Things to Do in Ninh Binh, Vietnam: Rolling Hills, Buddhist Temples, and More

This underrated gem in Northern Vietnam has plenty to offer the intrepid explorer.
by | December 07, 2019

Just a couple of hours’ bus ride from Hanoi is Ninh Binh, a district with a diverse and beautiful landscape. The rolling hills and stunning rock formations in its countryside are the stuff of postcards, magazines, and social media posts. If ever you are in this part of Vietnam, here are notable destinations to include in your itinerary.

Bai Dinh

This large Buddhist complex contains many temples and statues of Buddha. Local and foreign tourists alike visit the complex for enlightenment or simply to sight-see. Built in the early 2000’s, it’s not ancient but provides devotees a place to contemplate. Get away from the crowds by walking up the stairs or finding a corner to think. There are also festivals and rituals that take place during the year.

Fees: VND60,000 for the ticket and e-car

Hoa Lu

Hoa Lu was an ancient capital of the dynasties of the Le and Dinh royal families. It bore witness to important events in the country such as the wars against the ancient Cambodian kingdom and the Song Dynasty. The complex has lost its former glory but is an important historical relic. The complex also has temples where locals can come to worship and pay their respects.

Fees: VND20,000

Van Long Nature Reserve

This nature reserve in the Northern Delta is beautiful and diverse. It has a distinct ecological system that makes it an important part of the region’s environment. For tourists, it is a natural wonder that provides plenty of beautiful photo opportunities. The boat ride will take you through towering rock formations and stunning views.

Fees: VND80,000 for ticket and boat ride

Hang Mua

This area in the countryside provides spectacular views of the river and surrounding mountains. There is a walk up a flight of stone steps to reach the viewing deck. From there, you can soak in the views and breathe in the fresh air.

Fees: VND100,000

Trang An

This UNESCO Heritage Site will remind you of Ha Long Bay. The stunning landscape and the boat ride that will take you through may be the highlight of your trip to Ninh Binh. Trang An is more than a natural wonder, it has cultural significance that made it a heritage site.

Fees: VND200,000 for the boat ride


*There are buses that travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh the fare is VND120,000. You can buy a ticket from your accommodation or from the many travel agencies in Hanoi.

Joshua Berida is a writer by profession and traveler by passion. He writes and posts about his adventures on He likes the outdoors and prefers mountains and hiking to beach bumming, but he wouldn't mind lazing on a white sand beach and swimming in its clear, blue waters.

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