Ninh Binh is an amazing place with many World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves and stunning scenery. Besides, you can easily access the most laid-back and serenely rural and authentic scenes of Vietnam. This fascinating Ninh Binh travel guide from A to Z has everything you need to plan your trip to one of the most wonderful places in Vietnam.
- Ninh Binh Overview
- When is the best time to visit Ninh Binh?
- How to get to Ninh Binh?
- The most beautiful places in Ninh Binh
- Where to stay in Ninh Binh? Hotel and Homestay in Ninh Binh
- What to eat in Ninh Binh? Cuisine in Ninh Binh
- Ninh Binh travel tips:
Ninh Binh Overview
Ninh Binh is located in the southernmost point of the Red River Delta, far from Ha Noi about 100 km to the south. This place has recently become a famous destination among travelers making trips to Northern and Vietnam. Ninh Binh attracts visitors not only the beautiful natural landscapes but also many national cultural relics. With the prime location in terms of transport, terrain, history and culture, Ninh Binh retains a rich and diverse potential of tourism. It is considered as a miniature Vietnam.
When is the best time to visit Ninh Binh?
There are many stunning places in Ninh Binh and the landscapes are very attractive and different in each season. Almost any time of the year is great to visit Ninh Binh. However, In Ninh Binh travel guide from A to Z, the best time to travel Ninh Binh is from January to March and May to September.
– In spring (from January to March): The weather at this time is cool, it is suitable for visitors to travel, participate in Ninh Binh’s festivals, enjoy the beautiful places in the warm sunshine and go to pagoda.
– In summer ( from May to September): Ninh Binh is a beautiful place for ecotourism. From May to June is the Butterfly season in Cuc Phuong ( Cúc Phương) National Park and also when the rice fields are at Tam Coc best yellow, so there’s really a reason to visit all year round!
How to get to Ninh Binh?
Ninh Binh is far about 100 km from Hanoi to the south, the road to Ninh Binh is very convenient because there are many roads such as national route 1A, 10, 12B, 12A, North-South railway, and Phap Van – Cau Gie highway. It is quite easy to get to Ninh Binh by some vehicles such as self-drive cars, coaches, motorbikes, and trains.
+ From Hanoi: You can find train to Ninh Binh : SE1 at 09:09 P.M ( VND 58,000 – VND 128,000/ person), SE5 at 11:14 A.M (VND 46,000 – VND 124,000/person), SE7 at 8:29 A.M (VND 46.000 – VND 124.000/ person). Depending on the type of cabins.
+ From HCM city and other provinces of Center and Southern: You can come to HCM city to find train to Ninh Binh. SE2 at 1:38 A.M ( VND 740,000 –VND 1,643,000), SE6 at 4:55 P.M (VND 586,000 –VND 1,580,000), SE8 at 12:49 P.M ( VND 586,000 – VND 1,580,000).
+ From Hanoi to Ninh Binh: There are more than hundred of coaches running to Ninh Binh from Hanoi in a day. You can easy to catch a coach in Hanoi to Ninh Binh from Giap Bat (Giáp Bát) station with ticket price about 80,000 VND to 150,000 VND and the time about 1.5 hours – 2 hours. Some coach brands in Hanoi: Sao Viet (Sao Việt), Cuong Hung (Cường Hưng), Hoang Long (Hoàng Long), Vu Thuong (Vũ Thưởng), Gia Minh, Hien Tinh (Hiển Tình)…
+ From HCM city and other provinces of Center and Southern: In HCM city, you can come Mien Dong ( Miền Đông) Station to get a coach to Ninh Binh. In the provinces of Center and Southern, you can find directly a coach to Ninh Binh or come to HCM city to get a coach.
If you want to travel to Ninh Binh by motorbike, you just need to go on National Route 1A from Hanoi and go the road Giai Phong ( Giải Phóng) street- Highway Phap Van ( Pháp Vân)- Cau Gie ( Cầu Giẽ)- Phu Ly ( Phủ Lý), you will reach Ninh Binh in 2.5 – 3 hours.
Vehicle in Ninh Binh:
Ninh Binh is one of those places you absolutely need to get your own transport. Otherwise, you’ll miss out tremendously.
The best way to explore the surroundings is to rent a motorbike from hotels or travel agents. Price: VND 100,000/day
The other option is to rent a bike. Biking is a great option to get around the places in Ninh Binh such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Mua Cave. Price for renting a bike: VND 50,000 to VND 80,000/ day.
The most beautiful places in Ninh Binh
Trang An Eco-tourism Complex
This is the most famous place to visit in Ninh Binh with wonderful scenery and mysterious caves. Trang An Eco-tourism Complex is made up of limestone ridges, caves, and beautiful valleys. In addition, there are merged-river systems, many historical-cultural relics including temples, pagodas, …
++ Location: located in 8 communes of districts, namely Gia Vien ( Gia Viễn), Hoa Lu ( Hoa Lư) and Ninh Binh city.
