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There are about 1,600 islets in Halong Bay, each unique and all preserved & protected by the government. Which ones can and should you visit?
The ride from Sapa to Halong Bay may be a bit lengthy (and chilly!) but when you’re rewarded with views of a natural world wonder, it’s all worth it.
Vietnam is a long, S-shaped country, allowing easy travel from the capital of Hanoi to the economic hub in the south, Ho Chi Minh City.
Hop on the bus if you’re getting from Ha Long Bay to Ninh Binh. Vietnam’s not the same without it’s buses; the level of luxury is suprisingly great. The buses are inexpensive and come equipped with clean cabins, air conditioning, and comfortable seats. Best of all, free hotel pick up/drop off is available.
When travelling from Ha Long Bay to Ninh Binh, you can book a private car and arrive in ease. While the price may look steep, keep in mind that the cost includes up to five people, making this option a wonderful one for families and group travel. The car is well air conditioned.
Minivans from Ha Long Bay to Ninh Binh come in two forms: shared and private. In regards to the shared option, the cabin is air conditioned, and the price tag is quite low. In regards to the private van, this option is extremely flexible and can pick you up anytime, from any hotel.
Limestone karsts rise majestically from the emerald green waters of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations. Take a cruise to visit its many attractions and sign up for some adventure activities - Cat Ba island, spelunking in Hang Sung Sot Cave, diving in underwater cave grottoes, and dining on some of the freshest seafood.
Equally stunning is the landscape around Ninh Binh. Trang An, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and sometimes referred to as the Halong Bay on land, is located a short distance from Ninh Binh. The region is known for its limestone caves and lush green rice fields.
The distance from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh is approximately 136 miles (219 km) and takes three and a half hours to 5 hours to cover, depending on the mode of transport. Those wishing to travel to Ninh Binh from Halong Bay can choose from buses, minivans (shared and private), and taxis.
Buses are the most inexpensive option and a very popular choice. Minivans are also an economical option and offer more departure time options. With more flexibility in timing and pick up and drop off options, minivans are an excellent choice for groups. For those traveling solo, as a couple or with family and want convenience and privacy, private taxis are available for hire.
Buses are a popular option to travel from Ha Long Bay to Ninh Binh. And with ticket prices starting from as low as $7.50, they are an excellent choice for backpackers, budget travelers, and single travelers. All buses are air-conditioned and have comfortable seats. The coaches take between three and a half hours to five hours to reach Ninh Binh and make stops along the way for snacks and toilet breaks. While there are multiple departures (up to four) per day, the departure time options are limited. Most of the buses leave Halong Bay before noon, and there are no afternoon or evening options available. The bus can get a little chilly as the AC is sometimes cranked up, so do bring a jacket or sweater in your carry on luggage to keep warm.
For slightly more than the price of a bus ticket (ticket prices start at $14/person), you can choose a shared minivan to travel to Halong Bay to Ninh Binh. All of the minivans are air-conditioned and have comfortable and well-cushioned seats making the three and a half hour journey to Ninh Binh a pleasant one.
For those traveling as part of a bigger group, there is the option of booking a private minivan. These minivans are ideal for groups up to 9 or 10 people and offer hotel pick up and drop off. They make stops along the way for food, toilet breaks, and to stretch your legs. Departure times can be decided based on your convenience.
Minivan pick ups in Halong Bay
Minivan drop offs in Ninh Binh
If comfort, convenience, and privacy is what you are looking for, then booking a private car might be the best option. You can choose a standard-sized vehicle if you are traveling alone or as part of a small group (up to three passengers). More spacious SUVs are available for families or groups of up to five passengers. They offer flexibility in terms of departure times, and when you need to take breaks during the journey.
There are approximately seven departures to Ninh Binh from Halong Bay every day. These include buses and shared minivans. Most bus departures are in the morning while minivans offer early evening departures too. Apart from this, depending on your group's size, you could also book a private taxi or minivan.
The most popular choice to travel from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh for Bookaway customers is the Limo Bus by Ninh Binh Limousine. With cushioned and reclining seats, air-conditioned buses and ticket prices starting $15, the Limo Bus is a comfortable and economical way to travel. The seats are fitted with personal TVs so you can sit back and relax while catching up on local shows.
With a travel time of three and a half hours, the Limo Bus by Ninh Binh Limousine is not just the most popular way to travel, but is also the quickest. And with ticket prices starting at $15, they are a cost-effective choice too. Minivans and cars also take a similar amount of time and are good options to consider if you want more flexibility.
The Tourist Bus by The Long Travel offers tickets from $7.50 per passenger, making it the most budget-friendly option available. The buses are air-conditioned and have cushioned reclining seats.
The route from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh is a scenic one and gives you a wonderful glimpse into the beautiful Vietnam countryside. If you are traveling by private minivan or taxi, stop for a while to take in the quaint rural scenes and capture a few of these images to take back with you.