How many days to spend in Ninh Binh?

Ninh Binh has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers who visit North Vietnam. It is not famous like Halong Bay but it is worth visiting besides Halong Bay. So How many days you should spend in Ninh Binh?

The answer to the question “ How many days in Ninh Binh” depends on the time budget you have and the places you wish to visit in Ninh Binh. There are several places to visit in Ninh Binh like Tam Coc, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bich Dong Pagoda, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Hang Mua Peak, Thung Nham Bird Garden, Phat Diem Stone Church, Cuc Phuong National Park, Van Long, Kenh Ga...

How many days should I spend in Ninh Binh?

It depends on what type of activities you like and you may choose for you the best places and it depends on how many days you have. There are some places where you will do the same activity as in Tam Coc, Trang An, and Van Long you will take a boat trip so you should visit one of them only. There are some pagodas so in your itinerary you should visit one of them and that is ideal.

1. How many days should I spend in Ninh Binh?

In general, 2 days is ideal to visit the highlights of Ninh Binh. If you do not have time, one day tour will be fine and below we will give you the best things to do with 2 days and the best things to do with 1 day trip.

1.1. One Day to Visit Ninh Binh - What to visit?

If your time is limited when you need to spend your time on other destinations in Vietnam and you only can spend one day for Ninh Binh. We suggest you can choose one of the day tours as below.

Hoa Lu  - Tam Coc Day Tour

On this tour, you will visit Hoa Lu – The ancient capital of Vietnam from a thousand years ago and take a boat trip to Tam Coc along the Ngo Dong River. You will know more about the history of Vietnam and enjoy seeing the natural beauty of Tam Coc – Dry Halong Bay.

Hoa Lu – The ancient capital of Vietnam

Bai Dinh – Trang An Day Tour

On this tour, you will visit one of the biggest pagodas in Vietnam and get to know more about Buddhism in Vietnam. You also take a boat trip to Trang An and enjoy seeing the beauty of limestone mountains and the rivers in this area.  

Trang An Complex

1.2. Two Days to visit  Ninh Binh -  What to visit?

2 days are ideal for visiting Ninh Binh as it is not rushed and you can combine different activities and you will have an interesting trip in Ninh Binh. You will save some hours for transfer also because if you visit Ninh Binh you will need at least 4 to 5 hours for transfer from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and back to Hanoi so if you visit Ninh Binh in 2 days you will only need that duration for transfer and you can spend more time for doing tours.

Bai Dinh Pagoda sightseeing (brunetteatsunset)

Visiting 2 days in Ninh Binh, you can visit about 6 to 7 destinations depending on your interests.

Below is an itinerary suggested by experts of Incredible Asia Journeys. If you do not like any activities in this itinerary and it is easy to change with other activities.

Day 1: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Cycling - Thung Nham Bird Park

On the first day, you can visit 3 places adding more to a short cycling trip. You can start from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and it takes about 2 hours to drive to Ninh Binh. If you start from Hanoi around 7.30 to 8.00 AM then you will be in Ninh Binh around 10.00 AM.

Hoa Lu Ancient Captial

Hoa Lu is the ancient capital of Vietnam. It was the capital for the Dinh and Le dynasties from 1000 years ago. It was founded by Dinh Bo Linh in the 10th century and Dinh Bo Linh was the first emperor of Vietnam.

The sparkling ancient town of Hoa Lu

Tam Coc is located 14 km from Ninh Binh Town. Now, it is not the capital anymore as from 1010 it was moved from there to Hanoi and now Hanoi is still the capital of Vietnam. In Hoa Lu now, you can visit Dinh and Le Temples where we worship Dinh and Le dynasties. 1000 years ago the royal palace of the Dinh Dynasty was built there and now you still can see the remains of this palace. The ruined palace building under group 3 meters is still there and travellers still can see the old items used to build that palace by the royal family. That is an interesting place to visit and that is a live – museum. 

Tam Coc Boat Trip

Tam Coc means 3 caves because you will visit 3 tunnel caves there. Tam Coc is located about 6 km from Ninh Binh. Travelers to Tam Coc can take a boat trip on Ngo Dong River to enjoy the sightseeing of this area. Along the river are many karst mountains and small rice farms. You may see the mountain goats climbing on the rocks or storks flying around in the blue sky.

Boat trip in Trang An (brunetteatsunset)

In the rice season, that is ideal to take photos of this area. Everyone will become a professional photographer just with a normal camera or a phone. On the way, you can talk with the boat rower and the boat rower is happy to support you and talk to you.

Cycling around Tam Coc Area

Cycling around Tam Coc is one of the best things to do in Ninh Binh. Beautiful areas of mountains and rural areas with fresh air always attract tourists to cycle around. The local people in Ninh Binh are very friendly so on the way you also can talk to them and they are happy to talk to you even they cannot speak much English. You can cycle inside the village and to the farm and back to your hotel or homestay. That is an interesting trip.

Cycling around Tam Coc Area

Thung Nham Bird Park

Thung Nham Bird Park is located just about 6 km from Tam Coc Dock. That is easy to get to Thung Nham Bird Park by bicycle or by car. Thung Nham is the home of different kinds of birds like storks, herons, mallards.. etc. There are 2 species in the Red Delta Book, they are phoenix and flamingo. Thung Nham is really nice places for people who love nature and eco-tourism.  

Thung Nham Bird Park

The best time to visit Thung Nham is from 5 to 6 pm or from 5 to 7 am. So you can cycle from Tam Coc to Thung Nham in the afternoon for seeing thousands of birds flying back home from other areas after one day looking for food. If you miss this afternoon then you can do it the next morning. Stay overnight in a hotel or a homestay in Tam Coc.

