Situated about 90km from Hanoi, 7km from Ninh Binh city neighboring to several attractions Hoa Lu Ancient Capital with temples, Bich Dong and Bai Dinh pagoda, Tam Coc boat river and Mua cave. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex amid popular must-see destinations of Vietnam.
I - Overview about Trang An Vietnam
This destination is worth visiting after traveling in Hanoi or Halong bay. Tourists can take a boat trip tour to see the amazing scenery with green mountains and a clean winding river.
1 - How to travel from Hanoi?
Located in the popular tourist attraction, connecting to another World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, reaching Trang An Complex Landscape is no longer a hassle for travellers. From Hanoi, tourists can take limousine bus, bus or train to this place. In terms of train, there is no train station near this attraction, hence you need to take a taxi from Ninh Binh city before taking a boat ride to discover this stunning landscape. Another way to get to here is riding a motorbike along 1A national road through over 100km, which is estimated to take nearly 3hours.
TrangAn Limousine/Source: Limousinevn
1.1 - Comfortable and convenient Van/Limousine
Dozen comfortable Limousine vans leaving Hanoi for Ninh Binh daily, morning picking up at any accommodation in Hanoi, price varies from $8 - $17 per seat. Taking about 2.0 - 2.5 hours' drive. Top recommended for its comfort and convenience. Here are some companies providing limousine transfer to Ninh Binh from Hanoi:
Trang An Limousine
- Daily timetable: 5am - 8pm, every 60 minutes one trip.
- Pick-up locations: Hanoi airport or Hanoi center at the front of Hanoi Central Circus
- Price: 120,000VNĐ - 200,000VNĐ (US $6 - 10)
- Contact: 032733033
Binh Minh Limousine
- Daily timetable: 6am - 9pm, one hour/ trip
- Pick-up location: door-to-door services in Hanoi and Ninh Binh.
- Price: VND155,000 - 230,000 (US $7 - 12), depends on pick-up/drop-off location,
- Contact: 1900.1531
- Website: Binh Minh Limousine
Ninh Binh Limousine
- Daily departure from Hanoi: 08.00, 09.00, 10.30, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00
- Pick-up location: Ninh Binh Limousine office in Hanoi at 412 Le Duan street, US $2 added for door-to-door hop-on.
- Price: US $10 - 15, depends on drop-off location
- Contact: 0968450021
- Website: Ninh Binh Limousine
1.2 - Train to Trang An Vietnam
Several trains leaving for Ninh Binh daily from Hanoi station at 120 Le Duan str. to Ninh Binh Railway station at no. 1, 41 Hoang Hoa Tham Alley, Ninh Binh city, taking about 3 hours, at 6.00, 9.00, 14.30, 15.55, 19.30, and 20.50. Tickets are available for Online advanced reserved, affordable for soft-seat at VND 130,000 (US $5).
Tickets are available for online reserving at Vietnam Railways
Tips: recommended to reserve at least 24 hours in advance to get seats with the best views.
1.3 - Tourist Buses
Various companies providing buses to Ninh Binh, daily leaving from southern bus stations (Giap Bat and Nuoc Ngam bus station), Hoang Long bus, Sinh Cafe, Queen Cafe, and Amazing Ninh Binh are among the list, taking 2.00 - 3 hours' drive. Price: VND 100,000 - VND 150,000 ($4 - $7).
Notes: The buses may not leave until it’s full.
Traveling by motorbike is extremely interesting - Source: Tigitmotorbikes
1.4 - Motorbike Rental
Renting a scooter from Hanoi to Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam is handy and fun, offering flexible stops for taking photos or grabbing a cold drink. Price at US $9 - US $25 depending on the quality of the automatic, semi-automatic, or manual ones.
There are several routes to reach Ninh Binh from Hanoi by motorbikes. Here are options:
- Option 1 (direct and shortest route 3-4 hours ride):
Getting along the National Road (QL1A), heading south of Hanoi, passing by Tu Ky Pagoda in Hanoi, then Phu Ly Dist, Ha Nam Province before arriving at Ninh Binh. It is quite flat with rustic scenery.
- Option 2 (less direct, 4-5 hours riding):
The route offering various stops for gorgeous photos, crossing Red river by Long Bien historic bridge or newly built Vinh Tuy, straying along the dyke to Ecopark, keep riding via Hung Yen Province, drop by Phu Ly district of Ha Nam for a cold drink before ending up at the charming scenery of Ninh Binh.
- Option 3 (zigzac, longest one: 5-6 hours):
Popularly picked up by wanders, the route rides through various terrains passing by numerous lakes, hills, and forests before approaching Ninh Binh. Getting along QL6 to Xuan Mai, Ghi Ne before making a turn to Trang An Vietnam and Mua Cave.
Numerous scooter rental shops in the Old Quarter, different price range to picks. Here are some in the list.
