Ninh Binh Travel Guide 2020
About Ninh Binh
Recognized as the ancient land, Ninh Binh tourism now becomes a famous destination of Vietnam. This place attracts not only domestic visitors but also attracts millions of international tourists every year. Everyone who comes to Ninh Binh is surprised by the beauty of famous landmarks such as Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An, Non Nuoc Mountain, Tam Coc – Bich Dong… There are many other places to attract visitors too.
If you are planning to travel in the future, this Ninh Binh Travel Guide is a complete handbook to help you feel secure and more confident. Do not worry and ask yourself that traveling Ninh Binh costs or how much money… Just read all this guidebook and then carry your backpack up and go !!
Best time to travel
Traveling Ninh Binh, you can go all year round and each season has its own beauty. Many famous landmarks of Ninh Binh open for tourism all year round, creating a Ninh Binh always full of tourists. But it can not say that traveling Ninh Binh is always beautiful. In 1 year, Ninh Binh also has 2 seasons called the golden time for tourists to visit.
The first days of the year from January to March when the weather are very cool. It’s time for people to visit famous places combined with spring travel. This time is ideal for spiritual tourism such as visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An and Stone Church …
Summer days from April to June suit the most people. Eco-tourism destinations such as Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Cuc Phuong, and Trang An forests are crowded with tourists. People can experience the beauty of the ripe rice fields in Tam Coc or visit Cuc Phuong forest to see thousands of butterflies perched on the road.
If you do not have free time to travel to Ninh Binh at these two times, do not worry. Please go when you are free because you can come to Ninh Binh all year round. If you are in the inner region, you must research about the weather in Ninh Binh. If you go into the winter, you should remember to carefully consult the weather before coming. In the winter, Ninh Binh becomes very cold. If you don’t get used to the cold, you will easily catch a flu.
Ninh Binh Travel Guide – How to get there
Moving from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is only about 100 km from Hanoi, so cars are the most reasonable option that I recommend to you. You can go to any bus station that has a car to go to Ninh Binh. Now there’s a lot of high-end car companies offer shuttle bus that is very cheap and convenient. It only takes you about 2 hours to travel on Phap Van – Cau Gie highway to Ninh Binh from Hanoi.
Moving from Ho Chi Minh to Ninh Binh
There are many options for you to move the fastest and most convenient such as airplanes, cars, trains… If you travel by airplane, you will fly from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi and catch a car to Ninh Binh. By car, you also book a lying seat from the Eastern bus station to Ninh Binh. It is also possible if you go by train because Ninh Binh has a train station in the center.
How to get around in Ninh Binh
Like Da Lat or other cities, choosing to rent a motorbike to the nearest places is still the most economical option. Compared to the price of renting a motorbike in Da Nang, the renting price in Ninh Binh is a bit higher about 120k – 150k. You just need to book a car, then someone will deliver your car to your place and the procedure is quick and simple.
If you go further and you are tired of riding a motorbike, you can also choose a contractual car with a driver. You should ask for 2-way prices carefully before boarding and avoid cases of unintended conflict. In addition, you can also use taxi. Currently, there is no Grab in Ninh Binh so you can ignore this option.
Ninh Binh Travel Guide – Where to stay
Ninh Binh tourism is growing strongly and attracting a large number of tourists every day. Therefore, many hotels and homestays are also built to meet the needs of customers. You should also rent a hotel in the city center and from there move to other tourist destinations.
In addition to the luxurious hotels, you can also choose other types of accommodation such as Hostel, Homestay… The budget is quite cheap from 200k – 300k for each standard type. You should choose the hotel that is close to the center for dining, shopping, and convenient transportation.
Based on my experience, I strongly advise that people should book rooms early on the peak days such as New Year holidays or in the peak seasons when visitors to Ninh Binh are crowded.
Things to do in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is a key tourist city in the North, so there are many beautiful landscapes here. With diverse nature charming landscapes attract a large number of tourists everywhere. Ninh Binh Tourism not only has beautiful attractions but also has many points of great courtesy. It is the choice of many young people. Here is a summary of places to visit in Ninh Binh.
Bai Dinh Pagoda
This is the most famous tourist destination in Ninh Binh and is in the first list of places I want to share with everyone. Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia with a record of the largest bronze Buddha image in Asia, far surpassing other temples in Vietnam.
It is located 17 km from the Ninh Binh center with a large area lying on the mountain. The temple with its luxurious design attracts the most annual spiritual tourists to the country. With over 1 thousand statues of Arhat, Bai Dinh Pagoda is also the temple with the largest well in Vietnam. Bai Dinh Pagoda is a tourist destination that pilgrims from all places come to worship. With a very wide space, coming to Bai Dinh Pagoda is like you are lost in a fairy-tale place. Coming to a peaceful place here you will have a feeling of peace in your heart.
Trang An, Ninh Binh
This is a famous place, surely if you are a travel enthusiast, when mentioning Ninh Binh, you also envision this attraction. Trang An tourist area are given 2 titles of world cultural heritage and natural heritage by UNESCO.
