Ninh Binh is located more than 90 km south of Hanoi’s capital and is considered a “miniature North Vietnam”. This land is endowed with nature, overlapping mountains with famous landscapes in the country and abroad. As a result, this place has rich and diverse natural conditions, which is a good living environment for animals and plants, including many rare and precious animals and plants, and is listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world. Ninh Binh has become a famous destination in Vietnam, not only do domestic tourists come here but also annually attracts millions of international tourists to visit. Everyone who comes to Ninh Binh can’t help but admire and be surprised by the beauty of the famous scenic spots here.
In addition, this land also has many historical, cultural, and religious relics such as Hoa Lu ancient capital, Phat Diem stone church complex…, and this place is also known as the first capital of Vietnam more than 1000 years ago. All these relics have become attractive tourist attractions for tourists domestically and internationally.
Visitors can travel to Ninh Binh at any time of the year, each season has its beauty. Many famous landmarks of Ninh Binh are exploited for tourism all year round, creating a Ninh Binh that is always full of tourists. However, the best time to explore this land is from January to April, this is the peak time for festival tourism and early spring travel in Vietnam, and the spring weather is not too long cold, or not too hot. This is also the time when the Bai Dinh tourist area opens the festival at the beginning of the year, visitors can combine travel and ceremony. Ninh Binh tourism in May and June is also very attractive because, at this time, the rice season is ripe in Tam Coc – Bich Dong, creating a very beautiful and attractive scene.
Transportation to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is located at the beginning of the North and not far from Hanoi, so visitors have many options to move to.
Moving from Hanoi
Ninh Binh is only about 100km from Hanoi, so a car is the most reasonable choice. Visitors can go to any bus station to have a car to go to Ninh Binh or now many high-class car companies take passengers from Hanoi to Ninh Binh cheaply and conveniently.
It takes tourists only about 2 hours to travel on the Phap Van highway to Cau Gie to get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi very quickly.
Moving from Saigon
There are many options for tourists to move the fastest and most convenient such as plane, car, train… Like going by plane, visitors will fly to Hanoi and catch a car to Ninh Binh. If visitors go by car, they can also book a sleeper bus from Mien Dong bus station to go directly to Ninh Binh. If visitors go by train, it is also a good choice because Ninh Binh has a train station located in the center.
Moving from Central Provinces
Just like moving from Saigon, visitors can also book 3 vehicles as above (plane, car, train). It is very convenient and, depending on the economy, tourists choose a reasonable means of transportation for their trip.
Transportation in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh tourism is like traveling to other cities in Vietnam, renting a motorbike to go to nearby places is the preferred choice of many tourists. Motorbike rental in Ninh Binh is about 120,000 VND – 150,000 VND / motorbike. Visitors just need to book, someone will deliver the motorbike to their place and the procedure is quick and simple.
If tourists go to others places further, they can choose a contract car with a driver or rent a self-drive car. In addition, the advice for tourists is to ask for a clear two-way price before renting and returning the car to avoid unintended conflicts. In addition, Ninh Binh also has taxi companies that visitors can choose from.
Things To Do
Trang An Eco-tourism Area
This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ninh Binh and the whole country. Trang An eco-tourism area is located in the Trang An World Heritage Complex. This place has been classified as a particularly important national monument by the Vietnamese Government and recognized by UNESCO as a dual world heritage since 2013.
Come here, tourists buy a ferry ticket, then they are taken by the boatman to take a tour around the resort, to the stops tourists can visit, take pictures, etc. The feeling of sitting on a boat floating on the water in the middle of the water and sightseeing majestic nature is something tourists will not forget when visiting this resort. Reference fare for adults is 250,000 VND, 6 people per boat. Child ticket from 1m -1m3 is 120,000 VND. Tour guide 300,000VND/1 tour
Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a large temple complex known for many Asian and Vietnamese records, established as the temple with the largest gilded bronze Buddha in Asia, the temple with the longest Arhat corridor in Asia, and has the largest bronze Maitreya statue in Southeast Asia, etc. This is the largest temple and holds the most records in Vietnam.
