Hello everyone, todays post is about the wonderfully peaceful Ninh Binh in Vietnam.
I recently just got back form an extended weekend there and i think that two nights is the perfect amount of time to spend there in this area of Vietnam.
Ninh Binh is very different to Hanoi in the respect that there isn’t as much to do just ready available for you on the streets. The food options are limited and nothing stays open too late.
So what should you do in Ninh Binh?
First up, grab yourself accommodation in either Ninh Binh itself or Tam Coc, we stayed in Loc Xuan guesthouse Ninh Binh itself , that weirdly all the rooms had at least two or even three beds in. Strange. That being said it was £10 per room per night so no need to complain over price! Especially if you put three in each room.
Next , hire bikes from your hotel. Don’t do what we did which was go by the newest blog post we could find who told us they were 100,000vnd dong and decide we would go find our own cheaper when the lady at the hotel said 160,000 .It’s not fun when you have to hang your head in shame and go back after sweating in the heat to take her up on her first option.
So you’ve put your bags down and got a bike, What Next?
If you arrive with enough time before sunset i suggest you go to the MUA Caves Viewpoint and watch the sun begin to step. Here there are 500 steps up the side of limestone cliffs/mountains to show the most beautiful view of Ninh Binh. (Or so i’ve heard, if you haven’t already read my post to explain why i only made it to step 165)
The caves are very easy to get to on bike and takes around 10-15minutes from the Loc Xuan Guesthouse.
I also recommend you wake up early the next day and head to Trang An, this was perhaps the highlight of our trip. Here you will need to pay 200,000vnd for your ticket and join what looks like the most chaotic disneyland ride queue ever. However, it was only 45 minutes wait right from the back on a public holiday when even the locals were out to go around Trang An. Warning, tread carefully when getting onto the boat they are not sturdy and you may or may not fall over!
All that aside, this is where the true beauty of Ninh Binh becomes apparent. A two hour journey around Trang An, in a little paddle boat is mesmerising, ducking through caves and exploring the Kong- Skull island set. I was fascinated. It became apparent why they call Ninh Binh the Halong bay on land. It was wonderful. There are even pagoda’s you can stop at throughout the journey, and keep an eye out for birds amongst the trees.
Next up, head to Tam Coc. Tam Coc has pretty much the same to offer you in terms of boat tours but with more places around for you to drive to on bike and eat at. Save yourself the time though, don’t eat at Lion King restaurant. The food is below poor. Just wait until you’re back in Ninh Bin and at Chookies.
Head to Bich Dong Pagoda and spend time there, its a short scooter ride to here and worth every second. There are more steps for you to climb, temples and a place for you to sit and have a drink at. After that i suggest you take time to simply ride around this area on your hired scooter which yes, in Tam Coc you can get them for 100,000vnd and just admire the beautiful landscapes you can go through.
Perhaps one of the best things about Ninh Binh is that this is a place you can go to to switch off, to be tranquil and still at. So embrace that.
Thanks for reading,