If you’re looking for an exciting and memorable day trip, look no further than Ninh Binh. Located in northern Vietnam, this stunning destination is packed full of breathtaking natural beauty and fascinating cultural attractions. From exploring limestone mountains to discovering ancient temples, a Ninh Binh day trip has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover or history enthusiast, there’s plenty to see and do here that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime!

I. Departure from Hanoi

Ninh Binh City is about 100 kilometers south of Hanoi or nearly two hours by car. Traveling to Ninh Binh involves a variety of transportation options, each with its own set of pros and cons.

1. Rail

Ticket: 90.000 – 170.000 VND

By rail, you can enjoy scenic countryside views from the comfort of a train car without having to worry about heavy traffic or navigating unfamiliar roads. However, traveling by train is relatively slow compared to other forms of transport and may take longer than expected.

2. Motorcycle

Motorcycles offer a great deal of flexibility and allow riders to explore the countryside while avoiding traffic jams and crowded roads. Motorcycling can be dangerous in Vietnam, though, so it is recommended that you have some experience before attempting this option.

3. Public bus

Ticket: 100.000 VND

Public buses are cheap and convenient, but they tend to be overcrowded and may take longer than expected due to frequent stops.

4. Private minivan

Ticket: 150.000 VND

Usually, tourists should take private minivans – Limousine due to its relatively high comfort level and affordability.  Additionally, this transportation method is relatively safe given its low cost and relatively short travel time.

II. When is the best time to visit for a day trip to Ninh Binh?

Ninh Binh rains a lot from May to September; and has cold dry winter from November last year to March-April. So some good times for you to travel are:

1. Spring

If you’re looking for a slightly cooler temperature, spring is perfect with temperatures ranging from mid-20s Celsius during the day to low-teens at night. While it can be humid during months, that means it’s also the optimal season for freshwater steaming. From January to March of the lunar calendar every year is the festival season. During this season, colorful umbrellas dot the paddy fields as joyous local musicians take part in traditional folk dances.

2. Summer

The end of May and the beginning of June is the ripe rice season. In the summertime, you can marvel at the romantic sight of lush green hills embracing yellow-golden paddies under bright blue skies. Not to mention the delicious Vietnamese food unique to this region which should definitely be sampled!

III. Favorite destinations for Ninh Binh day trip

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1. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex

  • Location: Trang An, Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 06:15 AM to 17:00 PM
  • Ticket:

Boat: 250.000 per Adult, 120.000 per Child

– Private boat ticket (survey, music video, filming…): 1.250.000 VND per Boat (The boat goes to places on request, no need to follow the usual route)

– Single 2-hour Kayak: 250.000 VND per Boat

For the ultimate day trip, take a boat ride through the Trang An Landscape Complex, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2014. This stunning complex of peaks, caves, temples, and pagodas. As you cruise through these majestic waterways, admire the striking peaks rising on either side with their picturesque rice fields and dense bamboo groves. During the ride, keep your eyes peeled to spot ancient temples dedicated to local gods and spirits. With more than 20 zones to visit and explore, you can bask in the grandeur of it all knowing that part of the Kong: Skull Island was filmed at Trang An. Once you’ve experienced Trang An’s natural beauty for yourself, you will certainly understand why it has been nominated as one of Vietnam’s Seven Wonders.

2. Mua Caves

  • Location: Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province
  • Opening hours: 06:00 AM to 19:00 PM
  • Ticket: 100.000 per Adult/ Children under 10 years old: Free

Hang Mua is a unique attraction composed of 439 steps that will lead you to the top of Mua mountain, offering a spectacular view of the remarkable region. Hang Mua provides an interesting sightseeing experience with its many statues and temples throughout the climb. Once you reach the Mua Caves viewpoint you’ll be treated to a 360-degree viewpoint of karst limestone cliffs stretching off into the distance alongside the Red River Delta and greenery below. The Hang Mua caves offer an exciting adventure for nature lovers and curious travelers alike.

3. Bai Dinh Pagoda

  • Location: Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 06:00 AM to 21:00 PM
  • Ticket:

– Electrical car: 60.000 per Person

– Tickets to visit the Stupa: 50.000 VND per Person

– Tour guide: 300.000 VND per Tour

The Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the largest and most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam. The large complex on the side of a mountain encompasses an area five times larger than the Forbidden City in Beijing, making it the biggest pagoda in Vietnam. The complex houses a number of temples, courtyards, pavilions, and even several lakes. The pagoda also holds many historical Buddhist artifacts including 500 statues of Buddha, most notably a 15-meter bronze structure of The Manifestation Buddha sitting on a lotus throne. The unique beauty of Bai Dinh Pagoda has become an attraction for visitors from all around the world.

4. Hoa Lu ancient capital

  • Location: Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 07:00 AM to 17:00 PM
  • Ticket: 20.000 per Adult, 10.000 per Child

Hoa Lu, a small district on the northeast coast of Vietnam, is home to the ancient capital of the Dinh Dynasty (980-1009 CE). A remnant of this era still stands today – two temples dedicated to the first and second emperors of this ruling family. These ornate structures are an awe-inspiring attraction for visitors, with their stone courtyards and intricate stone carvings that transport viewers back in time.

5. Tam Coc – Bich Dong

  • Location: Ngu Nhac Son Mountains, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 08:30 AM – 18:30 PM
  • Ticket:

– Sightseeing tickets: 120.000 per Adult, 60.000 per Child (under 1.4m tall)

– Ferry ticket: 150,000 VND per Boat

Tam Coc – Bich Dong is a stunning Ha Long Bay on Land located in Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. It is renowned for its beautiful scenery of limestone karst peaks and rivers lined with rice paddies. You can explore the area by taking a boat ride along the Ngo Dong River, passing through three caves surrounded by lush greenery. Along the river, you will also get to enjoy views of the paddy fields and limestone cliffs before eventually reaching Bich Dong Pagoda located at the top of a nearby mountain. You can explore this area further with trekking and cycling activities for an unforgettable experience.

6. Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone

  • Location: Thung Nham eco-tourism area, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 07:00 AM to 18:00 PM
  • Ticket: 100.000 per Adult, 10.000 per Child from 6-15 years old

Thung Nham is an important ecotourism zone located in Ninh Binh province of Vietnam. It’s renowned for its incredible limestone mountains, lush forests, and fascinating bird sanctuary. You can take a boat ride to explore the bird park and observe the bird species in their natural habitat. The area is especially beautiful during the season when wildflowers are in full bloom, providing a stunning backdrop to the bird park.

7. Cuc Phuong National Park

  • Location: Cuc Phuong Commune, Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh Province
  • Opening hours: 09:30 AM to 16:30 PM
  • Ticket: 100.000 per Person

Cuc Phuong National Park boasts a wide range of attractions for travelers. The park is home to over 2,000 species of flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. There are numerous trails and caves that can be explored, including the famous 1000-year-old tree, the oldest in Vietnam. You can also enjoy a variety of activities such as bird watching, trekking, and cycling. Additionally, the park offers guided tours that provide insight into the conservation efforts taking place in the region. With its beautiful landscapes and abundance of wildlife, Cuc Phuong National Park is a must-visit destination for any traveller seeking to explore Vietnam’s natural beauty.

The natural beauty of the area combined with its rich history and culture make it an ideal destination for anyone looking for a unique experience in Vietnam. We would highly recommend visiting this beautiful region if you’re ever in the area! It’s definitely worth adding to your itinerary when planning your next vacation or getaway. From breathtaking limestone karsts to ancient temples, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Pack up your bags and head out on an unforgettable adventure at Ninh Binh!

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