Plan your trip to Ninh Binh with confidence. Find out the best time to visit this enchanting destination, from the ideal weather to witness the stunning views to the vibrant harvest season. Learn about transportation options, including buses and trains from Hanoi, and get ready to explore the wonders of Ninh Binh. Book your adventure now!
Where is Ninh Binh in Vietnam
Ninh Bình is a province located in the Northern Central Coast region of Vietnam, situated in the Red River Delta. It shares its borders with Hà Nam to the north, Thanh Hóa to the south, Hòa Bình to the west, and the Gulf of Tonkin to the east.
With a population of over 1.3 million people and a total area of 1,400 square kilometers, Ninh Bình is the capital city of the province.
Where is Ninh Binh, Vietnam? Ninh Binh is located approximately 90 km south of Hanoi. It is famous for its many renowned tourist attractions such as the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, the breathtaking Tam Coc, often referred to as ‘Halong Bay on land,’ the impressive Bai Dinh Pagoda, and more.
Ninh Binh, with its limestone mountains as robust as fortress walls, was chosen by the Dinh, Le, and Ly dynasties as their capitals from 968 to 1010. The capital, Hoa Lu, was referred to as “the capital built of stone” by the locals. Situated in the center, Hoa Lu preserves the remnants of battles fought against foreign invaders and houses numerous temples, shrines, and pagodas.
Over a thousand years ago, in these reed-covered valleys, Dinh Bo Linh led a popular uprising that vanquished twelve enemy armies. In 968, he ascended the throne and established his capital at Hoa Lu. Six kings succeeded one another from 968 to 1009 in Hoa Lu. In 1010, King Ly Thai To decided to relocate the capital to Thang Long, which is now known as Hanoi.
If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, Ninh Bình is a wonderful place to include in your itinerary. The province offers a wide range of experiences for everyone, from the beauty of nature to historical sites.
Weather and best time to visit Ninh Binh
The ideal time to visit Ninh Binh is during the dry season, which lasts from November to April. This period offers cooler and drier weather, making it perfect for exploring the region’s natural wonders. From the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex to the Tam Coc-Bich Dong Grottoes, there are plenty of breathtaking sights to see.
If you’re planning to visit during the rainy season, which occurs from May to October, it’s important to be prepared for wet weather. Bring appropriate clothing and gear, and keep in mind that some outdoor activities may not be possible due to flooding or muddy conditions.
Ninh Binh, regardless of the time you visit, offers something special. Each season showcases its unique charm, beauty, and a variety of festivals and events. So, why not explore this captivating destination throughout the year?
Ninh Binh in Spring
Spring is the ideal time to visit Ninh Binh for exploring numerous natural wonders, such as vibrant flowers and verdant landscapes. The weather is delightful, with temperatures ranging from 20-28°C (68-82°F), making it the perfect time for indulging in outdoor activities.
Moreover, spring is the ideal season to immerse yourself in Ninh Binh’s cultural festivities.
One of the most popular festivals held during this time is the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival. This annual cultural event attracts thousands of visitors who come to witness colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and indulge in a variety of food and craft vendors. If you wish to enjoy this festival, plan your visit to Ninh Binh during the lunar new year, usually in late January or early February.
Another highly anticipated event in Ninh Binh is the Trang An Festival, which celebrates the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Visitors can enjoy traditional performances, boat tours of the Trang An scenic landscape complex and a range of other activities.
Ninh Binh in Summer
During the summer, Ninh Binh experiences high temperatures and humidity, with the thermometer often reaching between 25-35°C (77-95°F). Many take advantage of their summer vacation to explore this beautiful region despite the heat. This season remains a popular time for tourists to visit Ninh Binh. In late June to July, the lotus flowers are in full bloom, creating a mesmerizing sight with their vibrant colors and distinctive fragrance.
Ninh Binh offers a picturesque sight during the summer, particularly with its golden rice fields. The harvest season typically takes place from mid-May to early June, showcasing the rice fields in their full glory as the rice plants mature and the landscape turns into stunning shades of gold. It’s important to note that the exact timing may vary slightly depending on weather conditions and the specific rice planting cycle.
If you’re planning a trip to Ninh Binh during the summer, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of water-based activities to enjoy. This is the best time to travel to Ninh Binh for outdoor activities, from leisurely boat tours to thrilling kayaking adventures.
Ninh Binh in Autumn
During the autumn season, Ninh Binh experiences a refreshing and dry climate, with temperatures averaging between 20°C and 27°C (68-80.6°F). This makes it a good time to visit Ninh Binh for travelers to explore the region’s stunning outdoor attractions, including Tam Coc, Trang An, and Bai Dinh Pagoda.
Autumn is the harvest season in Ninh Binh, visitors can witness the local farmers diligently working in the rice paddies and gathering crops.
Ninh Binh in Winter
During winter, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C (59-71,6°F), Ninh Binh experiences cooler and drier weather. This makes it a suitable time to visit Ninh Binh and venture out to discover the region’s outdoor attractions, such as the Van Long Nature Reserve, the Cuc Phuong National Park, and the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.
During this particular season, festivals in Ninh Binh tend to attract more local visitors than foreigners. However, if you are a cultural enthusiast seeking an authentic local experience, this is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese traditions.
One of the captivating festivals to attend during this time is the Ky Phuc Festival. It takes place on the 12th day of the lunar year in October at the Cam Gia communal house. This festival holds great historical and cultural significance, showcasing the depth and richness of the local community’s heritage. The Ky Phuc Festival offers a wide range of activities that are sure to capture your attention. From the mesmerizing dragon dance to the lively lion dance, the festival provides a feast for the senses. Additionally, there are numerous folk games in which you can actively participate, making the festival an interactive and engaging experience.
How to get Ninh Binh Vietnam
With its close proximity to Hanoi and convenient rail and highway connections, getting to Ninh Binh is not difficult.
Flights to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh does not have its own airport, but Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport is located 120 km away. Direct buses and minivans operate between the airport and Ninh Binh, taking approximately 2 hours for the journey.
The nearest airport to Ninh Binh is Tho Xuan Airport in Thanh Hoa province, located 100 km away. However, it is not an international airport and has limited domestic flights. The travel time from Tho Xuan Airport to Ninh Binh is also around 2 hours.
Buses to Ninh Binh
There are plenty of buses available to and from Ninh Binh, connecting it with various destinations. Some popular routes include Hanoi (2 hours), Halong City (4 hours), Hue (10 hours), and Phong Nha (8 hours). Ninh Binh is also a stop for open tour buses traveling between Hanoi and Hue. Comfortable minivans, including hotel pickup and drop-off services, are also available between Hanoi and Ninh Binh.
Trains to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh has its own train station, providing convenient rail connections. Trains operate from both Hanoi in the north and Hue, Dong Hoi, and Da Nang in the south. There are at least 4 trains departing daily in both directions, with the journey from Hanoi taking approximately 3 hours.
Various transportation options are available for traveling from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. You can choose to take a regular bus departing from Hanoi to Ninh Binh on a daily basis. Alternatively, you have the option to book a luxury van that includes a transfer to Tam Coc, where you’ll find plenty of charming accommodation options. Private cars are also available, providing a quicker journey.
If you have more time to spare, several trains depart from Hanoi to Ninh Binh every day. Once you’re in Ninh Binh, the best ways to get around are by motorcycle tour, taxi, or cycling if you’re staying in Tam Coc.