SaPa to Ninh Binh

Overview Compare Bus Train Taxi To Stay

How to get from SaPa to Ninh Binh?

If you want to take in more of Vietnam’s natural wonders after exploring SaPa, then Ninh Binh is the perfect next destination.

You can find here the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, located in the tranquil town of Tam Coc. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trang An boasts of amazing viewpoints, limestone peaks, temples and pagodas.

Ride a boat along Trang An River. Surrounded by rice paddies and karst mountains, it is such a sight to behold!

3 ways to get from SaPa to Ninh Binh

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus7 hours413,000 VND ($17)Check bus tickets
Train11 hours513,000 VND ($21.50)Read article for more info
Taxi8 hours4,614,000 VND ($195)Book a private car

When travelling the 405km distance from SaPa to Ninh Binh, you have 3 options. You can take a 7-hour bus, an 11-hour train (incl. transfers), or an 8-hour taxi. Rates range between 413,000 VND ($17) and 4,614,000 VND ($195).

Taking the bus is the fastest and cheapest option when travelling from Sapa to Ninh Binh. Fares start from 413,000 VND ($17) for the 7-hour journey. It’s worth noting that buses depart in the afternoon and arrive around midnight so you will still need an accommodation for that night.

Another good option is to go by train. We think that trains in Vietnam are very convenient and much safer than taking the bus. This particular route involves a few transfers and takes much longer than the other options. But with the train, you can save a night on accommodation.

Booking a private car can be quite expensive, but also convenient if you’re travelling with a group. You can get a spacious 5-seater car starting from 4,614,000 VND ($195). This will pick you up at your hotel in SaPa and drop you off at your hotel’s doorstep in Ninh Binh.

Itinerary from SaPa to Ninh Binh

SaPa to Ninh Binh travelroute

SaPa to Ninh Binh by Bus

Duration: 7 hours
Cost: 413,000 VND ($17)
Duration: 7 hours
Cost: 413,000 VND ($17)

Taking a direct bus is a cheap and easy way to travel from Sapa to Ninh Binh. Buses normally depart in the afternoon and arrive in Ninh Binh around midnight.

The fastest bus can take you from SaPa to Ninh Binh in around 7 hours. A bus ticket costs 413,000 VND ($17).

Departure & Arrival station

All buses depart from Sapa Bus Station in Sapa city centre.

Both The Long Travel and Ha Son drop off passengers in Ninh Binh city centre, but The Long Travel also brings passengers all the way to Tam Coc.

Bus Schedules from SaPa to Ninh Binh

The Long Travel17:00-00:00413,000 VND ($17)
Check Bus Tickets
Ha Son16:35-00:50401,000 VND ($16.50)
Check Bus Tickets

SaPa to Ninh Binh by Train

Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 513,000 VND ($21.50)
Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 513,000 VND ($21.50)

There are no direct trains operating from Sapa to Ninh Binh so you will have to make a few transfers for this route.

The journey by train takes 4 hours longer than the bus and is also more expensive. However, unlike the bus, you’ll be able to save one night on accommodation with the train.

Step 1: Sapa to Lao Cai by Van

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 60,000 VND ($2.50)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 60,000 VND ($2.50)

In SaPa, you can take a van or a public bus to Lao Cai Railway Station.

We recommend taking one of the last van or bus trips of the day so you won’t have to wait a long time at the train station. The last van/bus usually depart from Sapa around 17:00-18:30.

Read more about this route on our page from Sapa to Hanoi.

Step 2: Lao Cai to Hanoi by Train

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 353,000 VND ($14.50)
Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 353,000 VND ($14.50)

There are two trains operating from Lao Cai to Hanoi. These depart at 20:55 and 21:30. Travel time is around 8 hours, enough time for a good night’s sleep.

A bed in a 4-berth cabin from Lao Cai to Hanoi costs 353,000 VND ($14.50).

Check Train Tickets with BookAway

You are to get off at Hanoi Railway Station, the same station where you can catch your connecting train to Ninh Binh.

Step 3: Hanoi to Ninh Binh by Train

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 100,000 VND ($4.20)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 100,000 VND ($4.20)

There is only one train that departs in the morning from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. This leaves at 06:00. Depending on which train you take from Lao Cai to Hanoi, you will have 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to catch the connecting train.

The train journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh takes a little more than 2 hours. Ticket prices start from 100,000 VND ($4.20) for a soft seat.

Trains arrive at Ninh Binh Railway Station, located within the city centre and 6km from Tam Coc.

Check Train Tickets with Baolau

For more details, check out our page on how to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.

Optional: Taxi from Ninh Binh to Tam Coc

Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 25,000 VND ($1.05)
Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 25,000 VND ($1.05)

If you’re staying in Tam Coc, you have 2 ways to get to your hotel from Ninh Binh Railway Station: a motorbike taxi or a regular taxi.

If you’re travelling solo and don’t have a lot of luggage, you can take a motorbike taxi for 25,000 VND ($1.05) to 50,000 VND ($2.10). Alternatively, you can take a regular taxi with rates from 120,000 VND ($5).

Suggested Itinerary from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

Method of transportTimeDuration
Van or public bus to Lao Cai17:30-18:1545 minutes
Sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi20:55-04:357hrs 40m
Train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh06:00-08:162hrs 16m
Taxi from Ninh Binh to Tam Coc08:30-08:4515 minutes

SaPa to Ninh Binh by Taxi

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 4,614,000 VND ($195)
Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 4,614,000 VND ($195)

Travelling by taxi is a very expensive way to get from SaPa to Ninh Binh. Rates start from 4,614,000 VND ($195) for a 5-seater car.

Still, the taxi provides an alternative option if you want your own private ride for the 8-hour journey.

We recommend booking your private transfer with BookAway, which offers nice cars with professional drivers.

Book a Private Car with BookAway

Our favourite places to stay in Tam Coc (Ninh Binh)

Ninh Binh Accommodation 1

Tam Coc Family Hotel

Want to stay in a real Vietnamese Guesthouse? Tam Coc Family Hotel is a perfect example why you don't have to spend more than $17 for a great guesthouse. The super friendly owners will tell you the best spots to visit and will make sure you have a good start of your day with a delicious breakfast. It's a 1-minute walk from the Tam Coc river and drop-off point of the bus.

Read More

Ninh Binh Accommodation 2

Tam Coc Bungalow

Do you prefer to stay close to the river? Tam Coc Bungalow has spacious bamboo bungalows right next to the Tam Coc river. Bungalows start from $32 and dorm rooms from $6.

What we really liked about this place is their common area. From the terrace you can watch the locals paddling back to Tam Coc town during sunset and in the evening you can play a game of pool at the open restaurant area.

Read More

More routes to Ninh Binh

Phong Nha to Ninh Binh

Hanoi to Ninh Binh

CatBa to Ninh Binh

Hue to Ninh Binh

Hoi An to Ninh Binh

More routes from Sapa

Sapa to CatBa

Sapa to Hanoi

Sapa to Ha Giang

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi to Sapa

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc

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