Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh, located in northern Vietnam, is a province blessed with natural wonders and cultural treasures. Here's an in-depth travel guide to help you make the most of your visit to this enchanting destination.

Most Popular Attractions

Tam Coc

Often referred to as the "Halong Bay on Land," Tam Coc is a must-visit attraction in Ninh Binh. Hop on a traditional sampan boat and cruise along the Ngo Dong River. As you glide through the serene waterways, you'll be surrounded by towering limestone karsts and lush green rice paddies. The boat ride takes you through three natural caves, offering a truly mesmerizing experience.

Trang An Landscape Complex

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Trang An is a captivating destination that showcases the beauty of Ninh Binh's natural landscapes. Embark on a boat tour that takes you through a network of caves, grottoes, and emerald-colored waterways. The journey is a visual feast, with limestone cliffs rising majestically from the water and verdant scenery enveloping you at every turn.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Pay a visit to Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda complex in Southeast Asia. Located at the foothills of the Dinh Mountain, this sprawling complex features an array of beautifully designed temples, intricate statues, and serene gardens. Climb the 500 steps to the top of Bai Dinh Pagoda's mountain area for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Cuc Phuong National Park

Nature lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore Cuc Phuong National Park, one of Vietnam's oldest national parks. This biodiverse paradise is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare species like the Delacour's langur and the Asian black bear. Take a guided trek through the park's lush forest trails, visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, and explore ancient caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.

Travel Activities


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the rural charm of Ninh Binh is to rent a bicycle and venture into the countryside. Pedal along quiet roads, pass through quaint villages, and witness the local way of life up close. Marvel at the vibrant green rice fields, see water buffaloes grazing, and interact with friendly locals along the way.


Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a trek to Mua Cave. The climb consists of 500 steps, but the panoramic views from the mountaintop make it all worthwhile. From the peak, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of Tam Coc's karst landscape, with snaking rivers winding through the rice fields below.

Traditional boat rides

Ninh Binh is famous for its traditional boat rides, and you can experience this unique activity at both Tam Coc and Trang An. Driven by skilled local boatmen, the rowing boats meander through narrow waterways, taking you deep into the heart of Ninh Binh's natural wonders. Glide under low-hanging caves, witness the play of light and shadows, and soak in the tranquility of your surroundings.

Motorbike tours

For those seeking adventure and a taste of the off-the-beaten-path destinations in Ninh Binh, join a guided motorbike tour. Zoom along scenic roads, pass through picturesque countryside, and discover hidden temples and pagodas. These tours offer an adrenaline-filled way to explore the region while enjoying the freedom of the open road.

Best Places to Stay

Ninh Binh City

If you prefer the convenience of a city with access to amenities, restaurants, and markets, consider staying in Ninh Binh City. There are various accommodation options available, ranging from budget guesthouses to mid-range hotels. This central location provides easy access to the province's attractions.

Tam Coc

For a serene countryside experience, base yourself in Tam Coc. The area is known for its picturesque landscapes and offers a range of accommodation choices, including eco-lodges, boutique hotels, and homestays. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping, enjoy stunning views of limestone formations, and relish the tranquility of rural life.

Trang An

Another excellent option is to stay near the Trang An area. This allows you to be in close proximity to the boat tours and the mesmerizing karst landscape. Several resorts and homestays can be found in this area, offering comfortable and scenic accommodations.

Local Foods

Ninh Binh goat meat

Ninh Binh is famous for its flavorful goat meat dishes. Don't miss the chance to try dishes like goat hotpot or grilled goat skewers. The meat is tender and succulent, often infused with fragrant herbs and spices. Pair it with rice noodles and fresh herbs for an authentic local culinary experience.

Com Chay (Burned Rice)

Com Chay is a popular local specialty in Ninh Binh. It involves toasting rice until it turns crispy and golden brown. The toasted rice is then served with various toppings, such as fried tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, and sometimes meat or seafood. It's a delightful dish that combines textures and flavors, offering a unique taste of the region.

Eel vermicelli

Ninh Binh is known for its eel vermicelli soup, a signature local dish. The dish features tender eel cooked in a flavorful broth, served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and rice noodles. The combination of the delicate eel and aromatic broth creates a satisfying and delicious meal.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ninh Binh is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. You can enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about heavy rainfall. The months of March and April are particularly beautiful, as the rice paddies turn lush green, creating a stunning backdrop for your adventures.

It's advisable to avoid visiting Ninh Binh during the rainy season, which spans from May to October. During this time, the region experiences frequent rain showers and occasional storms, which can affect boat tours, make trails slippery, and limit visibility.


How do I get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi?

Ninh Binh is located approximately 100 kilometers south of Hanoi. The most convenient way to reach Ninh Binh from Hanoi is by train or bus. Trains run regularly from Hanoi's main train station, and the journey takes approximately 2-3 hours. Buses are also available and offer a more flexible schedule.

Can I visit Ninh Binh as a day trip from Hanoi?

Yes, it's possible to visit Ninh Binh on a day trip from Hanoi. However, to fully explore the attractions and enjoy the tranquility of the region, it's recommended to spend at least one night in Ninh Binh. This allows you to experience the beauty of the countryside during different times of the day and avoid rushing through the sights.

Are there English-speaking tour guides available in Ninh Binh?

Yes, there are English-speaking tour guides available in Ninh Binh. Many tour agencies, hotels, and resorts can arrange guided tours with knowledgeable guides who can enhance your experience by providing historical and cultural insights.

Are there vegetarian food options in Ninh Binh?

Yes, vegetarian food options are available in Ninh Binh. Most restaurants in tourist areas offer vegetarian dishes, and you can also find vegan-friendly options in some places. However, it's recommended to communicate your dietary preferences clearly to ensure your meals are prepared accordingly.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Ninh Binh?

Credit cards are not widely accepted in Ninh Binh, especially in smaller establishments and local markets. It's advisable to carry cash, preferably Vietnamese Dong, for most transactions. Some high-end hotels, resorts, and restaurants may accept credit cards, but it's always best to have cash on hand for convenience.

Ninh Binh is a hidden gem in Vietnam, offering a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and authentic experiences. Whether you're exploring the majestic karst landscapes, cruising along serene waterways, or indulging in local delicacies, Ninh Binh promises a memorable journey filled with charm and wonder.