Ninh Binh Buffalo Boy
Ninh Binh Karsts
Ninh Binh Boatwoman
Ninh Binh Tam Coc

NINH BINH

  • Beautiful karsts among the rice paddies
  • Rural Vietnamese life at its best
  • River boat trips and cycle rides
Ninh Binh Hotels
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Ninh Binh probably won't be near the top of many people's wishlist for Vietnam, but we absolutely love it (the province, rather than the capital of the same name). Readily accessible from Hanoi, it is all about charming rural Vietnamese countryside, with limestone karst rocky outcrops surrounded by meandering rivers among the ricefields.

It isn't so much about "doing" in this area, more about just being there - a chance to see and experience a very peaceful rural Vietnam. Plenty of people just take a day trip from Hanoi, but you won't experience the tranquillity of the area if you don't spend a night or two here - and the area has one of our favourite hotels in an incredibly peaceful location.

What to see, what to do?
The Tam Coc river trip to visit the three caves is really beautiful, but can be a bit of a tourist trap - do the boat trip early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the Hanoi day trippers and minimise the hassle.

A boat trip in the Vanh Long wetlands is a less touristy alternative, not as spectacular but always more peaceful. Both of these areas are great for just meandering around on a bicycle.

The Cuc Phuong National Park is Vietnam's oldest and biggest park, and has an interesting Primate rescue center, and turtle conservation center. For a hike, you can hire an English speaking guide and get off the beaten track.

When To Come:
November - March
April/May, September/October
June-August More info
The rainiest months in Ninh Binh are between July and October, and it can be vulnerable to typhoons in September and October - but the rice paddies and rivers here can look their best in the rain...

We Love:
Bicycling around Vanh long with the kids in tow, enjoying watching the buffaloes wading and the Vietnamese at work and play- some of the most genuinely friendly people you'll meet in this country.