October 8, 2018

A Travel Guide to Visiting Ninh Binh, Vietnam

A Travel Guide for Visiting Ninh Binh in Vietnam


Below I’m sharing my complete travel guide for Ninh Binh, Vietnam:

The Ninh Binh province is the most beautiful place I visited in Vietnam! The days I spent traveling through this rural part of the country were some of the most peaceful and serene. From its limestone mountains, expansive caves, and secret river ways, Ninh Binh offers such a magical escape away from the bustling city of Hanoi.

I spent a few days here staying in a local homestay, riding a bike between neighboring towns, exploring mountaintops, and eating all the fried noodles.

Visiting Ninh Binh, Vietnam | Travel Guide Overview:

When to Visit Vietnam

Off-seasons: April-May & October-November

Weather

Rainy season: May-October (hot and humid) | Dry season: November-April (cooler and drier)

Language

Vietnamese; English is not widely spoken

Currency

Vietnamese dong (VND)

Visa

US citizens will need a valid visa before departing the States – Apply online in advance


Location

Ninh Binh is located about 2 hours south of Hanoi in northern Vietnam.

Getting There

The best way to visit to this rural place in Vietnam is to travel by train from Hanoi. Because I had flown into Hanoi, I spent a night in the city before taking a train down to Ninh Binh, where I opted to stay a few days. But Ninh Binh could also be seen in a day-trip from Hanoi.

The train I took was with Vietnam Railways. You can also view their schedules and book tickets online ahead of time here.



Where to Stay in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

I stayed at a local homestay I found on AirBnb – Ninh Binh Mountain Side Homestay. The family I stayed with provided free breakfast from their restaurant and a free bike rental to get around during my stay.

The majority of accommodation options in Ninh Binh are homestays and hotels. There’s also a few hostel options are available, but not many.


What to Do

Hike the Hang Mua Caves at Sunrise

This was by far my favorite place I visited in Vietnam. I also think that the best way to experience this hike (and beat the crowds and the mid-day heat) is to hike at sunrise. So I got up at 5:00am for this.

It’s a 500-step climb up the mountain and once you reach the top, you get to experience the most breath-taking views of rural Vietnam – The caves, limestone mountains, and rice fields.

A sign at the entrance of the hike up the Hang Mua Caves - in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
Sunrise views from the top on Hang Mua Caves in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Exploring the top of Hang Mua caves at sunrise - one of the most beautiful places in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
Exploring the top of Hang Mua caves at sunrise - one of the most beautiful places in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
Exploring the top of Hang Mua caves at sunrise - one of the most beautiful places in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.


Explore the Rice Fields

Visiting the rice fields in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Try Egg Coffee

I visited this adorable coffee shop in town called Brick Coffee, and I had heard that a must-try in Vietnam is egg coffee, so I opted to try it here. (It’s delicious!)



Getting Around Ninh Binh

Because this rural part in Vietnam is mostly flat, aside from the mountains, travel by bike is very easy – I relied on my free bike rental from my accommodation to get around during my visit. And I got myself to the Hang Mua Caves and rode into neighboring towns this way.

Vietnam also has a car hire service called Grab (similar to Uber or Lyft in the States) which makes travel in the country easy. So I used this app to get to and from the airport and the train station.

Visiting the rice fields in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
A local cafe I found while biking between towns in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.


EXPLORE MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES


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A Travel Guide to Visiting Ninh Binh - One of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.
A Travel Guide to Visiting Ninh Binh - One of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.
A Travel Guide to Visiting Ninh Binh - One of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.

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