- Address: 13 Ngo Huyen, Hoan Kiem
- Booking Office: +84 904 253419
- Price: US $9 - 25 per day depends on quality, automatic or manual.
- Website: Phung Motorbike
RentABike - Hanoi
- Address: No. 15, Alley 12, Dang Thai Mai (Tay Ho)
- Booking Office: +84 90 439 24 23
- Price: US $9 - US $40 depends on quality, automatic or manual.
- Website: RentABike
Happy Zip Motorbikes
- Address: 451 Hong Ha
- Booking Office: +84 98 891 69 35
- Price: US $7 - US $25 depends on quality, automatic or manual.
- Website: Hanoi Motorbike Rental & for Sale- Hire Scooters
Notes: Be aware, the rental shops may ask to deposit your passport for guarantee.
2 - Best time to visit Trang An
Trang An weather suffers from the four seasons subtropical climate. Hot and humid with high precipitation during May to the middle of October, high temperature set to more than 30 Degree Celsius, humidity at 80 percent. Contrastively cold and dry from November to April, chilly from November to January at 11 Degree Celsius.
Source: Rowan Heuvel
Dry and low-temperature season, October to April is considered the best time to visit the location. Whilst March, April, May, September, and October are recognized as the best time for gorgeous unique photos of the yellow-green paddy fields. Bear in mind, summer, May to September is congested with local travelers during weekends.
- See more: The weather in Ninh Binh
II - Trang An boat tour information
The ecotourism Trang An boat tour is the main activity to discover here, in combination with boat hop-on, hop-off temples visit, caves seeing. The boat rowing offers 2 to 3 hours trip, selections of 3 distinct routes cruising through the tranquil submerged blue-green waters, splendid landscape of limestone karst massifs. All the three routes are backtracked, making circles rowing not be back the same way.
1 - How much is the ticket?
For a tour on a boat of 04 people, the Trang An boat tour price is at VND 250,000 (US $10.80) per person covering for selections of 03 routes, including several temples and grottos visit on each one. For a private boat, full board fee must be paid. No extra hidden fee, tips are not mandatory to the rower.
Different routes require different tickets to be purchased, crossing options are not available.
2 - Trang An best route
Picking a suitable one is a dilemma as all the routes offer distinct experience and scenery and timing. Besides, boats are openly exposed to the sun, the shortest route is no less than 02 hours.
- Route 1: 3.5 hours' rowing, 9 caves (Dark cave, Bright Cave, Moonshine Cave, Ba Giọt Cave, Seo Cave, Sơn Dương Cave, Khống Cave, Trần Cave, and Quy Hậu Cave) and 3 temples (Trình, Khống and Báo Hiếu Pagoda), several hop-on, hop-off spots. Recommended for those who love exploring and backbone trouble-free. Be aware, some of the caves may be submerged during rainy days.
- Route 2: 2.5 hours' rowing, 4 caves of Trang An grottoes (Lấm Cave, Vạng Cave, and Thánh Trượt Hang Đại Cave), 3 temples visiting (Thánh Cao Sơn temple, Hanh Cung Vũ Lâm temple, and Suối Tiên temple). A popular route chosen for its reasonable timing, recommended for the elderly and the family with kids.
- Route 3: 3.0 hours rowing, 3 caves (Đột Cave, Địa Linh Cave, and Mây Cave), and 3 temples visiting (Trình temple, Hành Cung Vũ Lâm temple, and Suối Tiên temple). A combination of route 1 and 2, it is a lovely choice for cave lovers and cultural learning.
3 - Tips for Trang An travel
- Temple visits could be skipped to save time.
- Several grottos are flooded when it rains, getting information from ticket counters.
- Sun cream is handy for long hours exposed to the sun,
- Bring along your umbrellas, it is helpful on hot and rainy days.
- Some cash to tip the rower.
- Avoid the heat of the day between 11.00-15.00 during summertime (May to September).
III - Places to see nearby Trang An Vietnam
Source: Minh Tran
1 - Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
Strategically established for the defending purpose, surrounded by hundred steep and vertical massifs of the cliff, Hoa Lu was the capital of two sequential dynasties of Dinh and Le in the 10th and 11th centuries. The two adjacent temples were erected to honor the kings, royal lines, and followers of the two dynasties.
- Location: 7km away from boat wharf.
- Entrance fee: VND 20,000 ($1.9) per head covered both temples.
2 - Mua (dancing) Cave
Challenge yourself with steep 500 steps, reaching to the top of the Mua mountains. The attraction recognized for its peak offers extraordinary panoramic views of the breathtaking Tam Coc valley, permeating by Ngo Dong river through rich limestone karsts and yellow-green paddy fields than the Mua Cave.
- Location: 4.3 km away from Trang An Vietnam boat wharf.
- Entrance fee: VND 100,000 ($4.5) per head covered the complex including mountain viewpoints, Mua Cave, and Lotus Lake.