Day 2: Bich Dong Pagoda – Trang An Boat Trip

After a night in Tam Coc, you can get up early to see local life in Tam Coc. That is amazing as you can see the real life of Vietnamese in a rural area.

Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda is a pagoda in a quiet village. That is a very typical pagoda in North Vietnam as it leans to the mountains and looks to a valley with a nice lake or river. The pagoda has a very good location and the monks in the past had to spend time for looking a good location for meditation. 

To visit Bich Dong Pagoda, you can go cycling from your hotel in Tam Coc for about 30 minutes. There are lower pagoda, middle pagoda, and upper pagoda. To visit all of them you will need to climb to the middle of the mountains to visit the upper pagoda in a karst cave. It is a quiet and beautiful area. 

Please note to wear long pants when you visit Bich Dong Pagoda.

Come to Bich Dong Pagoda on Summer to see the lotus blooming

Trang An Boat Trip

After visiting Bich Dong Pagoda, you can take the transfer to Trang An Dock where you take a boat trip to visit Trang An. The boat trip in Trang An will take about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the caves we can visit on that day. It depends on the level of water so you can visit more caves or fewer caves because there are some caves you cannot visit when the water level is too low or too high. The local people will row the boat and they are very friendly. They do not row the boat every day because normally they work on farm and they only work as a rower some days per month in turn. 

After the Trang An Boat Trip, you can go back to Hanoi and spend 2 days in Ninh Binh.

We hope that the information above is useful for you when you want to know how many days is ideal for Ninh Binh. 

Yes, 2 days are the best but you may spend more days in Ninh Binh if you really love the countryside of Vietnam.

Hang Mua Peak

If you visit Ninh Binh in from March to early June then we suggest including Hang Mua Peak to your trip and you are in good health. 

To get on the top of Hang Mua Peak, you need to climb about 500 steps and it takes about more than 20 minutes. That is steep so make sure that you are in good health condition and there is no problem with health. 

View from Mua Peak

That is hard to do hiking there but the result is excellent as there is a beautiful view of Ninh Binh and Tam Coc in front of you. The rice season of Tam Coc from May to early June is very beautiful and that is the best place to Check-In.

So Hang Mua Peak can be an option for you if you are at the right time, in good health condition and you are interested.

See more information in a day tour to Hang Mua, Hoa Lu and Tam Coc.

2. The best time to visit Ninh Binh

After knowing how many days to spend in Ninh Binh, you may wonder when is the best time to visit Ninh Binh. 

The best time to visit Ninh is from May to the beginning of June and from September to October. That is the time when the sky is blue and the rice is ripened. That is a good time to visit Ninh Binh. You can take many nice photos of green and yellow rice fields. Please note that from May to June will be hot in North Vietnam. The temperature outside is about more than 30℃.

Hoa Lu Ancient Town (brunetteatsunset)

September to October will be cool so this time is a good time for visiting Ninh Binh. However, there is only 1 rice crop for Tam Coc boat tour so if you visit Tam Coc from September to October then there is no nice along the river.

May to early June Tam Coc is the most beautiful in photos because local people grow rice along the river.

See the best time to visit Tam Coc for more information.

If you cannot visit Ninh Binh in the months above, then you can visit Ninh Binh in March to April and from July to August and there is still a green rice field. This time, the weather is cooler so that is ideal for travellers who do not wish the hot weather.

See more: Ninh Binh Weather & Temperature: All You Need to Know

3. How to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

There are different ways to visit Ninh Binh. You can travel by train, taxi, motorbike, local bus, limousine bus, tour bus or by private car.

Among those ways, we suggest traveling by a tour bus or a private car as a tour bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotels so that is very convenient.

If you do not have much and you do a day tour to Ninh Binh so a tour bus is ideal for you as you can save time for transfer and waiting and you can maximize the sightseeing time when your guide will arrange everything for you.

Bich Dong Pagoda Exploration

Of course, a private car with a private guide is the best if you are a big group or your budget for your trip is high because a private tour will cost more than a group tour. This is also the best when you travel with a family with kids. Your guide will arrange everything for you and you do not have to worry much about scams or waiting time to look for services you are not familiar with.

Now we hope that you have an idea of how long to spend in Ninh Binh. So with 2 days suggested by our expert then where to stay overnight in Ninh Binh?

See more: How to travel from Hanoi to Tam Coc?

4. See the best hotels and homestay to stay in Ninh Binh

4.1. Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh is a 5 star resort in Ninh Binh. Located in Van Long Nature Reserve with a garden around the luxury rooms. There are different buildings in Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh and it is like a village in the country of Vietnam. There are 3 swimming pools and 2 restaurants, Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh is the most luxury accommodation to stay in Ninh Binh.

4.2. Ninh Binh Legend Hotel

Ninh Binh Legend Hotel is located in a new area of Ninh Binh City. It is a 4-star hotel with a lot of rooms. That is the best hotel for big groups with deluxe services.

4.3. Ninh Binh Hidden Charm

Located in the Tam Coc area, Ninh Binh Hidden Charm is one of the best options for travelers to travel to Ninh Binh and Tam Coc. You can walk for some minutes to go to Tam Coc Dock and it is close to the villages around Tam Coc so you can walk around or cycle around.

With a friendly atmosphere and charming decoration, Ninh Binh Hidden Charm provides excellent services for travelers with high budgets.

4.4. La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay

La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay

La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay is a 2-star homestay in Tam Coc. With a good location and friendly staff, La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay is one of the best options for tight-budget travelers. With the location in Tam Coc so travellers may get to the restaurants and go shopping easily around in the villages. There is a bicycle rental service also in the homestay.

See more: Where to stay in Ninh Binh

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