Ninh Binh cycling is our complete travel guide about cycling in Ninh Binh Vietnam. It is about practical information about cycling in Ninh Binh, bike tour, bicycle rental, bike hire, Ninh Binh cycle route, map…
Cycling in Ninh Binh lets you experience the beautiful countryside of the northern Vietnam, as well as rural Ninh Binh village life from up close. Biking on the back roads, through countryside lanes while greeting local farmers and school kids as you pass by, all add to an immersive experience!
Situated on the Red River Delta, Ninh Binh province separates the North and the Central Vietnam by Tam Diep Mountain Range. The province is surrounded by Hoa Binh, Ha Nam provinces on the north, Nam Dinh Province on the east and Thanh Hoa on the west and the south.
Ninh Binh province is subdivided into 8 districts and towns including Gia Vien, Hoa Lu, Kim Son, Nho Quan, Yen Khanh, Yen Mo, Ninh Binh city, and Tam Diep.
Ninh Binh map
Ninh Binh how to get there?
Hanoi to Ninh Binh by car
Rent a car with driver is the best way to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. The car picks you up in any place in downtown Hanoi and bring you to Ninh Binh city. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours.
Hanoi to Ninh Binh by bus
There are regular buses from Hanoi’s southern bus terminal (Giap Bat) that leave every 15 min. Journey time for the 90km is 3 hours or more traffic depending. The service is slow but relaxed and comfortable using one of the very common Hyundai 20-odd seat buses.
Hanoi to Ninh Binh by train
Ninh Binh city is a regular train station for the Reunification Express, with trains coming from both North and South Vietnam. It is usually a quick stop, with few people getting off, especially at night, so get off quick. From Hanoi, train leaves at 6:00, 9:00, 13:10, 19:30, 20:10 and 22:10 (2 and half to 3-hour ride). Ask for a cushioned seat. If you have very rigid travel dates, are traveling on a public holiday, or can’t be bothered to head down to the train station before your train you can book tickets online.
Halong bay to Ninh Binh
The best way to travel from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh or vice versa is to rent a car with driver. The journey takes about 4.5 hours. Shuttle buses are also available between Tam Coc and Halong bay. Bus tickets need to be booked in advance.
When to go cycling in Ninh Binh?
March through May
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm. Highs range from 91.1°F (32.8°C) and 69.7°F (20.9°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 4 to 8 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the slowest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals. This is the best time to cycling in Ninh Binh. Easy, fun, short bike ride, long cycling tours are all welcome!
June through August
The middle-year months have hot weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see the most precipitation with 9 to 11 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the second busiest season for tourism in Ninh Binh, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly more. This is not the best time for biking in Ninh Binh. We only recommend day ride and short excursions.
September through November
Fall daily highs range from 88.8°F (31.6°C) and 75.3°F (24.1°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 4 to 12 days per month. Tourism is the busiest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be higher priced. This is also the best time for taking a bike tour in Ninh Binh.
December through February
Weather is somewhat cool this time of year in Ninh Binh to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 72.9°F (22.7°C) and 64°F (17.8°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 2 to 3 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists. These are good months to discover Ninh Binh by bicycle.
What to explore on your Ninh Binh bicycle tour?
Tam Coc, one of Vietnam’s most spectacular sights is situated 6 km south of Ninh Binh city, in the middle of the rice fields and lime peaks. The area is somewhat similar to Halong Bay (it is well known as “Halong Bay on Land”), but more accessible.
The main attraction of Tam Coc is the rowing boat ride between the cliffs of the river and through 3 tunnels dug by the river through the peaks. We recommend you taking the boat ride in the morning before the excursion groups arrive from Hanoi, or late afternoon after the groups have left. Last boats start out about 5:30PM in the summer and 4:30PM in the winter.
The area around Tam Coc is equally beautiful, and is best viewed by bicycle. We at VietnamCycling.com offer different bicycle tours in Tam Coc. Options include Tam Coc day bicycle tour from Hanoi, Tam Coc Ninh Binh biking tour 2 days. These bicycle tours are easy, fun, and may fit both adults and children.
In Tam Coc itself, apart from the boat ride, there are 2 beautiful sites to visit; Bich Dong Pagoda, 3 km after the Tam Coc Pier, built on one of the cliff and which provides incredible views (go all the way to the top of the cliff via the small passage on the right of the last pagoda, which is inside the cliff) and Thai Vi Temple, accessible via the small road on the right of the pier.
Trang An is situated 7 km from Ninh Binh city. An easy bicycle ride away, Trang An is similar to Tam Coc but with many more caves to pass through. Most caves have been widened in order for the boats to pass through and as result their natural beauty has been compromised. The first two caves are the most natural and beautiful but are also tight in places, so watch your head. As with Tam Coc it is best to go early in the morning or in late afternoon (last boat is 4pm) to avoid the buses of tour groups coming from Hanoi. Ride takes about 3 hours with short couple stops to visit some temples.
Hang Mua viewpoint
Hang Mua peak is one of the most spectacular sites to visit around Tam Coc. It is located 5 km from Tam Coc pier. 450 steps bring you to the tip of the peak, from which you have a most spectacular 360° view of the entire region, the Red River Delta on the East and the mountains on the other sides. Definitely a must-visit if all those steps do not scare you. Flip flops are possible but not recommended, as the steps can be rather slippery and the rocks are jagged.
