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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Ninh Binh

I returned to Vietnam to visit a place I wanted to but couldn't go before, Ninh Binh. I saw pictures online and I was immediately sold about going. I booked a flight to Hanoi from Kuala Lumpur and after staying for a couple of days, booked a bus ticket to Ninh Binh.

Travel Guide to Ninh Binh

I booked a bus ticket from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, but I didn't realize the bus would drop us off in the middle of nowhere still far from the city center. An Israeli tourist and I were the only ones that alighted. We talked and went to a nearby restaurant before going to the hostel.

After this mini mishap, I was excited to explore a new place in Vietnam. If you're planning to visit here are things to do and places to visit to include in your budget and itinerary for Ninh Binh.

Things to Do in Ninh Binh

Van Long

Van Long was my favorite destination in Ninh Binh, I liked it more than Trang An. Maybe I was just lucky that when I went very few people were there. I loved the views and still water that reflected the surrounding mountains.

Read my post: Van Long

Trang An

Trang An is a UNESCO-listed destination that looks like Ha Long Bay. If you don't have time to visit the latter, Trang An is a good alternative. The boat ride is scenic with views of the mountains, but it gets repetitive after a while.

Read my post: Trang An

Hoa Lu

Hoa Lu used to be the country's capital in the 10th and 11th centuries. When I visited I couldn't imagine it being a former capital. Another reason to visit is the views; Ninh Binh is pretty with its rice fields and mountains.

Bai Dinh

Bai Dinh is the region's largest Buddhist complex. You'll find many temples and statues dedicated to Buddhism. Many locals and tourists visit the complex to pray or just enjoy the beautiful views. It can take half a day to explore Bai Dinh.

Hang Mua

Most of the pictures you'll see online of Ninh Binh are the views in Hang Mua. So I decided to make my way here. The motorcycle ride will go through the countryside with beautiful views of the mountains and hills. From the viewpoint, you can see the river between the mountains. The walk up is short and relatively easy.

One of the things I liked about Vietnam is the coffee flavored Coke, amazing! haha.

Read my post: Hang Mua

You can visit all these places in two full days.

Where to Stay in Ninh Binh

I stayed at Go Ninh Binh Hostel's dorm room. It was affordable and listed online and had spacious common rooms. A bed in the dorm costs around VND 120000 a night.

You can find other options depending on your budget.

How to Go to Ninh Binh

There are many buses that travel between Hanoi and Ninh Binh. I suggest booking a ticket through a travel agency for a hassle-free experience. The bus will pick you up at your accommodation or a designated meeting place. The ticket is around VND 120000. Many travelers just drive to Ninh Binh on their motorcycles as well.

Getting Around Ninh Binh

Public transportation to the attractions in Ninh Binh is few and far in between. Most travelers rent a motorcycle or bicycle to explore. I opted to hire a motorcycle taxi for the day; depending on where you want to go, the cost of hiring is approximately VND 200000.

Budget for Ninh Binh

Here's an expense list for your budget and itinerary for Ninh Binh

*Everything's in Vietnamese Dong

240000 - 2 nights Go Ninh Binh Hostel
120000 - Bus to Ninh Binh
120000 - Bus to Hanoi
400000 - Food and drinks
60000 - Entrance for Bai Dinh and e-car
100000 - Ticket for Hang Mua
210000 - Motorcycle taxi to Bai Dinh and Hang Mua
80000 - Ticket and boat ride for Van Long Nature Reserve
20000 - Ticket for Hoa Lu
200000 - Boat ride for Trang An
250000 - Motorcycle taxi for Trang An, Van Long and Hoa Lu

1800000 - Total for 3 days and 2 nights

I included Ninh Binh during a return trip to Hanoi.

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