How to get from Ha Giang to Ninh Binh (Tam Coc)

Once you’ve completed the magnificent Ha Giang Loop, you’re probably likely to head back to Hanoi. However, if you’re also planning to visit Ninh Binh and the wonderful waterways of Tam Coc, you can also do it directly from Ha Giang.

There are basically two ways of getting from Ha Giang to Ninh Binh:

1: Catch the day bus to Hanoi, and then transfer on to Ninh Binh

The safer option to get from Ha Giang to Ninh Binh is via the standard day bus. This should set you back something like 300,000 – 350,000 VND. Once in Hanoi you can then catch the train or bus to Ninh Binh.

The train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is a great option to consider: there are a number of trains connecting Hanoi and Ninh Binh, with the journey taking between 2.5 to 3 hours. It’s a pretty cheap option, with soft-seat tickets starting from just 80,000 VND (less than $5) per person.  If you’re looking for a chillout ride, this is your choice.

Check out the best ways to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh right here.

2: Catch the night bus to Ninh Binh, directly from Ha Giang

Ha Giang to Ninh Binh

I couldn’t find any info on catching the night bus to Ninh Binh online, but when staying in Ha Giang, the guys at QT Guest House told me all about it. It leaves at 9pm and can pick you up from wherever you are staying in Ha Giang, apparently. You pay 290,000 VND (as of the time this article was written) to the bus driver or his assistant and then try and sleep some of the way – it’s a 7 hour ride with one toilet break, and plenty of flashy, neon lights!

The only issue is when you arrive at Ninh Binh. I was told that I could sleep on the bus until morning, but that wasn’t the case, as the bus seemed to be continuing on its journey.

At least the bus driver hailed me a taxi and I made it to Tam Coc, maybe 15 minutes away. The only problem was that I hadn’t booked a hotel/homestay in advance, as I planned to walk around in the morning and find something. But after some feverish hunting online I eventually found a cool little hotel just a few meters away from the center, who actually let me in at 5am and gave me a room without charging me for that night – bless ’em over at Hotel Victoria!

So, yes, it might be wise to book something in advance and check if you can arrive early – very early!

Check out our Travel Tips section for more essential tips!
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