Arriving in Bai Dinh, visitors can admire the majestic Tam Quan nearly 17 meters high, just step through Tam Quan, visitors can immerse themselves in the pure spiritual space, followed by the 36-ton bronze bell, hung on a high tower. Walk along the long corridor with 500 Arhats, and admire the largest bronze statues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Shakyamuni Buddha in Vietnam.
Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in the north of Trang An world heritage complex, forming a very convenient tourist route for tourists to move around when visiting both these attractions. The ticket price to visit the stupa is 50,000 VND/person.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Sitting on bamboo boats, gliding gently on the Ngo Dong river in a quiet space, visitors can clearly feel the clarity of the space here. Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area is located in Hoa Lu district, about 7km from Ninh Binh city center. The tourist area includes many attractions such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong pagoda, Thung Nham, etc.
The ticket price is from 120,000 VND to 150,000 VND/person. After buying tickets, tourists board the ferry. The boatman takes visitors to visit rice fields on the river, weaving through the cliffs, and water caves. Travel time (go and return) is about 2 hours. Depending on the season, the landscape of rice fields along the river will have the green color of young rice or ripe yellow.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Located deep in the heart of Tam Diep mountain range, Cuc Phuong Forest is the first national park in Vietnam. Located on the territory of three provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa with a total area of 22,408 hectares. With many values of the natural landscape, diversity of ecosystems, and cultural and historical values, Cuc Phuong has long become a famous and attractive eco-tourism destination.
Entrance ticket prices from 10,000 VND to 60,000 VND/person. Cuc Phuong allows personal vehicles to go directly inside. So if tourists have a motorbike or a bicycle, it is great because tourists can see the green forest along the way and feel the cool wind and the breath of the forest. If traveling by small car, it is convenient to go in a large group, but tourists may miss a bit of the rustling breath of the wind through the forest foliage. Should prepare walking shoes, and a flashlight (if entering caves), and bring insect repellent, mosquito repellent, and drinking water.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu ancient capital is a particularly important national relic complex of Vietnam and one of the four core areas of the Trang An world heritage complex recognized by UNESCO. Hoa Lu ancient capital historical relic area now has a planned area of 13.87 km² in Ninh Binh province. With a history of more than 1000 years, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is a place to store historical relics over the ages.
Temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang and the Temple of King Le Dai Hanh built from the Ly Dynasty and rebuilt in the Hau Le period are two important monuments of the relic site, these are also two tourist attractions that cannot miss when coming to Ninh Binh. The ticket price to visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is from 10,000 VND to 20,000 VND / person.
Located in the complex of Trang An scenic spots, coming Mua Cave visitors will experience the overwhelming feeling when watching the poetic scenery of Tam Coc from above. Mua Cave is located at the foot of Mua mountain, in the eco-tourism complex in Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh.
When coming to Mua Cave, tourists will be able to test their endurance when climbing to the top of the mountain through 486 stone steps, and from the top of the mountain, we can admire the whole beauty of the Tam Coc area with vast, green rice fields. Entrance ticket 100,000 VND/1 person.
Thung Nham Bird Garden
Thung Nham bird garden eco-tourism area is about 12km east of Ninh Binh city, located in the core area of Trang An scenic complex, this place is famous for many species of storks. It is easy to see flocks of pure white storks covered in white all over a corner of the sky.
Thung Nham in every season has a beauty that attracts tourists, but if tourists want to watch birds, autumn is the most ideal time because at this time the weather starts to get cold, and birds will feed near as well as return nest earlier.
To enter Thung Nham, visitors can choose to buy a ferry ticket to go directly to Thung Nham, the ferry driver will take visitors through the ravines to enter the But cave. Or visitors can also drive to Thung Nham by road if they do not want to take a ferry. The ticket price for adults is 100,000 VND and for children is 50,000 VND, children under 0.8m are free. Boat ticket to visit the bird garden: 20,000 VND. Ticket to visit the But cave: 20,000 VND.
Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve in the Northern Delta. This nature reserve is located in the northeast of Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. In 1999, this place became a nature reserve, inscribed in the list of wetland protected areas and the list of the system of special-use forests in Vietnam.
