Visit Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Likened to an inland Halong Bay, Ninh Binh's attraction is in its limestone karst topography.
The town itself is fairly unremarkable, but as you head further out into the countryside, there is a chance to see rural Vietnam at its best.
With rivers that snake through cave formations and farmers tending their fields with water buffaloes, the scenery around Ninh Binh is compelling. Although spectacular, Tam Coc is the most notorious of the region's caves for being a tourist trap, swamped by over-zealous vendors peddling their wares.
For this reason we avoid it and visit other equally impressive cave formations, where local guides will gently row you through a network of waterways out into lakes dwarfed by limestone mountains. Cycle along raised paths that criss-cross paddy fields. You can also visit the remains of the ancient citadel and temples at the nearby settlement of Hoa Lua, once the capital of Vietnam, as well as exploring the Cuc Phuong National Park.
Within a two hour drive of Hanoi it is possible to visit Ninh Binh as a day trip, but we would encourage you to stay a night or two to unearth this intriguing and charming area.
Suggested itineraries featuring Ninh Binh
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Ninh Binh, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Ninh Binh
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Ninh Binh
- Hanoi 89 kilometers away
- Mai Chau 103 kilometers away
- Ky Son 115 kilometers away
- Halong Bay 139 kilometers away
- Mu Cang Chai 256 kilometers away
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park 296 kilometers away
- Ha Giang 305 kilometers away
- Sapa & the Tonkinese Alps 324 kilometers away
- Lao Cai 326 kilometers away
- Dien Bien Phu 333 kilometers away
- Northwest Vietnam 333 kilometers away
- Hue 454 kilometers away
- Bach Ma National Park 479 kilometers away
Photos of Ninh Binh
Accommodation choices for Ninh Binh
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Ninh Binh. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Given the lack of very good accommodation in an area where tourists rarely venture, the Emeralda is a fabulous addition.
Tam Coc Garden is a charming boutique resort tucked away from it all and surrounded by rice paddies and towering limestone peaks. The quiet peaceful resort is made up of 8 bungalows for a total of 16 modest but comfortable and characterful rooms built with traditional materials such as bamboo, stone, wood and pottery.
Ideas for experiencing Ninh Binh
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Ninh Binh, and which use the best local guides.
Explore the area of rural landscape of Bai Dinh by bicycle and boat. See pagodas, visit a local village and have lunch and end your trip on board a traditional sampan to the But Cave complex.