Trang An tourist area has 31 lakes and now up to 48 natural caves have been discovered and went into operation. There are caves longer than 2 km that we can take a boat to visit such as: Sinh Duoc and Dia Linh…
Trang An is famous for its manual boats that take visitors long distances to experience the beauty of this place. You will experience everything when choosing Trang An tourist destination and will have a lot of memories here.
Tam Coc Bich Dong
- Tam Coc: Coming to Ninh Hai commune – Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh you will visit the Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area. It is extremely beautiful and attracts a lot of tourists. This is still a destination that the majority of Ninh Binh tourists choose and cannot be missed. Like Trang An, coming to Tam Coc you will also be sitting on a boat watching the mountains close to each other along the Ngo Dong river.
With its poetic beauty and charming scenery, it is sure to captivate any visitor. Tam Coc has a system of 3 caves like Hang Ca, Hai cave, Hang 3. These caves are connected to Ngo Dong river that people still think as a mini Ha Long Bay. The ticket price is about 150k for 4 guests.
- Bich Dong: Next to Tam Coc is the attractive tourist attraction of Ninh Binh which is Bich Dong. This is an ancient temple built along Asian style. Surrounded by mountains, Bich Dong is very beautiful and majestic. In our Ninh Binh travel guide, Bich Dong is an ideal destination for people who are nature lovers and have a climbing hobby. Follow the trail leading halfway up the mountain. Challenge your bravery to climb the highest mountain of Bich Dong. You can see the whole panoramic view of Ninh Binh from above.
Hoa Lu ancient capital
Located in Truong Yen commune,Hoa Lu ancient capital is the most famous and important national monument complex in Vietnam. Here is a relic of the temples of King Le and King Dinh when the country was built before moving the capital to Hanoi capital.
Tourists to Ninh Binh never miss this attraction and Hoa Lu ancient capital is also the most favorite destination. Everyone who comes here wants to learn about the history and offer incense for the relatives and family.
Mua Caves Ecolodge
Mua Cave is located in Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune. This is a quite attractive tourist destination and located at the foot of Mua Mountain. Compared to other famous tourist destinations, Mua Cave is not comparable but this is the most attractive place for young people. It has beautiful natural scenery, remote fields, and undulating mountains creating pictures that do not touch when checking in here.
When you stand from afar, you will see the beautiful Mua Cave. Or when you stand at the foot of the mountain, you will see the steps connecting to the top of the mountain. When you climb up to admire the immense scenery, the rivers and miniature ships loom. It’s like you are in China and stand on the Great Wall.
Am Tuyen Cave
Am Tuyen Cave is a relic area within the national monument complex of Vietnam. Here is a huge lake and surrounded by mountains. When it was re-invested beautifully, then the name Tuyet Tinh Coc was born.
There’s a time when the name Tuyet Tinh Coc in Ninh Binh was very hot on facebook. It was shared dizzily on social networks over the past few years. There are many young people who spend time exploring this place together and produce beautiful photos and videos that millions of people watch. Tourists come to enjoy the romantic natural scenery but feel very peaceful inside.Tickets to visit here is 20k / person.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Perhaps Cuc Phuong National Park is the most crowded tourist attraction in Ninh Binh. Each year there are hundred thousand people visiting this famous destination. With a total area of up to 26,000ha and an extremely rich animal ecosystem, you can organize a fun program, camping and organizing a party here. Cuc Phuong National Park is always cool with extremely beautiful natural landscapes. Here you can also learn and research about national history and culture.
If you come in May or June, the butterfly season here is in full bloom. There are millions of white butterflies and they unify when you shoot videos just like Korean dramas. Going deep into the forest, you will have to walk to reach the thousand year old tree. You will admire the huge tree which is more than a dozen people hugging.
Phat Diem stone church
Far from the city is Phat Diem cathedral or another name is Stone church. It is located in Phat Diem town, Kim Son district with a very large area of over 20ha. With the architecture, many churches are located in parallel and built entirely of huge stone.
Among our Vietnam Travel Guide, Phat Diem church is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Vietnam. It has modern architecture and is built mainly of stone and wood which is completed in 1898. This is a very different church than other cathedrals in the country. It also has a unique architectural style of the temple. With a very large park, when you come here, you can take photos and check in everything. You will not feel pity for spending your time visiting this tourist destination.
Non Nuoc Mountain
Non Nuoc mountain is located in the park of Ninh Binh city and has the ancient name of Duc Thuy Son mountain. Next to the mountain, there is a temple of Truong Han Sieu located near Day river. If everyone remembers in literature, Nguyen Trai’s poems also mentioned this famous mountain.
To talk about the history of Nui Nuoc mountain, the soldier did not surrender to the enemy. He stood from the top of the mountain to jump into the Van River. Until now, on the top of the mountain, there’s still clearly imprints the foot of the soldier on the Stone.
Thung Nham ecotourism area
Thung Nham ecotourism area is surrounded by limestone mountains, rainforest strips, and cave complexes. All of these factors combine together into a tourism complex that attracts people to the experimental camp when traveling to Ninh Binh.