3 - Bich Dong Pagoda (Emerald Cave Pagoda)
The three separated descend pagodas constructed into the mountain in the 15 century offer serene views. Recommended for those who want to learn about Buddhism and worshiping customs of the local people.
What to note: Respect the religion, don't wear shorts whilst visiting the location.
- Location: 13 km away from Trang An Wharf.
- Entrance fee: free entry, those who travel by bikes, parking fee VND 20,000 per bike.
Bai Dinh pagoda - Source: Nguyen Dung
4 - Bai Dinh Pagoda
Boosting the largest religious complex in Southeast Asia, the complex comprised an ancient pagoda and newly built giant splendid pagoda. Whilst the ancient one privileged to Buddhist worshipping, the newly built for tourists.
- Location: 11.9 km away from Trang An Boat Wharf.
- Entrance fee: free entry, electric cart if needed at VND 30,000 ($1.3) per head/way.
5 - Phat Diem Cathedral Complex
The stone-built Cathedral construction was built in the late 19th-century, a combination of Vietnamese and royal European architectural styles. A historic and cultural visiting site attracting wanderlust travelers to Ninh Binh.
- Location: 32.7 km away from boat Wharf.
- Entrance fee: free entry.
IV - Accommodation surrounding Trang An Complex
Dozens of hotels and homestays nearby this Landscape Complex, affordable to luxurious staying. Here are some you may have in your list.
1 - Affordable hotels
- Address: 16A, Lane 10 Trang An street - 300m from the Complex
- Price: from $12 per room/night
Trang An Flower Hotel
- Address: 03 Alley 50 Dinh Tat Mien | Bac Thanh, Tan Thanh - 500m from the Complex
- Price: from $22 per room/night
- Address: 60/45 Hai Thuong Lan Ong Str - 1.9km away from the Complex
- Price: from $18 per room/night
2 - Accommodations near Trang An complex
Ninh Binh Legend Hotel - Source: AHBooking
Ninh Binh Legend Hotel
- Address: 77, Le Thai To Road - 1.6km from the Complex
- Price: from $40 per room/night
The Reed Hotel
- Address: Dinh Dien Street - 1.3 km from the Complex
- Price: from $60 per room per night
- For more choices, you can refer to Top hotels in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort
- Address: No. 9, Tam Coc - Bich Dong Tourist Center - 5.9 km from the Complex
- Price: from $66 per room per night
Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh
- Address: Van Long Reserve, Gia Van Commune - 19.9 km away from the Complex
- Price: from $78 per room/night
Goats in Ninh Binh - Source: Redmondspokesman
V - The local specialties tasting
Besides the fascinating landscape of Trang An Ninh Binh, Ninh Binh is distinguished by its specialties. Mountain Goat Meat and Scorched rice are amid typical dishes popularly remembered by travelers.
1 - Goat meat marinated in lemon juice
Mountain goats are wildly straying in the towering mountains, enjoying plants and herbs that make the taste of the meat unique to other regions of Vietnam.
Serving in different dishes like smoky-grilled, stir-fried, and hotpot, Lemon Juice marinated goat meat (in Vietnamese De Tai Chanh) is the most popular selection since its tender and juicy flavors.
2 - Scorched rice
The crunchy rice is slightly burned rice at the bottom of the cooking pot. Subsequent by several skillful cooking steps with confidential ingredients and recipes, make it a yellow and crispy snack. Topped with pork floss served with a bowl of delicate mushroom soup.
Mountain Goat Meat and Scorched rice are served at any restaurant in the location.
VI - Bars and Restaurants near Trang An landscape complex
Trung Tuyet Restaurant - Source: Alyanasans
As a tourist hub, a bunch of restaurants in Ninh Binh serve the local specialties. Here are the recommended ones:
1 - Aroma Indian Restaurant
- Address: Tam Coc (few steps away from Tam Coc boat wharf)
- Opening hours: 08.00-21.00,
- Food: Local specialties, vegetarian food, Indian food,
- Price, starting from US $6/set
2 - Tuan Tu Local Restaurant
- Address: Van Long Street Gia Van, Gia Vien
- Opening hours: 08.00-22.00,
- Food: Local specialties, Asian & Vietnamese cuisine.
- Price: starting from US $7 per set
Bamboo Bar and Restaurant - Source: Justgola
3 - Bamboo Bar and Restaurant
- Address: Van Lam, Ninh Hai, Tam Coc
- Location: A few blocks away to Tam Coc wharf, nice view with nice local food.
- Food: Fusion Vietnamese and French,
- Opening hours: 08.30 - 22.00
- Price: starting US $7 per set
Overall, Trang An Complex and breathtaking karst limestone scenery in Ninh Binh are among the top destinations in Vietnam. I hope you can find useful information with tips whilst traveling to the incredible land.