Why Ninh Binh (Vietnam) should be on the TOP of your travel bucket list

We decided to skip busy Ha Long Bay to explore Ninh Binh instead which has been described as Ha Long Bay on land. We have to say we have zero regrets. Ninh Binh turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of our Vietnam trip.

We start this vlog off with a tour of our accommodation. Located right at the bottom of the Mua Caves we stayed at Hang Mua Ecolodge.

Hang Mua Ecolodge
Address: Khê Hạ, Ninh Xuân, Ninh Xuân, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình 430000, Vietnam

With a tranquil view of the limestone caves to one side and rice fields on the other it made for an excellent accommodation in Ninh Binh for 5 days.

Once we were settled in it was time to climb the peak of the Hang Mua mountain where we could get a beautiful view of the surrounding area.

The next day we were picked up by our Ninh Binh private tour operator – Tommy’s Travel Service. Tommy is a Ninh Binh local unlike many of the other Ninh Binh tour operators and he organized an awesome schedule for us. If you’re planning a visit to Ninh Binh Vietnam, we highly recommend Tommy’s Travel Service. He’s a real nice guy too!

Firstly we visited Trang An for a boat tour. This is also the former set for the Skull Island scenes from the King Kong Movie (which have since been removed, so we were lucky to have seen it). We were rowed through various caves and canals and saw amazing scenery unique to Ninh Binh. From the surrounding limestone caves to the complex water systems that ran between, we left with the most wonderful impression of Ninh Binh.

Ecotourism Trang An Boat Tour
Address: Tràng An, Ninh Xuân, Hoa Lư, Ninh Bình 431995, Vietnam
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7AM–4PM

Following the tour of Trang An we head over to visit two tombs of former emperors of Hue followed by lunch then Phat Diem Cathedral which is a unique cathedral that has a mixture of both Vietnamese and Gothic French architecture.

Phat Diem
Address: TT. Phát Diệm, Kim Sơn District, Ninh Bình Province 430000, Vietnam

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44 thoughts on “Why Ninh Binh (Vietnam) should be on the TOP of your travel bucket list

  1. I was in Ninh Binh in November and it was by far the best place I have visited. To rank all of the places I have traveled :1- Ninh Binh, 2- Sa Pa, 3- Hue, 4- Da Nang, 5- Hanoi, 6- Ha Long Bay

  2. hi, thanks for the video and info. We will be visiting hanoi this month & would take also include a 2nights stay at ninh bin. Just wanted to ask about the Transfer from Old quarter to Ninh bin? What transfer agency/taxi did u guys used? Is GRAB an option?

  3. Lovely video on beautiful Ninh Binh, very much enjoyed watching it. I really like that you put the price on screen so we can see if things fit our budget. Yen is like a movie star, and her lovely kiwi accent. Enjoy your travels

  4. Man this place is so epic. We had been here in September last year and there were hardly any people in the afternoon.

  5. I always like less explored places . Less crowded ones. This places is really beautiful and thanks for the idea…

  6. Lovely. Thank you very much for the video. Can we do all Hang Mua mountain hiking, Trang An boat tour ,and visit King Kong set in one day trip? Thanks

  7. Perhaps Ninh Binh is not quite a substitute of Ha Long bay as those places are still quite different (not to mention Cat Ba national park that is right next to Ha Long) but Ninh Binh is certainly the place to visit for everyone travelling through Vietnam.
    I'd suggest visiting also Bái Đính Temple complex which is not far from Trang An and is the largest one in SE Asia. And perhaps Van Long wetlands national park that is slightly off the beaten path but still very impressive with unique species that can't be seen anywhere else. Otherwise, it's a similar experience to Trang An but just less crowdy.
    For those not only looking for beaches, Ninh Binh area is the place to stay for around half of the time spent in Vietnam.

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