[VIETNAM] 24 Hours in Ninh Binh: What to Do? Where to Stay?

Travel date: September 2019 | Solo Travel

I only had a very limited time when I went to Hanoi and on my arrival I wondered where to go: I was torn between Halong Bay and Ninh Binh. It wasn’t an easy decision. At 3AM, I have chosen to go to Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh as they say is also know as Halong Bay on Land because of its riverine landscape with limestone mountains from its paddies. Check out my photos for you not to be only satisfied with words. 😀 Well, I am not really good with write-ups, but I wanted to show you how beautiful Ninh Binh is.

How to get there: From Old Quarter, Hanoi I asked the owner of the hostel regarding Ninh Binh and she assisted me to it. She booked me in a coaster van for VND 300 000 (This is a point to point trip – Babylon Garden Hostel to For you Homestay in Trang-an). A motorbike fetched me from Babylon Garden Hostel to the meeting point.

As per the cab driver, there’s also buses from Giap Bat to Ninh Binh City, but since I thought VND 300 000 was reasonable, and the hostel owner assured me that it will drop me off my hostel, then I agreed to it.

How I went back from Ninh Binh to Hanoi: My fare from For You Homestay in Ninh Binh is lesser than from the hostel in the Old Quarter. I only paid for VND 198 000.

Where to stay in Ninh Binh: I personally stayed in For You Homestay as I read a lot of nice reviews from Booking.com. ACCOMMODATION REVIEW: Where I stayed for Php250 in Hanoi (BREAKFAST INCLUDED)?

Ninh Binh: 2-Days/1 Night Itinerary & Expenses

Ninh Binh Map/Places of Interest/KMs away from For You Homestay: In yellow line are the only places that I have visited in 24 hours but the infromation below are available from the concierge of the hostel.

Note: If this is a DIY trip, always ask the hostel/hotel ask for the Tourist Attraction Map. The locals are very helpful and most of them could speak English. Aside from these 7 toursist spots, there are still several attractions that you can visit.

  1. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – 3 kms
    • Entrance Fee: VND 20 000
    • Restaurant is available outside the temple.
  2. Hang Mua Cave – 7 kms
    • Entrance Fee: VND 100 000
    • Restaurant is available inside and outside the vicinity.
  3. Trang-an Boat Tour- 3 kms
    • Entrance Fee: VND 200 000
    • Parking Fee: VND 15 000
    • Tour is up to 3 hours
    • 9 caves
    • ATM is available.
  4. Bai Dinh – 10 kms
    • Entrance fee: VND 60 000
    • Tour is up to 3 hours by electric car.
  5. Thung Nham – 17 kms
  6. Tam Coc – 10 kms
    • Entrance Fee: VND 195 000
    • Tour is up to 1.5-2 hours
    • 3 caves
  7. Bich Dong – 13 lms
  8. Cuc Phuong – 40 kms
    • Entrance Fee: VND 60 000


I finally arrived in Ninh Binh at 4:00 PM from Hanoi. The van dropped me off somewhere and they let me ride in a a different cab and brought me to For You Homestay. FYH is still few minutes away from the city center. I checked in to the hostel and I thought of at least hitting off 1 landmark before the day ends. It was my first time driving a scooter unattended and I didn’t have a license too. I know how to drive, but my pop won’t let me. I’m just glad that at least I learned the basics of the scooter. I had a choice, but I don’t want to use a bike.  I actually had fun driving the scooter and it was very liberating. Motorbike rent is at 220k/day with full tank of gasoline, 120K without gasoline.

Vietnam Motorbike

On the following posts, I am gonna show you how beautiful these landmarks are and my adventures on my first unattended driving in Vietnam.

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