Train services and logistics
Four bunk sleeper on a long distance train.

There are many different ways to get to Ninh Binh. Originally an ancient crossroads, Ninh Binh City remains a bustling logistics hub and most visitors to North Vietnam will end up here at some stage of their journey.

Well serviced with a modern train station, a busy inter-provincial bus station, Ninh Binh is an important stop on the main highway that bisects the country. It is not hard to find transport to suit all tastes and budgets.

Visitors who pre-book their trip with one of the many tourist groups that service the area, will usually have travel to and from Ninh Binh as part of their “package”. But this is Vietnam – always double check the agency and the ticketing. For those with a more flexible itinerary, we provide here some of the various services, companies and sample fares.

Prices will never remain fixed, so we only give a “ballpark” figure that need be checked directly with the provider.

Certain periods, such as the Lunar New Year (Tet), Reunification Day and so on will see massive migration of the Vietnamese population to and from their home villages and cities. Transport at these times (see our Festivals page) will often be oversubscribed, prices rise and conditions are crowded. You are advised to check if your planned travel coincide with these dates and book well ahead.


For inter-city travel in Vietnam, you cannot go past the luxury 6-8 seater air conditioned modern vans that ply all the major routes several times a day, and to lesser destinations on a more sporadic schedule. A little more expensive than bus or train travel, most will pick you up at a chosen address and drop you off in front of your destination address so you should also calculate the extra costs saved in taxi/grab fares too and from Bus and Train terminals

Limousine Trang An
  • Ticket reservation center: 1900.0336 -Pick up point:
    • Route 1: Noi Bai – Cau Giay Park – Gate 3 Big C Thang Long
    • Route 2: Central Circus – 131 Vong Street – CC2 Apartment – Dong Tau Urban Area
    • Return point: the whole Ninh Binh City Area, tourist attractions.
  • Open: from 5 am to 20 pm (frequency 60 minutes/trip)
  • Sample Fares(from Hanoi)
    • Ninh Binh city: 130,000 VND
    • Hang Múa : 150,000 VND
    • Bai Dinh pagoda : 180,000 VND
    • Am Tien Cave : 170,000 VND
    • Trang An Marina : 150,000 VND
    • Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: 170,000 VND
    • Tam Coc Marina: 150,000 VND
    • Thung Nham : 170,000 VND
Binh Minh Limousine Ninh Binh Garage
  • Ticket reservation center: 1900 1531
  • Open: from 4am to 10pm daily (1 trip every 60 minutes)
  • Ticket Prices:
  • Sample Fares(from Hanoi)
    • Ninh Binh city 155,000 VND
    • Tam Coc, Bich Dong pagoda 180,000 VND
    • Trang An wharf 180,000 VND
    • KDL Hang Mua 180,000 VND
    • Hoa Lu Ancient Capital 200,000 VND
Limousine Khanh An
  • Ticket reservation center: 19001035 – 19008629
  • Open: from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (1 trip every 45 minutes)
  • Sample Fares(from Hanoi)
    • Ninh Binh city 135,000 VND
    • Tam Coc Marina, Bich Dong Pagoda 150,000 VND
    • Trang An wharf 150,000 VND
    • Hang Mua resort 150,000 VND
    • Temple of King Dinh – Le, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital 170,000 VND


Vietnam boasts a robust rail system that connects north to south and some regional capitals and trade routes. There are several “class” of tickets including hard seat, soft seat and sleeper. But there are further variations on that according to route, the train itself and the length/time of the journey. So on a trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai (near Sapa), a hard seat is just that – slatted wooden pews. On one of the express trains, it might be you don’t have a recliner on your plush faux leather bucket seat.

Prices vary wildly for the same reasons and you are best to check routes, pricing and schedule online at the official website. General rule of thumb is children under 6 years old travel free while 6 to 10 years old are entitled to a small discount (10-20%). Sleepers come in 6, 4 and occasional 2 berth configuration, with reciprocal levels of pricing and certain carriages reserved for long distance travellers.

