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Below are some Ninh Binh Itinerarires for 2 days
1. Detailed activities for 2 days in Ninh Binh
1.1. Day 1 – Ninh Binh of historical and cultural values
Wake up and be ready for your journey! You don’t want to miss a trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site – Trang An Landscape Complex, right?
Normally, 8:00 will be an ideal time to start your journey from the present capital Hanoi to the old one Ninh Binh. It takes about 2 hours to get there.
If you still doubt about it’s worth visiting Ninh Binh or not, you can check out our tour package.
We can check the map here before starting your trip
Morning: Bai Dinh pagoda
At 10:00, we arrive at Bai Dinh pagoda, which owns the most records in Vietnam: the biggest gold-inlaid bronze Buddha statue in Asia, the longest Arhat hallway in Asia, the biggest bronze Maitreya statue in Asia,the largest pagoda in South East Asia….
Bai Dinh pagoda - the construction owning the most records in Vietnam
Being a huge religious complex (539 ha), Bai Dinh compound includes 107 ha of new and old Buddhist temples and cultural park, Buddhist academy,… With this large area, people often visit the whole place by electrical car. We can also take a walk around and then enjoy the natural view more.
After 2 hours wandering around, you seem hungry, right? Around Trang An Landscape Complex, there are many restaurants serving delicious foods like fried rice, vermicelli with eels, mountainous shellfish… I believe your stomach will be fulfilled by these engaging dishes.
Afternoon: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – Trang An Ecological Complex
Destination 1: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital - the first capital in Vietnamese feudatory era
Chosen to be the first capital in Vietnamese feudatory era, Hoa Lu is definitely attached to many historical stories of 3 dynasties Dinh, Le, Ly.
Before, Hoa Lu was a splendid palace, covering by majestic mountainous area, meandering Hoang Long river and immense Nho Quan, Gia Vien rice fields. All of these makes Hoa Lu to be a perfect military basement and got notice of the first King Dinh Tien Hoang.
Listening to the stories from locals and you will know more about Vietnamese history. One hour is a recommended time for this place.
Destination 2: Trang An Ecological Complex
With the huge area (2168 ha), Trang An is totally a dreamland of tourists that make us surprise by majestic, picturesque landscape. Containing globally eminent values, Trang An deserves to get recognized as World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO.
Trang An - Halong Bay on land
A series of temples interspersed with wonderful caves will lead us to the world of spectacular beauty. Be prepare to overwhelmed by pristine liveliness of caves like Hang Sang, Hang Toi… and unique architecture about 1000 years ago such as Tran temple, Trinh temple…
About 3-4 hours is a reasonable time to visit all magnificent creations in Trang An.
It’s already dark right now. Take a rest near Bai Dinh pagoda and enjoy peaceful, serene atmosphere in the countryside Ninh Binh.
1.2. Day 2 – Ninh Binh, a precious gift of nature
So excited to continue your journey? No need to wait because we will let the trip begin right now.
Morning: Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Thung Nham Bird Park, Hang Mua
Destination 1: Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Tam Coc, which means 3 caves, is formed by Ngo Dong river going through 3 parts of mountain chain. Rowing inside these caves, we will see stalactites hanging down in various shape, as a precious gift which nature gives us. Some parts of these caves, stalactites hanging down so far, so we need to bow our head a little not to hit it.
Picturesque landscape in Tam Coc
Bich Dong pagoda, is an ancient architectural construction in Vietnam, typical with wooden pillars, curved rooftops similar to soft, flexible phoenix tails. The construction is divided into 3 different pagodas, worshipping many deities
Floating on Ngo Dong river to contemplate Tam Coc in 2.5 hours and see the historical architecture In Bich Dong pagoda seems appropriate to us.
Destination 2: Thung Nang
We are easily fascinated by pristine, tranquil beauty of Thung Nang, of an immense lake reflecting prolific trees around majestic mountains. Just exactly the name people called Thung Nang (Sun area), the sun illuminate everywhere, down to leaves, reflecting to lake surface, creating colorful, magnificent landscape to us.
Floating on the lake in Thung Nang
Noticing some birds flying or landing on boughs, we will see the liveliness, diversity of this wonderful destination. One hour floating on the river seems another great experience, right?
Destination 3: Hang Mua
Testing your flexibility by climbing 486 stone stairs to Mua mountain, we will see the picturesque view of Tam Coc – Bich Dong area, especially on rice paddy season. Don’t miss a chance to contemplate the small version of Great Wall.
Hang Mua - small version of Great Wall
Maybe it takes 1.5 hours to climb to the top of the mountain and back to the ground. Prepare sunglasses, hats and wear sunscreen in case a sunny day
Tired after long time walking? Local foods will never let you down to boost up your energy.
Afternoon: Van Long Nature Reserve
Being the largest drowning natural reserve in North Vietnam, Van Long Natural Reserve is a unique and diverse ecosystem, a shelter for a wide variety of rare plants and animals.