From Hang Mua, you can watch the boats going down Ngo Dong River right before Mua Cave. Beyond Mua Cave is the valley where most of the Tam Coc advertisement pictures were taken (but you cannot get a picture of the valley from Hang Mua since the mountains block the view).
Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park is situated 45km from Ninh Binh city. It is a well preserved rainforest with an Endangered Primates Rescue Centre near the entrance. There are about 180 primates here being prepared for release back in the wild. There is also a botanical garden and a turtle center. You can also visit Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, which rehabilitates and releases native carnivores and pangolin.
Cycling is probably the most rewarding way to travel this 20 km of often steeply inclined paved road (from the park entrance to the park center). One of the amazing things about this ride is the 1000’s upon 1000’s of colorful butterflies filling the roadway. Peak time for butterflies apparently is during April and May but in later months there may still many to be seen. The road ends at the Park Centre (Bong) with a restaurant and a place to buy snacks, and where several forest walks start.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Ancient capital of Vietnam until 1010, this royal city is 15 km from Ninh Binh and Tam Coc. Not too much remains except for some beautiful archways and the temples of Dinh Tien Hoang, Nhat Tru Temple and Le Dai Hanh.
Phat Diem Cathedral
Phat Diem Cathedral is situated 34 km from Ninh Binh city, in the middle of the canals and the rice fields of the delta, the small commune of Phat Diem was during the French period the “Vatican of North Vietnam”, it’s St Peter being a huge cathedral built between 1874 and 1898. Mixing Eastern and Western architectural styles, it is quite spectacular, especially because of its size (75m x 27m x 15m height)and its interior with its huge iron wood columns. On each side have been built 2 small gothic chapels.
Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve
Van Long National Nature Reserve brings you to one the most stunning landscapes in Vietnam with the nickname “a bay without waves” because the water is as calm as a giant mirror reflecting mountains and clouds.
Thung Nang is small valley called “sunny valley” located in Ninh Binh province, while “Thung” in Vietnamese means a floodplain surrounded by mountains. It resembles Tam Coc with its grottoes and boat travel. Based in Hoa Lu district, Thung Nang is well known as an ultimate destination for travelers who love to discover historical relics with beautiful unspoiled landscapes.
Thung Nang consists of 2 small valleys connected by a grotto system. The deeper you go inside, the lower height you have to pass if you don’t want to touch the stalactites on the ceiling. However, you won’t be disappointed when you come to another side of the valley, where you can enjoy the tranquility and admire the miraculous beauty that nature bestowed on this place.
Ninh Binh bicycle routes
Cycling around Ninh Binh
32km bike ride around Ninh Binh to discover Tam Coc, Thung Nham bird park, Thung Nang, Tuyet Tinh coc and Hoa Lu temples.
Cycling from Hanoi Ninh Binh
About 100km ride from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital to Ninh Binh city. Cycling on busy traffic roads is only recommended for professional cyclists.
Cycling in Ninh Binh
53km ride from Ninh Binh city to Tam Coc and Hoa Lu temples.
Ninh Binh bike rental
Bicycle is an eco-friendly type of transport, which provide you with more impressions. You also can discover all the interesting places hidden from tourists.
Renting a bicycle in Ninh Binh is easy. Many hotels and guesthouses in Tam Coc and Ninh Binh city have a handful of bikes that you can rent. Simply talk to the reception desk or make the reservation with the room. Try out a couple bikes for fit, make sure there’s air in the tires, and test the brakes before you choose.
Most bicycles for rent in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh are Vietnamese-made cruisers with single speed. You probably won’t get a bell or lights. But the bikes might be sufficient for the flat countryside you’ll encounter on your Ninh Binh bicycle tour. If you expect something fast or in great shape you would better book a mountain bikes from Hanoi.
Make sure you get a lock and, if you can, a helmet, before you pedal away. You may need to leave your passport or a cash deposit to ensure you return the bike.
Ninh Binh cycling tours
Find out how to plan your most enjoyable trip to Ninh Binh Vietnam with our collection of best Ninh Binh cycling tours including Ninh Binh bicycle tour, Tam Coc Binh bike ride, Ninh Binh cycling holidays, easy, guided Ninh Binh biking itinerary, Ninh Binh cycle packages are crafted for family travel, private small group tour.
Please bear in mind the following itineraries are only suggestions which can be further customized to better fit your personal requirements. These bike tours can be extended with more cycled distance or other nearby attractions such as Mai Chau, Pu Luong, Halong bay…
Bicycle Tour Northern Vietnam – Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh 3 Days$ 181 – $ 228 Select options
Bike Tour Northern Vietnam 6 Days$ 371 – $ 468 Select options
Cycle Touring Northern Vietnam 6 Days$ 371 – $ 468 Select options
Cycling Tour Northern Vietnam – Ninh Binh, Cat Ba, Halong Bay 4 Days$ 244 – $ 307 Select options
Cycling Trip Northern Vietnam 4 Days$ 399 – $ 533 Select options
Hanoi 3 Day Tour – Mai Chau, Ninh BinhRead more
Read more: Ninh Binh tours
Additional questions about cycling in Ninh Binh?
Do you have any questions about bicycle touring in Ninh Binh that you want to ask us? Is there anything you think I should discuss about cycling around Ninh Binh that we left out… that we should include in future updates to this article?
Leave a comment with your questions and we’ll write you back with a response just as soon as we possibly can.