Morning mist canopies the mountains and caves of Tam Coc; a woman on a bicycle cycles past perfectly green rice fields dotted with bamboo jats; "thit cho" ("dog meat") signs line the narrow alley walls; vivid plant life juxtaposition old dilapidated Vietnamese houses; and an elderly couple quietly fish in the Kenh Ga canal.
You are in Ninh Binh, a small Northern town offering it's visitors a unique Vietnamese experience, with it's natural beauty charming all.
Why not go:
Travellers who want to party will not enjoy Ninh Binh, as it does not provide much Western fare, and no nightclubs or bars catered to foreigners.
Photos, photos, photos. If your a keen photographer, use the vivid colours and scenery as the focal point of your pictures.
The lakes, rivers, caves, plant life, quiet roads, and rice fields all provide a much quieter backdrop than nearby Hanoi. Come to Ninh Binh if you like to enjoy the natural world at it's best.
Stay Away From:
Ninh Binh is a relatively safe town, and most locals are curious and excited to see foreigners. Most families will lock up their houses by 9:30 and it instantly becomes deserted, so walking around the streets at night time is not reccomended, but not entirely unsafe.
Ninh Binh is located only 93 km from Hanoi, and a bus will take you directly there. For the cheapest option, ask your hotel in Hanoi where the nearest bus station is and what times buses leave for Ninh Binh. There will be hundreds of buses at the station with their destinations listed on the front. Hop on one of the Ninh Binh buses, and pay the fare (via hand signals or pen and paper). It is 2 hours to Ninh Binh and local cost is around 100,000 Dong.
Alternatively, let the hotel arrange everything for you, and to take you to the bus station. They will charge a higher price, but it will be much more convenient.
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