Bai Dinh ( Bái Đính) Pagoda
This is the most famous pagoda of Ninh Binh attracting tourists all year round. The first impression when visiting this Pagoda, visitors will overwhelmed by the grandeur of this Buddhist work. Visitors are also immersed in holy contemplation of Bai Dinh ancient, along with the magnificent and monumental buildings of the most massive Buddhist in Viet Nam…
++ Location: Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien ( Gia Viễn) district. Ninh Binh province
Tam Coc (Tam Cốc) – Bich Dong (Bích Động)
Tam Coc – Bich Dong is a major tourist destination in Vietnam and a part of the Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex UNESCO World Heritage site. It consists of two distinct attractions: Tam Cốc, a flooded cave karst system; and Bich Dong, a series of mountain pagodas. The magnificent beauty of Vietnam manifests itself in Tam Coc- Bich Dong in the form of sublime greenery, endearing waterways, and enchanting limestone cliffs.
++ Location: Ninh Hải (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
Tam Coc also has the Bich Dong Pagoda which makes up for an interesting visit.
Mua Cave (Hang Múa)
Mua cave is one of the must-see attractions that visitors should visit when doing trips to Ninh Binh. This place is also called the “Great Wall of Vietnam”. Mua Mountain has a shape like a bell looking very unique. Conquering the Mua Mountain is quite interesting by zig zag road with 486 odd stairs which are embellished with a sculpture of an authentic red dragon.
++ Location: the foot of Mieu mountain in Khe Ha ( Khê Hạ) village, Ninh Xuan ( Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu ( Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
Van Long ( Vân Long) Nature Reserve
Van Long has a rich and unique ecosystem with many rare flora and fauna. This nature reserve not only has a magnificent landscape with limestone mountains, caves are surrounded by vast flat swamps but also various animal and plant species which makes Van Long an ideal destination to explore the Vietnam ecosystem.
++ Location: Gia Van (Gia Vân), Gia Viên (Gia Viễn) district, Ninh Binh.
Thung Nham Bird Garden
Thung Nham Park is located in the valley which belongs to the complex of Trang An. It is home to thousands of beautiful and rare birds. Visitors can both see the bird garden and remarkable surroundings in Thung Nham. Otherwise, traveling by boat will allow visitors to view the bird up-close.
++ Location: Hai Nham (Hải Nham) village, Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, about 12 km from Ninh Binh city to the east.
Cuc Phuong (Cúc Phương) National Park
Cuc Phuong is the first Vietnam National Park with a diverse ecosystem. Cuc Phuong National Park is a large nature picture with some trees dated back to more than a thousand years ago. Coming to Cuc Phuong National Park, visitors will admire the ancient trees, rare animals, many charming waterfalls, streams… and explore the rich flora.
++ Location: Nho Quan district, far Ninh Binh City about 45 km to the northwest.
Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) Ancient Capital
This is an architectural complex of pagodas, lamas, communal houses, tombs, … Each architecture has owned a unique beauty, all show the ancient and heroic beauty of ancient history. There are a lot of pagodas in this region, which based on the ancient pagoda style in the past. Some pagodas were built inside, outside the limestone mountains and many other architectural works have high historical and cultural value.
++ Location: Truong Yen (Trường Yên) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
Phat Diem (Phát Diệm) Cathedral
Phat Diem Cathedral is the common name for the most beautiful church area in Vietnam. When visiting this destination, you will quickly notice a church with the Vietnamese pagoda roof. This is a complex of structures were built by wood and stone. Although it was the Catholic Church but reproduced by the architecture of traditional temples and pagodas in Vietnam.
++ Location: Phat Diem town, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province. It is far about 28km from Ninh Binh city to Southeast.
Am Tien (Am Tiên) Cave
Am Tien Cave is surrounded by majestic mountains, the geographical position is quite rugged. From above, visitors will see the vast expanse of the majestic landscape, Am Tien Pagoda with high mountains and spacious fresh lake. With unspoiled natural scenery and unique terrain, Am Tien Cave is a separate world that is hidden in colorful history.
++ Location: Yen Thanh ( Yên Thanh) village, Truong Yen (Trường Yên) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
See more top best places in Ninh Bình: Ninh Binh-Top 10 most amazing destinations to explore
Where to stay in Ninh Binh? Hotel and Homestay in Ninh Binh
++ Tam Coc Bungalow Hotel
Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
++ Emeralda Resort Ninh Bình.
Address: Van Long ( Vân Long) Nature Reserve, Gia Van (Gia Vân), Gia Viên (Gia Viễn) district, Ninh Binh.
++ Trang An Valley Bungalow:
Address: 497B road, Hoa Lu ( Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
++ Trang An Retreat.
Address: Trang An (Tràng An), Truong Yên (Trường Yên), Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư), Ninh Binh.
++ Tam Coc Rice Fields Resort.
Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
Homestay in Ninh Binh
++ Chez Beo Homestay
Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
++ Nguyen Shack
Address: Mua Cave ( Hang Múa) Road, Khe Ha ( Khê Hạ) village, Ninh Xuan ( Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu ( Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
++ Buffalo Eco Garden Homestay
Address: Binh Khe (Bình Khê) village, Ninh Nhat (Ninh Nhất) commune, Ninh Binh.
