When I traveled through Vietnam, I was really excited about seeing the beautiful Halong Bay and rightly so. It is incredible there, but alas, with a place that famous it is bound to get a bit crowded. We loved our time there but the destination that surprised us the most was Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh is only a two hour drive south from Hanoi. When we arrived we booked in to our guesthouse and they recommended that the best way to see Ninh Binh and the surrounding area is by motorbike. I’m not very confident about my driving skills and neither was Louise so we hired two men from the guesthouse to drive us.
Afterwards we drove through small villages with people coming out and waving and shouting “hello” at us. (It’s so funny how that has now become my everyday life here in Korea). This area is predominantly rice paddies which makes the landscape look even more beautiful.
I highly recommend a trip to Ninh Binh, it is just south of Hanoi and most of the bus tickets that bring you North/South, South/North will stop in Ninh Binh to drop you off and collect you. Beware though! When it came time to leave, we had prebooked our bus and for some reason it never turned up! We were left standing in a dark street by ourselves for about 3 hours when we finally realized that the man that kept on telling us the bus was on the way was lying. We ventured back to our guesthouse to find that they were fully booked. Luckily, they were amazing people so they let us sleep in their own bedroom. The next night, we were lucky to get the last two beds on the bus.