The station platforms are often lined with an array of food, beverages and small good stalls that come to a flurry of life at arrival/departure times. Small canteens with beer, soda, coffee water and foodstuffs are often at the rear of the long distance trains but all trains stop at major stations for 5-10 minutes, enough time to replenish your supply of fresh banh mi, snacks and beverages.

Any luggage or personal devices should be well secured. Passport/visa and a valid ticket are required and in the spirit of first come, first served, the earlier you book the ticket, the lower the ticket price (and the more likely you are to get a good seat/berth).

Train Station (Ga Ninh Binh)
  • Address: Ngo Gia Tu street, Ninh Binh City
  • Phone: 030.3673.619
  • Website:
  • Sample Fares:
    • Ninh Binh – Ha Noi air-conditioned sleepers and soft seats for adults are between 80-125,000 VND/one way.
    • Ninh Binh – Hue air-conditioned sleepers and soft seats for adults are between 300-700000 VND/one way.
    • Ninh Binh – Da Nang air-conditioned sleepers and soft seats : from 400-900000 VND/one way.
    • Ninh Binh – Ho Chi Minh City air-conditioned sleeper is about 1.5 million VND/one way.
    • Ninh Binh – Ho Chi Minh City air-conditioned soft seat ticket 850000 VND/one way.


Typically, any long distance travel in Vietnam will also be catered for by large well fitted “luxury” coaches. The luxury comes into it with recliner seats or sleeping pods, WIFI, USB power outlets, small snacks and bottle water. They are a favourite way to travel for Vietnamese who don’t want the expense of flight or for travel to provincial hubs that are not serviced by the major airlines.

The condition of the buses, the level of English, the safety and so on varies markedly between companies, routes and even buses within the same company. Best to check on sites like Travel Adviser, Rome2tRio and similar to get the “latest” updates on prices, reviews and practical advise for each companies booking offices, standard of care and so on.

Most will stop every couple of hours for 10-15 minutes at designated rest spots to relieve a floating bladder, stretch your legs and perhaps pickup some snacks for the next stage. The driver will blow the horn several times before departure but if there are several buses using the same stop, it can be easy to miss the signal. Do not wander off and make sure you are on the bus when it departs!

Depending on the length of the journey there will be food stops every 4-5 hours. These generally are of longer duration. At busy stops, make sure you order your meal as soon as possible as catering for hundreds of hungry passengers alighting from a dozen buses all at once leads to delays.

Depending on the route, they will usually be roughly segregated into night and day buses. There has been a trend lately for long distance buses to be outfitted with sleeping “pods” – fiberglass capsules that allow you to lie down (dependant on your height) and are split into upper and lower “berths”. Generally speaking, lower berths are favoured as they are easier to access and are not so prone to “sway” as the bus speeds along at night.

Prices on the high end are likely to be comparable to limo travel but you can shave a lot off at the lower end of the scale. Just remember you get what you pay for.



Local buses have adapted to local needs and necessities and may be difficult for the casual tourists to access. Routes from Ninh Binh city to other districts are not fixed as their schedule depends on the number of passengers so often you need to find the “peak periods” (early morning, late afternoon) and seats generally are not able to be pre-booked.

Generally the drivers will not speak English or other foreign languages however they are aware of Google Translator. It is up to you to use it correctly (and the conversational voice function is particularly usefully here). Public bus prices will generally range from a few thousand dong up to 100k so remember to check the price before using the service (locals or your hotels may be able to help here). Also be especially careful to check return times and the last service of each day. A lot of places you may end up will not necessary have many alternate travel routes.

Avoid large packages or luggage as they can become awkward in confined spaces and/or take up valuable space. Generally speaking, the buses are an important logistical part of Vietnamese villages, not for casual day trippers.
We give some sample routes below but check and check again before embarking on a journey into the Vietnamese heartland.

