June 10, 2018 Catherine Mendoza 12Comment

Just three months ago, I was freezing in my room during the winter, so on the last day of March, three weeks before leaving Vietnam. I decided to go on a tour to Nin Bihn, a trip that I had been desiring to do.  


Thanks to Chris for helping me sort things out. Before anything else, he had always been there for me. So was my friend Tish. When I saw their photos from their travels, I knew I wanted to go with them!

I sought the help of our travel agent, Kim, whom we trusted with our trips in Vietnam. She also arranged our cruise in Halong last year.


Anyway, my day tour to Ninh Bihn went like this.


The pick-up from Kim’s agency, which was located at (address), or from anywhere in the Old Quarter was at 8:30 am.


Like in most tours, a guide briefed us about everything we needed to know about the trip including some ground rules. There were at least 20 people who joined the tour.

The bus trip was 3 hours with one pit stop for some snacks and bathroom break. Friendly tip: Bring your own snacks, water, and coffee. Prices at the pit stop are way too high. A cup of instant coffee costs 40,000 Vietnamese dollars (US$1.75).


Hoa Lu Temples of the Dinh & Le Dynasties

We learned about the temples’ rich history. We found smaller temples inside where we got to take some photos while strolling around. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about the temples’ story, as I was so engrossed in taking photos and studying closely the structure that I forgot to listen to the guide.

We spent 40 minutes inside.

The second stop- Lunch buffet 

It was a lunch buffet, which was part of the package. To my surprise, scores of tourists stormed the restaurant. Apparently, all of them booked the tour and would be sharing the same lunch with us.

Luckily, there was an abundance of Vietnamese food! There were different dishes of chicken, tofu, and pork. There were also fruits.


One downside, though, was drinks were excluded and we had to pay twice the price if we wanted to order some.


The third stop— Boating  

If you’re fond of watching travel videos, you might be familiar with this exciting activity: boating using your feet.

In Tam Coc, boatmen and boatwomen use their feet to row the boat while tourists enjoy beautiful and stunning landscapes. Tam Coc is one of the most visited provinces in Vietnam.

A day trip in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Friendly tip: Give $2 to $3 tip to the boatmen.  We gave $3. I got a bit annoyed, though, because she was asking for more!


The last one – Biking

Biking is tourist friendly, although it was only one round by the rice fields. The landscape was breathtaking. There was fresh air that was so relaxing. It’s way different from the city.

At 5:30 pm, we went back to the bus and prepared to go back to the city. 



It was indeed an exhausting but fun trip! We arrived in Hanoi at 7:30 pm and ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the Old Quarter. I was sat with 3 people I met on the tour. 

On the other hand, you might be asking, is it possible to do it yourself in Ninh Bihn? My answer is YES. But how? 

Just take a bus from Hanoi to Ninh Bihn and they’ll drop you off in the town.  From there, you can rent a motorbike for a day. You may do during the day or stay overnight.


There are many activities in the beautiful province. Select your best option. It’s all up to you.


Take note that most agencies’ packages don’t include drinks. Entrance fees and tickets are all included though.

Special thanks to @kim agency for this tour. I highly recommend it if you also want to go on a trip anywhere in Vietnam! She’s specializing in all kinds of tour! 


Disclaimer: Kim Agency did not sponsor my trip to Ninh Bihn. This is my honest review and appreciation for designing all my/our trips!


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A day trip in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

12 thoughts on “A day trip in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

  1. Nin Bihn really looks beautiful. What a breath taking view of those green hills!
    Would love to visit small temples you mentioned. And when you said you didn’t listen to the guide that closely, you made me even more curious to see them up close. 😀
    Biking around rice fields? Yes, please! 🙂

  2. So what’s the solution with the drinks since you mentioned you have to pay twice? Can you bring in your own bottle of water or something, or the only way to have a drink is to order it at the buffet?

    Other than that, places like this are often worth going on an organized day tour. It’s nice to have everything taken care of for you so you don’t have to figure it out once you get there.

  3. Beautiful photos, really inspiring! I’ve begun following you on instagram for more nice photos from your travels… keep up with the good work!

  4. Sign me up for this trip (or any) to Vietnam! I just got back from Thailand and am itching to get back to Asia. Vietnam has always been on my list. Nin Bihn looks gorgeous! And I’m laughing that you ate at a Mexican restaurant. That sounds like something I’d totally do!

  5. The name is cute, has a nice rhyme to it. Adding to my Vietnam list…the boat ride looks lovely. You mentioned that you spent 40 minutes inside the temple. Is that too little or too much? 🙂

  6. Gorgeous pics! Quite honestly the time the transfer takes always puts me off. I managed to visit Halong Bay but stayed for a few nights. Nin Bihn looks stunning so maybe on my next visit I might get my head around the journey and go exploring.

  7. Nin Bihn looks like a nice place to head out for a day trip. The boating is one activity that we would love to indulge in. The landscapes look beautiful and I was fascinated to note that the boatmen and women row the boats with the help of their legs. Another enchanting activity that really attracts us is biking, it would be lovely to traverse amongst the green fields enjoying the beauty of nature.

  8. Vietnam is on my bucket list and these pictures are making me wish I was there right now. I can understand not listening to the stories if you are so engrossed in the beauty.

  9. Ninh Binh looks stunning, although it seems the prices are high for tourists! Sometimes I don’t mind paying to support the local people but I hate feeling as though I’ve been ripped off. I usually carry a water bottle with a filter so I can get drinking water wherever I am – I save so much money like that!

  10. I have never seen someone use their feet for rowing. Now that is a first. And very interesting too. The temples are definitely intriguing. I am sure there are plenty of stories within and I quite understand how crazy it is to try and listen while you take those shots. I love the whole biking around the fields – I definitely am up for that!

  11. I’m looking to visit Vietnam later this year/early next, so really enjoyed reading this. Nice to see the cycling option as well, which is something of a passion of mine. Looks a great area to ride through!

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