1.0 About Ninh Binh
The provincial capital Ninh Binh can be disappointing at first sight, because of the busy and dusty city center, but when you take a look to the west, everything is forgiven. Thousands of steep limestone mountains define the image and that, in combination with historical and architectural sights, Ninh Binh is the perfect opportunity for a day out.
Ninh Binh’s surroundings, like Tam Coc, are also known as ‘Halong Bay at land’ where you can make beautiful walks through the hills. It is an amazing experience to get on a rowing boat tour and sail over the water. You pass an breathtaking environment, including limestone caves!
One of the oldest capitals, Hoa Lu, is hidden in these hills and is represented by two dark dynastic temples where a mysterious atmosphere hangs. Furthermore there are several small surrounding villages, different pagodas and the largest Buddhist complex of Vietnam: Bai Dinh Pagoda. The size is enormous and is definitely worth a visit. Everything in the area can be visited in a day, but travel by car or motorcycle.
In the east, between the rice fields and a stone cathedral, interesting Western and Eastern architecture can be found, in a village where shepherds still live in an active Catholic community. To the west we find Cuc Phuong, a place where a National Park is located where ancient trees can be seen.
How to get there?
The train station of Ninh Binh is behind the bus station. You can take the train from the south and north. Prices vary per train and seat. Hanoi - Ninh Binh: takes around 3 hours.
Close to the train station is the bus station. The bus from Hanoi’s south bus station (Giap Bat) takes around 2 hours. Buses leave every 15 minutes and cost around 70,000 VND. Some charge baggage fee.
Cat Ba - Ninh Binh: Express has Luxury Vans that cost around 14 USD. Two buses per day at 07:30 and 15:00 and takes about 4,5 hours. Email them or go to the website. email@example.com http://catbaexpress.com/
A taxi from Hanoi costs around 70 USD and takes around 3 hours.
How long to stay?
1 - 2 days