Ninh Binh is an awesome site of giant limestone karst formations jutting out of the rice paddies.
The best choice for Ninh Binh is to combine the trip with Ha Long bay trip. After Ha Long bay, you drive straight to Tam Coc for overnight instead of Hanoi. This not only saves your time but aslo helps you to have better timing to stay away from crowded time in Tam Coc.
- After Ha Long bay, drive to Ninh Binh and check in hotel in Tam Coc
- Have dinner and spend another quiet night in Tam Coc
- Breakfast in hotel
- Get on rowing boats to pass by 3 tunnels and row along the river to see Tam Coc (Dry Ha Long bay) (2 hours)
Notes: If you really want to avoid touristy sites, it is recommended to do the boat trip in Thung Nham or Thung Nang instead of Tam Coc.
- Take the bus to visit Bich Dong (Jade Cave) with 3 pagodas Lower Pagoda, Middle Pagoda and Upper Pagoda located on the mountain (optional)
- Check out hotel
- Have lunch at a restaurant
- Start biking from Tam Coc to Hoa Lu. The biking trip takes you to visit local villages, rice fields and many beautiful limestone mountains on the way.
- After 1.5 hours, you will get to Hoa Lu - the ancient capital of Vietnam and visit 2 temples of 2 emperors Dinh and Le from 10th century and learn about historic events.
- The cycling tour is easy as the path is quite flat and short distance (around 12 km)
- Drive back and get to Hanoi around 17.00 - 17.30
Notes: You can take day trip from Hanoi. If you do not like biking, you can take car instead.
mentioned meals, hotel, rowing boats, entrance tickets, private car/van, guide, bicycles.
Notes: Long clothes are needed for any pagoda and temple in Vietnam (make sure not too short!)
Recommendations: It is good to combine Ninh Binh tour with Mai Chau tour.