A major part of the Ninh Binh landscape is characterised by the large limestone mountains which are quite similar in appearance to those in Halong Bay, although they are not as massive in size.
If able to travel to Trang An and Tam Coc when the weather is right, the rice paddies will be filled with water and looking their best to give the truly picturesque scenery.
The preferred way to appreciate the local scenery is to sign up for a boat tour in Hanoi or rent a bicycle. The majority of boat trips will start at the major points of Trang An and Tam Coc. However, there are also a few less visited regions such as those between Hoa Lu and Trang An and near the Bich Dong pagoda. They are less touristy, so give the option for a more peaceful tour.
The small row-boats are perfect for paddling along the river and take a route that passes the karst peaks, rice fields and through caves. A typical Ninh Binh tour package can take in the region of two to three hours. The tours of Trang An and Tam Coc are both very popular and the preferred trip is likely to relate to which one is best able to complement the travel itinerary on the tours of Vietnam.
Trang An and Tam Coc boat trips are among the most popular reasons for tourists to visit this part of northern Vietnam, so you should expect to see plenty of other visitors when travelling along the rivers. However, it can help to avoid the Vietnamese holiday periods and weekends to ensure the crowds aren't too overwhelming.
The prices for the Trang An and Tam Coc boat trips are quite similar, but will typically differ with each region. In Trang An, the standard charge is approx $9.00 for each adult passenger and $4.50 for each child passenger. The maximum passengers accepted are up to the number of seats. On many occasions, the row-boat isn't likely to depart until at least four passengers are on board.
For the Tam Coc boat trip, the charge is $6.50 to hire the row-boat for the duration of the trip and an extra $5.50 per passenger. Also, there is a rule of two passenger’s maximum per boat. Additionally, there may be an extra fee of about $1 for parking a scooter.
Getting around Ninh Binh
Travelling around Ninh Binh on the Vietnam tours package is certain to be more enjoyable when you have your own transport. A great highlight of this region is taking a motorbike and fully exploring the stunning landscape with its limestone mountains and rice fields. A typical hire charge for a motorbike is in the region of $5 per day from a travel agent or hotel. Alternately, a bicycle is a further option with many of the local roads pretty flat and easy to navigate. A bicycle tour is great in a place like Tam Coc. However, a tour on a bicycle can be quite challenging if wishing to see all the major sites like Trang An and Bai Dinh Pagoda which may involve travelling around 30 km.