How to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh? – A Comprehensive Guide

Are you planning a trip from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh and wondering about the best transportation options? Look no further! In this comprehensive travel guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to make your journey from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh smooth and memorable.

How far is it from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh?

Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts mystical emerald waters dotted with towering limestone pillars. Picture yourself cruising through this breathtaking landscape aboard a traditional junk boat, feeling dwarfed by the natural majesty.

Ninh Binh offers a different kind of magic. Here, towering limestone mountains rise from emerald rice paddies, creating a landscape sculpted by time and nature.

From Halong bay to Ninh Binh

Halong Bay to Ninh Binh routes:

  • Halong bay to Ninh Binh city: Approximately 210km (130.5mi) – 3h30m
  • Halong bay to Trang An complex: Approximately 190km (118mi) – 3h10m
  • Halong bay to Bai Dinh Pagoda: Approximately 215km (133.6mi) – 3h50m
  • Halong bay to Cuc Phuong national park: Approximately 240km (149mi) – 5h

How many ways to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh?

There are 3 convenient ways by road to make the journey from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh, which take around 3.5 – 5 hours. Depending on your preferences and travel style, you can choose from limousine bus, private cars, or local bus.

Ways from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh

By limousine bus – highly recommend

  • Time: 3.5- 4 hours
  • Cost: $13 – $17

Taking a limousine bus from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh is a highly recommended option due to its time efficiency, money-saving, seat availability, and comfort. Those buses go over smooth roadways with specified stops. One of the most significant benefits of moving by tourist/limousine bus is that you will not be overwhelmed by crowds, since each limousine carries just 9 passengers.

In addition, couples or independent travelers will enjoy this choice the most since, instead of renting a whole car, you may select for a more cost-effective shared alternative with other strangers.

Pro tip: Book online for guaranteed seats!

Limousine bus

By private car/taxi

  • Time: 3.5 – 4 hours
  • Cost: $100 (2-3 people)

Traveling by private car from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh is the most convenient and comfortable option. You can book a private car from Halong City to Ninh Binh city through your hotel or ask an organized tour company to book for you.

Another way is you can visit our brand Rental Car Vietnam, which specializes in organize private car in Vietnam.

Helpful tips: It’s important to note that traffic conditions and travel times can vary, so it’s advisable to allow some extra time for unexpected delays.

By local bus: off the beaten path (with patience)

  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Cost: $6 – $10

For the adventurous, local buses offer the most budget-friendly option. However, be prepared for a longer journey with more stops and potentially less legroom. This route might be less suitable for luggage-laden travelers. Direct buses from Halong City to Ninh Binh are available every day.

Some local buses that have direct transfer from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: Anh Thang bus, Vu Ngu bus, Quan Nam bus, Hai Thang bus.

Helpful tips:

  • You should keep an eye on your personal things and be on the lookout for crimes such as pickpocketing and theft at the bus terminal.
  • To prevent waiting at the station, look out the bus timetable ahead of time.

Bonus tip: consider combining with Hanoi

Halong Bay and Ninh Binh are both conveniently located near Hanoi. If you have extra time, consider including the bustling capital city in your itinerary. Many travelers opt to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, then continue to Ninh Binh before returning to Hanoi. This allows you to explore all three destinations efficiently.

>>> Read more: 5 Days Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay Tour: Perfect Itinerary For Relaxing

How many days in each paradise?

Halong Bay

  • Recommended stay: 2 days

Spend 2 days in Halong Bay for the following experiences:

  • Take a junk boat cruise through Halong Bay: Immerse yourself in the iconic scenery of towering limestone pillars.
  • Explore hidden caves: Choose from caves like Thien Cung (Cave of Heaven) or Sung Sot (Surprise Cave) for a glimpse into the bay’s natural wonders.
  • Kayak through secluded coves: Discover hidden beaches and enjoy the tranquility of the emerald waters.
  • Go night squid fishing (optional): Try your hand at a traditional fishing experience under the starry sky.
  • Visit a floating pearl farm: Learn about the fascinating world of pearl cultivation.
  • Take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters: Cool off and enjoy the water amidst the stunning scenery.

Ninh Binh

  • Recommended stay: 2 days

Spend 2 days in this “Halong Bay on land” delving deeper into Ninh Binh’s charm:

  • Explore Tam Coc and Trang An grottoes for a more comprehensive experience.
  • Visit Hoa Lu and other historical sites like Mua Cave for panoramic views.
  • Bike through charming villages and rice paddies, soaking in the rural atmosphere.
  • Consider a cooking class to learn about Vietnamese cuisine.

Extra travel tips

  • Consider the seasons: The dry season (March-May and August-October) offers pleasant weather for both locations.
  • Pack smart: Bring comfortable shoes for exploring, a swimsuit for Halong Bay, and light layers for Ninh Binh’s varying temperatures.
  • Embrace local cuisine: Don’t forget to enjoy fresh seafood, grilled chopped fresh squid (Cha Muc) in Halong Bay and Ninh Binh’s specialties like “com chay” (vegetarian rice) and “goi ca nho” (tiny fish salad).
  • Learn a few basic phrases: A “Xin chào” (hello) and “Cảm ơn” (thank you) go a long way in connecting with the locals!
  • Bargaining basics: Don’t be afraid to bargain at local markets politely in Ninh Binh.
  • Respect the locals: Dress modestly when visiting temples and pagodas.
  • Local currency: Carry Vietnamese Dong (VND) for smaller purchases and entrance fees. ATMs are readily available in both Halong Bay and Ninh Binh.

>>> Read more: Halong Bay in March: Best Experiences and Travel Tips

From Halong Junk Cruise Team, a brand of Indochina Voyages!

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