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
Rainy season: May-October (hot and humid) | Dry season: November-April (cooler and drier)
Vietnamese; English is not widely spoken
Vietnamese dong (VND)
US citizens will need a valid visa before departing the States – Apply online in advance
Ninh Binh is located about 2 hours south of Hanoi in northern Vietnam.
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.
Explore the Rice Fields
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.
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