  • Website:
  • Some Sample Routes
  • Route 01: Round trip from Ninh Phuc intersection area in Ninh Binh city to Cuc Phuong junction area (in Nho Quan District) and many stops inbetween.
    • Time: 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 02: Round-trip from Ninh Binh Bus Station to Lai Thanh Junction via National Highway 10
    • Time: 5:30 – 17:30• Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 03: Round-trip from Ninh Binh City Provincial Sports Stadium to Doc Xay Area (Tam Diep Town)via Highway 1.
    • Time: 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 04: Round-trip: Ninh Binh bus station – National Highway 1 – Binh Son junction – DT480 – Lai Thanh junction
    • Time: 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 05: Round-trip: Ninh Binh Bus Station to Cuc Phuong junction area via National Highways 1 & 12B – .
    • Time: 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 07: Ninh Binh City – Do Muoi
    • Route: Round-trip from Nam Thanh Rest Station (Ninh Binh City) to Chinh Tam commune area (Kim Son) & Do Muoi via National Highway 10.
    • Frequency: 60 minutes/trip.
    • Operating time: 5:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Route 08: Nam Thanh – Phu Long rest stop (Ngo Quan)
    • Route (Round-trip): Nam Thanh Rest Stop – Ninh Binh Provincial General Institute – Tuberculosis Institute – Eye Institute – Obstetrics and Pediatrics Institute – Military Medical Institute 5 – Lim Bridge – Provincial Post Office – National Highway 1 A – Cau Huyen – Truong Yen – Crossroads to Kenh Ga – Bai Dinh – Anh Troi T-junction – Ria – Phu Long T-junction (Ngo Quan)
    • Operating Time : 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • 8.Route 09: East bus station – Nho Quan
    • Route : Round-Trip Big C supermarket area (Ninh Binh East bus station) to Xich Tho commune, Nho Quan.
    • Operating Time : 5:30 – 17:30
    • Frequency: 15 minutes/trip
  • Route 19: Xich Tho – Ninh Binh City
    • Round-trip: Dai Hoa village area (Xin Tho, Nho Quan)to Big C Supermarket area (East bus station of Ninh Binh City)via Highway 1.
    • Frequency: 40 – 60 minutes/trip.
    • Operating time: 05h45 to 17h45.
  • Route NN11: Nam Dinh City – Ninh Binh City
    • Route : Round trip of Nin Binh City area: BigC Nam Dinh Supermarket – National Highway 10 – Phu Nghia Street – Han Thuyen Street – Hung Vuong Street – Nguyen Du Street – Mac Thi Buoi Street – Quang Trung Street – Tran Hung Dao Street – Truong Street Chinh – Dien Bien street – Giai Phong street – Pham Ngu Lao street – National Highway 10 – Loc An junction – Goi town – National Highway 10 – La Xuyen – Cat Dang – Cao Bo intersection – Non Nuoc bridge – Luong Van Thang street – intersection Hoa Do – Tran Hung Dao street – under Thanh Binh overpass – Nguyen Cong Tru street – Big C supermarket in Ninh Binh.
    • Frequency: 60 minutes/trip.
    • Operating time: from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Share Hires

If you have been anytime at all in Vietnam, you already have the Grab app. If not, get it now ! Almost as indispensable at Google Maps and Translator, Grab will give you a fixed price between locations, keep a record of your booking and allow you to share a live GPS signal of your journey to friends or relatives. And no, it does not require a credit card – just don’t expect drivers to keep change for 500k notes. Convenient and safe, Grab is a great boon to the Vietnam traveller.

note: Tipping is not expected but if the fare is 39k, waving off the 1k change is ok. If the driver has been especially helpful, a fiver is nice but it is not normal behaviour here. Most Vietnamese would say the economics have already been established in the price you pay – no need to embellish it further.

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