Travelling Ninh Binh: The Most Beautiful Place in Vietnam?

by - May 12, 2019

When I used to think of myself living in Vietnam, I thought I would be living here, in the midst of a rice field in Ninh Binh petting my buffalo as I walked to work. Wrong. So wrong. Instead I have to travel (only a few hundred miles...) to find these breathtaking views from my apartment in the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.

Ninh Binh gives you all those quintessential Vietnam vibes you've dreamt about. This is where you get to see the true beauty of Vietnam for miles upon miles. Ninh Binh just can't be beat, simple as that. So whenever someone asks me what my favourite place in Vietnam is, this is my answer.

That being said, I am about to convince you Ninh Binh is your favourite as well...

How to Get There...

It's pretty easy and straight forward if you're already in Hanoi. Hop on one of the many buses that leaves daily. One word of advice is to book your transportation to Ninh Binh City while you're in Hanoi. Booking online only seems to be more expensive and with so many buses going to and from, your bound to find a better deal just by asking the concierge at your hotel, guesthouse or hostel to help you out. 

Remember: this is Vietnam, there is always a way to get somewhere no matter what. Trust me, we sat on plastic stools (the ones they expect you to sit on while eating pho) in the middle of a packed coach bus for an hour. Fun times, fun times. Needless to say, our squat game was not that strong, so we got off and took the public bus to Ninh Binh from Hải Phòng. And Vietnamese people don't even take the public bus.

Where to Stay...

Stay in Tam Coc Village. When people say "go to Ninh Binh" they really mean you're going to be dropped off in Ninh Binh City, but you want to stay in Tam Coc Village. Tam Coc Village has beautiful and affordable homestays, guesthouses and dorms right in the middle of the rice fields. Isn't that what you came for anyways?

We stayed at the Tam Coc Friendly Homestay and couldn't have asked for anything better. The staff were absolutely lovely and extremely helpful. They had bicycle and motorbike rentals, as well as a tiny restaurant and that's all we needed.

What to Do...

Rent a Bike

Tam Coc itself is a sight to see. Whether you rent a bicycle or motorbike the land is for the most part flat, making it easy to get around without getting too sweaty or too exhausted. Getting lost among the small paths of the Tam Coc rice patties is the whole point of exploring this place! 

Visit the Bich Dong Pagoda

Simply gorgeous, this 15th century pagoda is a set of three temples enclosed in the mountain side. Surrounded by lily pads you must cross the narrow path to explore further. How mysterious. 

Climb Hang Mua Peak

One of the most amazing sites you'll take in, is from 500 steps above Tam Coc. Once you make it to the top and take a breather from that gnarly climb, these are some of the most stunning views you'll see in Vietnam. And congrats for making it to the top!

Eat Some Goat Meat

Ninh Binh’s cuisine offers up some delicious dishes made from, that's right, goat. Goat meat here is a specialty because the goats are fed naturally on the limestone mountains making it more delectable than other areas of Vietnam.

Take a Boat Ride Through Trang An

Known for its scenic water ways, floating along the Sao Khe River through indescribable caves and past beautiful towering limestone pillars is an unforgettable experience. 

Boat trips from Trang An usually last about 2 hours, which makes it an easy visit for the day.

Relax at Chookie's Beer Garden

An absolute fave. This is the spot to grab a beer, a burger or smoothy, all while overlooking the gorgeousness of Tam Coc. They also have some delicious vegetarian and vegan options!

The nightlife scene in Ninh Binh is minimal, but this is a good spot to chill if you're looking for something to do in the evenings.

Photo From TripAdvisor
Photo From TripAdvisor

Visit Southeast Asia's Largest Buddhist Complex

Consisting of several temples and over 500 intricately carved statues of Buddha, the Bai Dinh Pagoda is definitely a place to see for temple lovers. Quite far from Tam Coc and Ninh Binh this Buddhist complex offers more breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

So, have I convinced you, you need to visit Ninh Binh's Tam Coc?

If you have any questions you can also find me on Instagram at @AlyshiaTurchyn! You should definitely reach out, there's nothing more I'd love than to help you plan your next stop in Ninh Binh!

Looking for a place to stay in Ninh Binh? Checkout all your accommodation options here!

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