Not only a nature reserve, but Van Long is also a place with attractive landscapes. Van Long is known as “the bay without waves” because when traveling on a boat on the lagoon, visitors will see the water surface as flat as a giant mirror. The painting clearly reflects the strong carvings of the limestone massifs bearing the shape of their names. Scenic ticket 20,000 VND/person. Boat ticket 60,000VND/boat.
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral
Phat Diem Cathedral is a Catholic church complex that is rated the most beautiful in Vietnam. This project is located in Phat Diem town, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province, on an area of 22 hectares, 120 km south of Hanoi. After more than a hundred years and suffering many impacts from natural disasters, the church is still quite stable and maintains its original state, attracting many tourist groups to visit.
Visitors can go to Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh at any time. But the most attractive time for tourists is at Christmas because there will be many activities and events taking place. The church is also invested with sophisticated and meticulous decoration that will make visitors amazed by its splendid beauty. Especially at night, it’s very easy to take good pictures.
Thien Ha Cave
With a system of stalactites created by nature, there are dry and wet caves creating shimmering and fanciful beauty in the heart of Thien Ha cave, Ninh Binh. This place is likened to a “galaxy in the heart of the mountain” that fascinates people right from first sight. Therefore, it would be remiss if on the journey to discover the ancient capital of tourists, they would miss this attractive place. Adult ticket 120,000 VND / person. Child ticket 40.oodd/1 person.
What to Eat in Ninh Binh
The most famous delicacy in Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh mountain goats are often raised on rocky slopes and are left free. The goat often eats the leaves of medicinal plants on the mountain and has to climb, so the goat meat is very fragrant, firm, and nutritious.
With specialties of Ninh Binh mountain goat meat, people can process dishes such as; Stir-fried goat, grilled goat, goat blood soup, steamed goat, goat hot pot, goat’s feet stewed with Chinese medicine, pan-fried goat, etc.
In addition to goat meat specialties, Ninh Binh is also famous for burnt rice, the best-cooked rice eaten with goat sauce. With the rich taste of burnt rice mixed with the sweetness and aroma of goat sauce, visitors will surely remember the taste of Ninh Binh elderberry forever.
Mountain snails are abundant in the limestone mountains of Tam Diep, Yen Mo, and Nho Quan towns. They usually only appear from April to August every year, ie in the rainy season, when the weather is wet. The main food of this snail is wild plants growing in the mountains, including precious medicinal plants. Mountain snail meat is tough, crispy, and sweet. Mountain snails can be processed into many dishes: steamed with ginger, fried with lemongrass and chili, or mixed with salad.
Fish salad – Kim Son specialties
In Ninh Binh province, there are many places that introduce this dish, but the fish salad in Kim Son is considered the best. The fish salad is fragrant and fleshy and has a very specific taste. Fish salad, Kim Son specialty, Ninh Binh specialty, have the fleshy aroma of roasted glutinous rice, the sweet and sour taste of vinegar interspersed with the warm spicy taste of ginger with garlic, chili, pepper, and lemongrass, once tourists eat it, they will never forget it.
Yen Mac Fermented Pork Roll (Nem Chua Yen Mac)
Yen Mac spring rolls have been passed down from an unknown generation, but gourmets here have known them for a long time. Yen Mac spring rolls must be eaten with little guava leaves, fig leaves, rolled up herbs, dipped with lemon fish sauce, and added a little chili, garlic, and pepper so that the diners can feel the sweet and spicy taste of the special taste of this dish.
Steam Glutinous Rice with Ant Egg
Ninh Binh cuisine is rich and diverse with unique dishes. Which, sticky rice with ant eggs is a famous specialty that many tourists “hunt”. Young ant eggs, after being exploited in the Nho Quan limestone mountains, will be washed, then marinated with spices and fried. Rolling a spoonful of sticky rice, tourists will clearly feel the fat of onion fat, the flesh of ant eggs mixed with the aroma of sticky rice. In particular, sipping little by little, tourists will hear the sound of ant eggs crackling and dissolving in their mouths, which is really interesting.
Fan Vermicelli (Bun Cha Quat)
‘Bun cha quat’ leaves a deep impression on diners because of the rich flavor that is marinated in each piece of meat. In particular, minced meat is clamped in a barbecue and grilled into a large piece. The meat is grilled to the edge, eye-catching without being dry; eaten with sour food, raw vegetables, and sweet and sour fish sauce is ecstatic!
