Cycling in Ninh Binh is one if the best things to do. In fact, this province is one of the best destinations for cycling in Vietnam. Between the towering limestone mountains you will find flat valleys, with little traffic between the major highlights. This makes the province an ideal place to grab your bicycle and explore the beautiful countryside.
- Cycling in Ninh Binh
- Best Ninh Binh bike tour
- Ninh Binh self drive bike itinerary
- Renting bikes in Ninh Binh
Cycling in Ninh Binh
Some of the major highlights in Ninh Binh are relatively close to each other, including Mua Cave, Tam Coc, Trang An and Hoa Lu. This and the combination of little traffic and flat roads makes cycling the best way to get around. A very welcoming extra is that you will find stunning scenery between these destinations. Biking in Ninh Binh brings you through beautiful rice fields, small rivers, towering limestone cliffs and buffalo’s and goats walking freely over the roads.
On the way biking from one place to the next you find plenty of restaurants to choose from, so it is easy to lunch on the way or have a drink.
|From / To||Tam Coc||Bich Dong Pagoda||Mua Cave||Thung Nham Garden||Trang An||Hoa Lu|
|Tam Coc||–||3 km||5 km||7 km||8 km||15 km|
|Bich Dong Pagoda||3 km||–||8 km||5 km||14 km||18 km|
|Mua Cave||5 km||8 km||–||12 km||4 km||9 km|
|Thung Nham Garden||7 km||5 km||12 km||–||18 km||23 km|
|Trang An||8 km||13 km||4 km||18 km||–||5 km|
|Hoa Lu||15 km||18 km||9 km||23 km||5 km||–|
Travelling to Cuc Phuong National Park (45 km), Van Long Nature Reserve (20 km), Bai Dinh Pagoda (20 km) is possible but can be too for many travellers and can require either going on public roads with lot of traffic or a lot of navigating through back roads through the countryside.
Best Ninh Binh bike tour
If you are staying in Ninh Binh, it is recommended to hire bikes by yourself, but you can also take day trips and multiple day trips from Hanoi. Some of these tours from Hanoi include biking through the countryside of Ninh Binh, as it is one of the best things to do here. Other activities in these day tours are often a boat trip in Ninh Binh and visiting temples. Multiple day tours also include an overnight stay in a resort or homestay. Check a selection of the best tours in Ninh Binh:
Ninh Binh self drive bike itinerary
Doing a self bike tour is not that hard. For a big part it is just one road you need to follow that brings you to some of the famous attractions. Follow the roads on the bike map below and pick the destinations you want to visit. To get an idea about the distances between the destinations you can use the table above. These are all the destinations you can bike to in one day:
- Tam Coc (boat tour)
- Bich Dong Pagoda
- Mua Cave
- Thung Nham Bird Garden (boat tour)
- Trang An (boat tour)
- Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel
* Biking to all these places on one day is possible, but please note that boat trips can take from 1-hour to 2.5-hour. So It is best to choose just 1 boat trip or 1 long boat trip and 1 short boat trip. Don’t know which one to pick? Read: Best boat tours in Ninh Binh.
- Use either Google Maps for online navigation or Maps.me for offline navigation. Recommended to use a Vietnamese sim card to have internet.
- Best place to stay is Tam Coc. You are right on the route of the biking trial. If you stay in Ninh Binh City, you have to bike first around 7 km to the biking trial.
Renting bikes in Ninh Binh
Renting a bicycle in Ninh Binh is easy and cheap. Most hotels, resorts and homestays rent them out for free to their guest. Though, some homestays can rent out very dodgy and low quality bikes. They can be good enough for short distances, but if you are planning to ride a bike in Ninh Binh for all day, it can be less comfortable.
Cycling in Ninh Binh is hugely popular, so if your accommodation don’t rent any bikes or very bad quality, it is not going to be hard to spot different rental companies in the streets of Ninh Binh City and Tam Coc. Depending on the quality of the bike or mountain bike, expect to pay between $2 to $5 a day.
Biking in Cuc Phung National Park
As an alternative to biking between Tam Coc and Trang An, you can also opt for biking in Cuc Phuong National Park. The national park lies around 45 km from Ninh Binh City. Best is to take a transfer from your accommodation to the park. Right at the entrance you can rent bikes to start your trip exploring the oldest national park of Vietnam.
There are different trails in the park, but the round the park trail is around 40 km and recommended, taking almost a full day. It brings you deep in the jungle through mountainous terrains. A full day biking trip might not be for everyone, but if you are a fan of mountain bike trails it is recommended. Be sure to plan your trip well and bring enough drinking water, snacks, lunch and the right clothing with you.