever I go anywhere.

Packing cubes gift ideas for travel lovers

My favourite are these ones from traveldude, made from 100% recycled plastic so they’re super practical AND sustainable!

Thanks for reading my travel guide for visiting Ninh Binh, I hope it helps you plan your own epic adventure!

Chúc bạn có một chuyến đi an toàn (which means safe travels in Vietnamese),
Nadine

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