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We’ve created the perfect itinerary to optimize your short time here in Ninh Binh, with plenty of nature, history, goats, and food.
Explore the breathtaking natural beauty of Vietnam’s coastal regions from Ha Long Bay to Da Nang to Phan Thiet to islands like Con Dao, prepare to be awed.
Northern Vietnam is the perfect region for nature enthusiasts, from sightseeing to hiking and even to relaxing.
The town of Ninh Binh, located around 60 miles (95 km) from Hanoi, is the gateway to some of Vietnam’s most unforgettable scenery. Located a short distance from Ninh Binh is Trang An, a region known for its foliage-covered limestone karsts and lush surroundings. Explore the region’s caves and pagodas on a relaxing boat tour or head out to the equally stunning Tam Coc region.
Cat Ba Island is the largest of 367 islands that make up the Cat Ba Archipelago and is known for its rugged landscapes and outdoor activities. While there, go on a hike in Cat Ba National Park or head to its sandy beaches. Spend the day cruising the waters of Lan Ha Bay, famous for its majestic limestone karsts, and discover secluded beaches and picturesque islands.
The distance from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba is around 123 km (76 miles) and takes about four and a half hours to cover. Depending on your budget and preference, you could either book a combined bus and ferry ticket or choose a private taxi and hop on a ferry to get to Cat Ba Island.
Depending on which operator you pick, you will get to stay on the bus as it boards the ferry to take you across to Cat Ba, or you may need to disembark from your bus for the ferry crossing and board a new bus once the boat reaches Cat Ba Island.
Buses are a popular and economical option and provide travelers with multiple departure times, starting from morning, with the last in early evening. On the other hand, if you want to have flexibility, space, and privacy, you can choose to book a private taxi or even a luxurious limo!
If you want a hassle-free ride with minimal transfers, taking a bus is a good option. Passengers stay on the bus as it boards the ferry and makes the crossing. Cushioned seats and a travel time of around 4.5 hours make this a good choice for those looking for a comfortable and convenient ride.
With 11 departures every day, the bus and ferry combination ticket is the most popular way to travel to Cat Ba Island. Passengers can choose from early morning, late morning, and early evening departures. Travel time varies from four to five and a half hours. Ticket prices start from $11 per passenger, making it the most cost-effective way of traveling.
Bus pick ups in Ninh Binh
Bus drop-offs on Cat Ba Island
Perfect for those traveling as part of a bigger group or with children, private taxis provide privacy, extra space, and flexibility in timings. You can book a standard car, which is suitable for solo travelers and those traveling in small groups (up to 3). Bigger vehicles that can accommodate up to 5 passengers are also available. If you want to travel in style, you can book a luxurious limo that comes with plush seats and plenty of legroom. All private taxis offer hotel pick up and drop off, making the journey a convenient and relaxing one.
There are around 12 departures per day from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island. Travelers have the option of booking morning or afternoon departures, based on their timings. You also have the option of booking a private taxi if you need extra luggage space or are traveling with children.
The most popular choice for Bookaway customers is the Economy Bus by Discovery Travel. Ticket prices start around $13 per passenger, and the travel time is four and a half hours. Passengers stay on the bus as it boards the ferry during the crossing.
If you want to save on time or are keen on booking an operator with the shortest travel time, the Tourist Bus and Ferry by Daiichi Travel is the fastest way to get to Cat Ba Island from Ninh Binh. The bus takes approximately 4 hours to cover the distance, and they offer three departures: two in the morning and one in the afternoon.
With ticket prices starting from $11, the Tourist Bus and Ferry by Daiichi Travel is the cheapest operator too. Travel time is around 4 hours, and the operator offers a small snack and bottled water. It is an excellent choice for backpackers and budget travelers.
The journey from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong, the town from where ferries to Cat Ba Island originate, takes around two and a half to three hours. Take a quick nap or sit back and take in the sights of the Vietnamese countryside. The fields and the surroundings take on a sparkling green hue after the monsoons.
If you take the bus and ferry option that requires you to disembark at the Hai Phong harbor and onto the ferry, you can sit back and enjoy the cool breeze as you come upon the first views of Cat Ba Island.