The Trang An boat tour is probably the most touristic activity in Ninh Binh Province. People from all around the globe come here to admire the caves and temples while enjoying a peaceful boat ride. The limestone mountains popping out of the water create an incredible scenery and it’s no wonder so many people fall in love with this place.
Why you should take a Trang An boat tour
1. Admire the breathtaking scenery
I find the scenery at Trang An boat tour very similar to Halong Bay – tall, round mountains with lush vegetation, surrounded by water. With every turn, the boat ride uncovers more and more stunning landscapes. From time to time, birds fly and sing peacefully. Everything about this place is magical.
2. Invest in the local economy
Many Vietnamese people living in the Ninh Binh Province rely heavily on tourism as their main source of income, including the locals who row the boats. By taking a boat tour at Trang An, you are contributing to the local economy. Don’t forget to leave a tip for these hard working people (anything between 20.000 VND and 40.000 VND would be great).
About Trang An boat tour
The first thing you will see when entering the site will be a big map with the 3 tour options. Each tour has a different route and it will take you to different caves and temples. However, no matter which route you choose, the tour price and duration are the same. Read below more details:
1. Route 1 – 9 caves, 3 temples
This route is designed for those passionate about geology. It is the only tour that will take you through that many caves.
2. Route 2 – 4 caves, 3 temples
This route is the most balanced one with a fair number of caves and temples to visit.
3. Route 3 – 3 caves, 3 temples
If you want to enjoy the limestone mountains, then this route is definitely for you. Most of the tour will be out in the open air.
The ticket office is right on the left side of the map (the one from the picture above). Each boat can accommodate maximum 4 people and the price per person is 200,000 VND. If you are a group of 2 you will have to look for some partners to fill the empty spots. If you don’t find anybody, you will have to pay the full price of 800,000 VND per boat. However, I would’t stress too much about it as the influx of tourists at Trang An boat tour is very high.
Evey boat has one guide/ rower who sits in the back of the boat. Although the boat tour is safe, make sure to put your life jacket on before starting the tour.
Things to keep in mind:
- If you are planning to take a boat tour in the middle of the day, do not forget your hat and sunscreen home. There is little to no shade along the way.
- Bring water and food (something sweet or a sandwich) as the boat tour will take about 3 hours.
- Each boat has an extra pair of paddles. If you want, you can use them and help your guide. I can imagine that paddling for that many hours per day can get pretty tiring for the guides.
Where to stay in Ninh Binh
I’ve been searching for the best accommodation in Ninh Binh. Below are the best hotels, for every budget:
- Budget – Tam Coc Craft Homestay – great location, big & comfortable rooms, very clean
- Mid-budget – Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort – amazing pool with a view, good location, spacious rooms, breakfast included
- Luxury – Aravinda Resort – amazing location near the limestone mountains, luxurious rooms, super-friendly staff, excellent breakfast
How to get to Trang An boat tour
There is no public transport available to the Trang An boat tour. Therefore, I recommend the options below depending on where you are located.
1. From Ninh Binh city or Tam Coc
If you are staying in any of the above cities, the easiest way to get to Trang An boat tour is either by motorbike or taxi. You can rent a motorbike for one day for about 150,000 VND per day. The taxi will cost you around 15,000 VND per kilometer.
2. From Hanoi
There are many tour companies which offer one day or two day tours to Ninh Binh area. Below are a few suggestions:
Taking a Trang An boat tour is a must when visiting Ninh Binh. I would recommend spending at least 2 days in the area. Far less touristy than Halong Bay, Ninh Binh offers spectacular views and many attractions to choose from. Read below which other tourist hot spots you can visit in the area.
May the travel bug bite you!
More about nearby attractions:
- Ninh Binh must see attractions – click here
- Thai Vi Temple – a peaceful place in Ninh Binh – click here
- Hang Mua Peak – the best view in Ninh Binh – click here
- Bich Dong Pagoda – a Ninh Binh must see – click here
- Tam Coc boat tour – Ninh Binh – click here
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