Van Long - a huge mirror reflecting the sky
In Van Long, we will go into the lively life of nature, in an easy, serene scenery, explore marvelous and glorious caves and mountains
And then, we finish our 2 days in Ninh Binh tour at this point.
Ninh Binh – the authentic side of Vietnam
Before planning Ninh Binh itinerary, many people must be wondering Why Ninh Binh? and Is Ninh Binh Really Worth Visiting? Let’s discuss a little bit about these questions first. It’s to make sure that you know the destination well beforehand.
Ninh Binh is nicknamed “Halong Bay on land” and the most rural and authentic side of Vietnam ever you can find. Located about 100km to the South of Hanoi, Ninh Binh is known with charming rivers, vivid rice fields, limestone cliffs emerging from the ground. The scenery here is unaffected by human and very natural, which creates a very serene and laid-back atmosphere. Also, Ninh Binh is not crowded like other destinations, a perfect place to chill and relax.
If it’s not enough for you to decide weather to go to Ninh Binh or not, please take look at Is Ninh Binh Worth Visiting? and you may find the answers.
The pathway to Bich Dong Pagoda
Unlike Hanoi, Ninh Binh has only 2 main seasons: dry season and wet season. Dry season lasts from November to April. During dry season, the weather is mostly dry and cool. Wet season is from May to October. During this period, the weather is hot and humid and plenty of rainfall.
Additionally, the month of September is especially at risk of typhoons. However, the wet season is a great time to visit since the nature is most beautiful during this time with crystal blue sky and vivid green colour of the rice fields.
Below is the detailed description in each month:
April and May are the early harvest time. This is a great time to appreciate the ripen rice fields.
June gives a perfect opportunity to take the stunning photographs of flowers, especially lotus. June is a blooming month of flowers, especially lotus flower which is Vietnam National Flower. In fact, there’re many places to see beautiful lotus flowers but a great thing about Ninh Binh is the natural and picturesque background that makes the whole scenery more striking and stunning.
September and October are the second harvest time of the year. The scenery of Ninh Binh will be covered by the yellow color of rice fields ready for harvesting. Any travellers that book a boat tour along the Bich Dong River can get to explore the Trang An Landscape Complex – Hoa Lu Ancient Capital – Tam Coc while being surrounded by the wonderful scenery of yellow rice fields.
Limestones rising from water is the symbol of Ninh Binh
November – a trip to Ninh Binh at the end of November is likely to be relatively low on tourist traffic. It’d be much enjoyable to explore the area without the crowds. However, at this time, the rice has already been harvested, you won’t see the majestic view of yellow rice fields. Apart from this, the whole scenery still peaceful as beautiful as usual; also, and the weather is pleasant, not too hot and not too cold. In the evenings it can get a little chilly.
Is there a time to avoid?
Between December and February, there’re high chances of drizzles and isn’t appropriate for boat rides. It might not be a good idea to travel to Ninh Binh during this period. Also, after the Tet holiday (Vietnamese New Year) is not a good timing due to heavy crowds.
1 – As said, Ninh Binh is a traveler – friendly location. It’s easy to access the area and to go around and explore. Many of the local roads are wide, flat and deserted and it’s really convenient and safe for tourists to go around by motorbikes or bicycles. You can discover this place on tour own without worrying about the safety.
2 – Don’t know where to stay? The advice is stay in or around Tam Coc area since Ninh Binh town is quiet boring and doesn’t really have much going on an. Tam Coc is a tourism spot so it will be much more interesting and things to do around here.
3 – Since there’re not many ATMs in Ninh Binh, especially at tourist attractions, make sure you bring enough money that covers all the whole trip. There’re ATMs in Ninh Binh Town but it’s 7 kilometers away from Tam Coc.
4 – Ninh Binh is an authentic side of Vietnam so that when coming to Ninh Binh, you have to try the most local things here. Instead of going in big restaurants, try to have meals in the small local restaurants or a local homestay. You will likely be served the more appetizing food compared to the restaurants.
5 – The best way to travel to Ninh Binh is to use the private cars or to use the shuttle bus service from Hanoi. Typically, it takes 2 hours moving on the streets from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. For the shuttle bus, you have to move to the meeting point which is Giap Bat Station.
6 – Alternative travel options include the routes that run to Ninh Binh from several cities, including Hanoi, Dong Hoi, Danang, and Hue.
7 – A stay of at least one or two nights in Ninh Binh is certain to be worth it. 2 days would be the best to explore the whole area but 1 day is enough to explore the highlights destinations.
The research from Expedia also shows that 86% travelers see planning an itinerary boring and tired. Also, planning an itinerary is never easy, especially when you’re not the locals. There’re so many questions to answer: Where? What? When? How? and How Much? That’s why this article is made to solve your problem.
Biking in the quiet roads of Ninh Binh