What to do in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh, also referred to the dry Halong Bay, is a beautiful province surrounded by lime stone karst mountains. Ninh Binh is also a city, but we don’t advise to stay here. Instead, take a taxi to Tam Coc (about 15 min) and book an accommodation close to the Tam Coc river. Tam Coc is a little village with several restaurants. From here you can easily arrange activities or explore the surroundings by bike.
An activity not to miss is the boat ride on the Tam Coc or Trang An river. A local woman will paddle you through the river while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings. When you rent a (motor)bike you can easily explore Ninh Binh and visit one of the several temples. Bái Đính Temple complex, Thai Vi Temple and Đền Thái Vi are our favourites.
Some people choose between visiting Cat Ba/Halong Bay or Ninh Binh, but we recommend to visit both if you have the time. Both places are known for the lime karst mountains, but they offer a very different experience. In CatBa, you will pass fishing villages and see these mountains from the ocean. In Ninh Binh, a local woman will paddle you through the river while you can enjoy the countryside.
Wondering whether to do a boat tour on the Tam Coc river or Trang An river? Consider that Tam Coc river is probably better when the rice fields are green/gold and Trang An is more adventurous with more cliffs you will pass through. At the end, both boat trips are an amazing experience, so it’s really up to you if you do both or choose one.
PRO-TIP: In case you haven't used it yet, here is a 15 euro discount on Booking.com.You can use it for all bookings from 30 euro, what means you can use this as a one-time discount of up to 50%!.
How to get there
7 hours, 220.000 VND (€8)
10 hours, 620.000 VND (€23,50)
2h 15min, 70.000 VND (€3)
2-3 hours, 75.000 VND (€3)
2 hours, 1.600.000 VND (€60)
6 hours, 320.000 VND (€12)
12,5 hours, 599.000 VND (€23)
9,5 hours, 300.000 VND (€12)
7,5 hours, 1.980.000 VND (€75)
12 hours, 555.000 VND (€21)
4 hours, 611.900 VND (€23)
10 hours, 270.000 VND (€10)
My favourite accommodations in Ninh Binh
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