Where to Stay in Ninh Binh
This Rose Homestay is a resort that is worth referring to for your vacation. This guest house offers spacious, clean rooms with full amenities for its guests.
Here, guests can enjoy an Asian breakfast, take a sunbathing walk on-site, and relax in the guest house’s shared lounge area.
Reference price: 250,000 VND – 500,000 VND
Address: Ninh Nhat, City. Ninh Binh
Wafami homestay is located in the city center, a peaceful place to stop for trips away from home. Wafami has 4 blocks of houses with fully equipped private rooms, facing and garden in the middle, bringing the feeling of both wild and familiar Vietnamese trees. Guests can also rent a bicycle to get around the city or enjoy a drink at the small on-site coffee.
Address: 14 Alley 101 Nam Thanh, Phuc Thanh Ward, City. Ninh Binh, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 400,000 VND – 650,000 VND/night
For You Homestay
Located in the majestic mountain resort of Trang An, For You homestay brings quality services to tourists while staying here. The scenery around the homestay is quite unique, all four sides are mountains, and right in front is a large lake that can both enjoy the view and sunbathe. For You homestay’s rooms are all private rooms suitable for couples and families.
Address: 497B Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 500,000 VND – 750,000 VND/night
Ninh Binh Family Homestay
For visitors who want to find the peaceful space of the village houses in the North, Ninh Binh Family Homestay is the most worthy choice. With a characteristic architecture that is somewhat simple and rustic but also has all the necessary and modern facilities, Ninh Binh Family Homestay is very popular with tourists when coming here.
Address: Hamlet 4, Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 400,000 VND – 700,000 VND/night
Amira has the style of traditional Vietnamese village houses with red tiles, old-fashioned wooden doors, etc. Each room is a separate apartment with a bathroom inside, open space, outstanding wooden furniture, and other necessities. Amira also serves typical dishes of Vietnamese cuisine, so it is chosen by many foreign tourists.
Address: Van Lam Hamlet, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 300,000 VND – 500,000 VND/night
Nguyen Shack Homestay
Nguyen Shack Homestay Ninh Binh is located in a valley with poetic scenery that cannot be described in words. 6 bungalows along the mountain direction with an area of 42m2 are entirely made of wood, bamboo, and rustic thatched roofs. A larger homestay with basic rooms of 9m2 using a shared bathroom. The outside balcony facing the lotus lake has a comfortable hammock.
Address: Hamlet Khe Ha, Ninh Xuan Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 450,000 VND – 600,000 VND/night
Trang An Valley Bungalow
A family-friendly resort near the ancient capital of Hoa Lu offers a pure and peaceful atmosphere amidst majestic mountains. The bungalows are located right at the foot of the mountain, in front is a large swimming pool and a renovated garden with a variety of ornamental plants and flowers. Homestay Trang An includes room types with 2 double beds, family rooms, deluxe rooms, and dorm beds for collectives.
Address: Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 160,000 VND – 1,300,000 VND/night
Golden Bell Backpacker Hostel
Golden Bell Backpacker Hostel is designed in the form of main dorm rooms, so this place will be an ideal stop for those who love traveling to Ninh Binh or those who want to save money. Each dorm room is usually quite spacious, ensuring 1 person can rest comfortably.
In particular, outside the lobby, young people often organize outdoor parties or talk and sing together. Golden Bell Backpacker Hostel is also loved by most foreign tourists and chosen as a place to stop for their long journey.
Address: 34 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Tan Thanh, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh
Reference price: 150,000 VND/night
Huong Sen Hostel
Huong Sen Hostel is located in the heart of the city, so it is easy for visitors to visit nearby attractions without spending much time. In addition, Huong Sen also has a motorbike rental service for only about 100,000 VND / 1 motorbike/day.
Although it is a cheap motel, the services here are rated quite well, visitors can comfortably connect with free wifi, and the rooms are clean, fragrant, and have airy windows. In particular, in addition to single and double rooms, this guesthouse also has 5 family rooms with a view overlooking the large garden.
Address: No. 30, Lane 96, Trinh Tu Street, Ninh Khanh Ward, Ninh Binh
Room price reference: 250,000 VND/night
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