Thung Nham is located on the southwestern side of the pagodas. Located in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, there are many natural landscapes full of spiritual and cultural elements.
Visiting Thung Nham, you will experience many things such as: Banyan tree, Love Valley, Mermaid Cave… You can also taste many fruits. In Miet garden, there is even more primeval forest located on extremely beautiful limestone mountain range.
Ninh Binh Travel Guide – What to eat
Not only famous tourist attractions, you can also enjoy the delicious food, specialties throughout the country. Let’s review all the specialties in this Ninh Binh Travel guide.
Coming to Ninh Binh but not yet enjoying this dish is really very regrettable. Ninh Binh mountain goat is famous all over the country with many diverse ways of processing to satisfy diners who love to eat. Goat meat in Ninh Binh is very fragrant, tender. It is the most famous in Vietnam that nowhere else has.
Not only skillful processing techniques, in Ninh Binh, there’s also special spices that make up the brand here. If you are a food connoisseur, please visit Ninh Binh once to enjoy the famous food here.
Com Chay is also a very famous specialty dish in Ninh Binh. It is still best served with mountain goat sauce. Presently, Com Chay is produced in canned branded Ninh Binh for sale as gifts.
Delicious Com Chay must have pale yellow, crispy aromatic, and not too greasy. Traveling to Ninh Binh, you should enjoy Com Chay and buy it for your family members.
Kim Son wine
It can be said that Kim Son Ninh Binh is famous in the North. With distilled water taken from the crystal clear river and a special type of yeast, it produces a very delicious and aromatic wine.
Those who love alcohol have to buy hundreds of liters of Kim Son wine to drink gradually. Alcohol here no matter how much you drink, when you wake up, your mind is clear and never has a headache. When you’ve been drinking here a few times, you probably don’t want to drink any other kind of alcohol. That’s what’s special here.
Nhech Raw Fish Salad
Nhech raw fish salad is popular with everyone in Ninh Binh. Not only famous in Ninh Binh, it is also famous throughout the North. This delicious dish has a very unique flavor that makes people remember when finished enjoying it.
Yen Mac Fermented Pork Roll
In Ninh Binh, Yen Mac sour pork rolls is very delicious and different. Made from lean pork and pork skin mixed with hearing and spices fermented sour and wrapped with guava leaves. This dish is suitable for those who like to drink alcohol when dipped with lemon garlic sauce. This is also a famous specialty that everyone loves in Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Snails
Mountain snails in Ninh Binh are big and firm and eat quite well. Snails taken from Tam Diep live in the river area of the limestone mountains. The food of this species is moss, so when boiled it is very aromatic and nutritious. Snails served with sweet ginger fish sauce have a very specific taste compared to others. This is a dish you should not miss when traveling to Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Itinerary and Travel Expense
How much time do you have to travel to Ninh Binh? 1 day, 2 days, 3 days … or more …? No need to worry, I will suggest some a 3-days-2-nights schedules. Hope to help you more in this backpacking trip to Ninh Binh.
Day 1: Hanoi/HCMC – Ninh Binh – Trang An – Kong Skull Island Film Studio
- 7am: Depart to Ninh Binh
- 9am: Check in hotel + rest
- 10am: Visit Kong Skull Island film studio
- 11 am: Have lunch at Trang An
- 13h: Move to Trang An to buy tickets and take a boat to visit.
- 17h: come back to the hotel to rest + have dinner.
Day 2: Dam Van Long – Temple of Bai Dinh – The ancient capital of Hoa Lu – An Tiem Cave
- 8 am: Move to Van Long lagoon to visit
- 10 am: Lunch at Van Long lagoon (contact to order food in advance)
- 11h: come back to the hotel to rest
- 13h: transfer to Bai Dinh pagoda to visit
- 15h: visit Hoa Lu ancient capital and temples here
- 17h: visit the An Tiem cave
- 18h: come back to the hotel to rest + have dinner
Day 3: Tam Coc Bich Dong + Mua Cave + Hanoi/HCM
- 8am: Buy tickets and take a boat to visit Tam Coc Bich Dong
- 11h: Have lunch
- 13h: Visit Mua Cave
- 17h: Move to Hanoi/HCMC
Cost of backpacking tourism Ninh Binh in 3 days 2 nights:
- Hotel fee: 300k / person / 2 nights
- Food and drink: 500k / person
- Money to visit Mua Cave: VND 100k / person
- Entrance fee to visit Tam Coc Bich Dong: VND 200k / person (including boat trip)
- Trang An tour fee: VND 200k / person
- Money to visit Bai Dinh pagoda: 30k / person
- Money to visit Van Long bay: 80k / person
The total cost of traveling Ninh Binh 3 days 2 nights: 1tr400k / person
Only about 100km from Ha Noi, Ninh Binh is one of the best places to visit in the North of VietNam. I hope our Ninh Binh travel guide will help you have a good plan to travel here. If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment below, I’ll happy to help.