Of all the things we did in Ninh Binh, the viewpoint is our absolute favorite.
From the top of the mountain you can see the Tam Coc river in one direction, and the magnificent rice fields in the other direction.
Ninh Binh Viewpoint costs 100,000 VND per person. You can take a bus, taxi, or drive there yourself. Expect to spend 1-2 hours there depending on your walking speed. The steps up the mountain are steep but both young and old can make it to the two viewpoints. Bring water and sunscreen.
We will go further into detail so you will be fully prepared for your trip to this beautiful viewpoint.
What You Should Bring to Ninh Binh’s Viewpoint
Depending on your transport option you will need about 20 000 VND for parking, and 100 000 VND per person for your entrance fee.
As you are going to walk up a bunch of stairs, I recommend packing light. Some water and your camera should be all you need.
You are also about to get a solid cardio workout you may consider not wearing too much warm or uncomfortable clothes.
And of course, sunscreen is a must. As far as food and other supplies go, you can buy what you need at the base of the stairs if you forget anything.
How to get to the viewpoint
Making your way to the viewpoint is done through transport to the bottom of the mountain, from there you have to use your legs to walk up the stairs.
Transport to the Ninh Binh viewpoint
Like most attractions in Ninh Binh, there are a few different ways to get to the viewpoint.
The easiest one is to join a group tour. This is best done as a day trip from Hanoi. You can shop around for the best price if you wish to save some money.
From Hanoi, you can also take the train to Ninh Binh City, and a taxi from there. The train journey is only a few hours from Hanoi.
I recommend staying in Ninh Binh for a few days as there is so much to see and experience.
From your hotel in Ninh Binh, the receptionists can certainly help you get transport to the viewpoint in the form of a tour, or a taxi. Just inquire about the “Tam Coc Viewpoint”.
if you dare, I strongly recommend renting a scooter or bike instead. You get a lot more freedom to move around at your own time. You can also use the bike to drive (or bike!) along the beautiful landscapes of Ninh Binh later.
Again, the helpful people at your hotel will certainly be able to assist you in getting hold of a bike or scooter.
We paid 180 000 VND/day for our motorbike. Bikes were around half of that.
Getting Up To Ninh Binh Viewpoint
As you enter the base of the mountain, you will need to pay 100 000 VND per person to enter.
From the ticket booth there is about a 5 minute walk to the bottom of the stairs up to the viewpoint.
Along this area, there is a lot of beautiful nature, a path out into the fields, a few grottoes to look inside, and of course a bunch of shops and restaurants.
The stairs up the mountain
From the bottom, the ascent can seem intimidating. The steps are a bit uneven, steep, and full of people going both up and down.
Don’t let this deter you from walking up.
We saw lots of seniors and larger people making their way up the stairs. Granted, they did walk slowly but did get up to the viewpoint. We even saw a wedding party, including a woman in a very long wedding dress getting up there for some photos!
The walk took up took us about 20 minutes to both of the summits. If you walk slowly it won’t take more than 30-40 min at most.
As you reach the top there are two paths, the one to your left leads to the Lying Dragon. From here you can see the Tam Coc River where you can take a boat trip later. This is also the highest point of the Ninh Binh Viewpoint.
As you make your way back down a few minutes, you can see a different path leading you up to the second viewpoint. This one does not have as nice stairs, but there are way fewer people here.
From this viewpoint, you can overlook the beautiful rice fields of Ninh Binh, in addition to seeing the whole Lying Dragon from the other viewpoint.
Making your way back down the mountain
Making your way back down is a lot easier than getting up. While you still need to be careful as it is steep, it only took us 10 minutes to walk back down again.
From the base of the mountain, you can easily get back to your hotel, or onwards to your next activity.
The buses park right outside the ticketing booth, and there are multiple parking lots around the entrance area. I recommend not parking your bike at the first parking lot you see. There will be lots of closer to the mountain.
To conclude: Dress comfortably, pack light, bring water, the entrance fee is 100 000 VND, expect to spend an hour there, don’t be intimidated by the stairs.
Here’s our guide to the Tam Coc boat tour, which was also a fantastic experience.
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