++ Green Mountain Homestay
Address: 497B road,Trang An (Tràng An), Truong Yên (Trường Yên), Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư), Ninh Binh.
++ Trang An River View Homestay
Address: 479B road, Trang An (Tràng An), Truong Yên (Trường Yên), Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư), Ninh Binh.
Some beautiful Homestays in Ninh Binh:
1. Hoalu Ecolodge Homestay. Address: Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
2. Quốc Khánh Bamboo Homestay. Address: 479B road, Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
3. Sierra Homestay. Address: Xuan Thanh (Xuân Thành) village, Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
4. Ninh Bình Panorama Homestay. Address: Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
5. Tam Cốc Homestay. Address: Kha Luong (Khả Lương) village, Ninh Thang (Ninh Thắng) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
6. La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay. Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
7. Ninh Binh Greenland Homestay . Address: Gia Sinh village,Gia Vien (Gia Viễn) district, Ninh Binh.
8. Tam Cốc Mountain View Homestay. Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
9. Tam Cốc River View Homestay . Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
10. Limestone View Homestay . Address: Xuan Ang Noi (Xuân Áng Nội) village, Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
11. Trang An Eco HomestayT . Address: Trang An (Tràng An), Truong Yên (Trường Yên), Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư), Ninh Binh.
12. Tam Coc Westlake Homestay: Address: Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
13. Tam Coc Bamboo Homestay . Address: Van Lam (Văn Lâm) village, Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
14. Xuan Lai Right View Homestay. Address: 37 Luong Van Thang ( Lương Văn Thắng), Group 4, Van Lam village, Ninh Hai (Ninh Hải) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
15. Garden homestay. Address: Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien (Gia Viễn) district, Ninh Binh.
16. Immersive Homestay Ninh Bình. Address: Gia Phuong ( Gai Phương) commune, Gia Vien (Gia Viễn) district, Ninh Binh.
17. Ninh Binh Riverside Homestay. Address: Nguyen Huu An (Nguyễn Hữu An) Street, Co Loan Ha 1 ( Cổ Loan Hạ 1) village, Ninh Tien ( Ninh Tiến) commune, Ninh Binh.
What to eat in Ninh Binh? Cuisine in Ninh Binh
When traveling Ninh Binh, the first dish having to mention is scorched rice. It is made from 100% pure rice. Ninh Binh scorched rice is a flavor characteristic of Ancient land that can not be confused with any other provinces.
++ Address: Scorched rice is sold in many places of Ninh Binh, from the city to the Bai Dinh resort, Trang An, Tam Coc … visitors can buy anywhere in this fascinating ancient city.
Ninh Binh local people have their own secret in processing goat meat into many special dishes. Especially, goat meat is prepared in many attractive ways such as rare goat meat mixed with lemon, stir-fried goat meat, lemongrass and coconut goat. This dish is such a nutritious and fascinating dish as it is served with many fresh herbs which are very good for the balance of people’s health.
++ Address: – Đức Dê Restaurant: 458 Nguyen Hue (Nguyễn Huệ) street, (Nam Bình) district, Ninh Binh.
– Tùng Bách Restaurant: Trang An (Tràng An), Truong Yên (Trường Yên), Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư), Ninh Binh.
– Quế Vũ Restaurant: Khe Thuong (Khê Thượng) village, Ninh Xuan (Ninh Xuân) commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) district, Ninh Binh.
Many dishes are made from this snail but the boiled one is still the most fascinating dish. It can be served with fish sauce and is loved by many travelers.
++ Address: You can enjoy this dish in many restaurants in Ninh Binh.
Nho Quan steamed sticky rice
The ant ’s eggs are special ingredients to make this strange dish. Every year in February, people start catching these ant eggs. Ants are chosen carefully, washed clearly to make the steamed sticky rice. Enjoying this dish will make you remember its great flavor forever.
++ Address: Restaurant in Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh.
To Nhu ( Tố Như) Noodle :
This noodle includes noodles, meat, vegetables, and fish sauce. Although ingredients are simple, the formula is so detailed as choosing raw materials, meat, fish sauce. This makes noodles become delicious. The dish is separated into sections, depending on the user’s choice
++ Address: – Phat Diem Cathedral, Kim Son ( Kim Sơn) district, Ninh Binh
– Road 10, Quang Thien ( Quang Thien) commune, Kim Son ( Kim Sơn) district, Ninh Binh
See more cuisines in Ninh Binh: You should taste this dishs when travelling Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh travel tips:
– A day trip is not enough to truly feel the essence of Ninh Binh. Try to stay a couple of nights and don’t rush your daily activities.
– There are no ATMs in Tam Coc. If you’re staying there and in need of cash, you’ll need to go to Ninh Binh city (7km away) to withdraw money.
– Don’t base yourself in Ninh Binh Town, there’s no appeal to visit or stay here. Instead, stay in or around the Tam Coc area.
– Ninh Binh is best explored by motorbike or bicycle. The roads are flat and wide which also makes it the best place to learn to ride a motorbike.
-If you’re staying at a decent homestay, chances are the food there is better than in the restaurants.