Ninh Binh has become a  more and more famous tourist attraction espcially after the Hollywood film Kong-Skull Island was shot here. Sapa is also great destination for travellers like  it was located in a Western country and Hanoi , thousand – year capital of Vietnam with stunning and superb landscapes. These three places are well-known tourist attractions where many young backpackers want to explore for 5 days and 4 nights with interesting itinerary. Let’s be with Hanoi Explore Travel to see detailed tourism experience through the below reviews and comments!

Van long nature reserve in sunset

In this article, a facebook account named: Johny Ferhson has sent reviews together with photos and shared his feelings about his trip for his friends and Hanoi Explore Travel. And we hope that his experience will be useful for you, let’s check it out!

Hoan kiem lake

Overview of the trip

Destinations: John’s team take a trip to Ninh Binh – Sa Pa – Hanoi; they departed from Ho Chi Minh city

Means: Flight, train, car, motorbike and electric scooters/bicycles

Duration: 4 days  5 nights

Total expenses: around 4.600.000 VND/person, consisting of flight ticket from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi,drink, meals and rest, etc..

According to him, each traveller  definitely have different schedule and spending, his reviews are only for readers’ reference to save money but still enjoy the food and drink

A part of Hanoi Old Quarter Center

The Detailed Itinerary

The first night – 8:00 – 10:00 pm: Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

  • 11: 00 pm: Be present at the old quarter, check it the hotel and have late – night snacks and enjoy overnight entertainment until 2:30 am before being back to the hotel. It is exactly as the saying of the young which is “work hard, play hard”, isn’t it?
Cyclo in Hanoi

Day 1: Travel to Ninh Binh

There are many ways for you go on Ninh Binh tour, and booking  a tour is a good option. The price of a tour depends on the departure place. You can consult Hanoi – Ninh Binh tour as below

If you want to catch a coach to Ninh Binh province, you can go to Giap Bat station on Giai Phong street. The price is around 120.000VND/one way ticket of sleeping coach. When you reach Ninh Binh, you can lease a motorbike or grab a taxi to explore.

Ninh Binh Train Station

Other young people choose to backpack to Ninh Binh by motorbike because of its convenience. Please check the routes from Hanoi and Ninh Binh right here

For John’s team, they hired a 7 – seat car departing from Hanoi to Ninh Binh because of its comfort and limited time; also doing this makes them explore many destinations in Ninh Binh within a day

  • Morning: Having breakfast and go to Bai Dinh pagoda
  • Midday: having lunch for around 1- 2 hours
  • After that, heading for Trang An
  • Evening at around 10:00 pm, his team comes back Hanoi city, then they spend around 8 hours to take a train to Lao Cai – Sa Pa
Tam Coc Boat Tour

Day 2 and Day 3: Sa Pa tour

Leasing motorbikes to visit villages in Sa Pa and and town center

Sleep at their cozy and pleasant homestay with the nice landloard

Trekking at Cat Cat Village

They climb to Fansipan mountain , ranked one of the most ideal spots for mountaineering  of Southeast Asia. If you are excited about this kind of sport, you can go for it; otherwise, you can take the aerial tramway

Entering Cat Cat village, hiring ethnic clothes to take photos

Wandering around there to get something to drink, buy some souvenirs before getting back to Hanoi in the evening

Sapa Local Market

Day 4: Wandering around Hanoi

Visiting Ho Chi Minh mausoleum

Taking a walk around the old quarter

9:00 pm: Back to Ho Chi Minh city

Private-Hanoi-Street-Food-Tour with Hanoi Explore Travel
Private Hanoi Street Food Tour

Attractive places during the tour

Rowing boat trip at Tam Coc

Ninh Binh – an imposing and incredible tourist attraction

John shared to us that , “ If you mean to come to Vietnam for travelling, you must visit Ninh Binh once. Why? Because Hollywood chose this place to shoot the film: Kong Skull Island, and it is said that the film Fast 9 is going to be shot here also.”

Execpt from that, some other programmes like “Running Man” made from South Korea will take place here. So why don’t you give it a try now?

With the interesting things mentioned above, we beleive that all of us get very excited to check in this great place. Below are outstanding places of Ninh Binh John’s team explored:

Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh at Night

Bai Dinh Pagoda

This pagoda has unique and origial architecture and is of great spiritual importance. If you are going to walk around all of the pagoda, it will take you 4 hours. Sounds very tiring right? So we suggest that it would be better if you hire an electric car

Please check the location of Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh right here

Located in Ninh Binh, Bai Dinh Pagoda is the largest pagoda in Viet Nam

Trang An complex and Kong Skull Island film studio

This is a very learge and well-known  tourism complex of Ninh Binh. Recently, it has become more and more famous because the film Kong Skull Island, which have been much shown by many cinemals all the world, was shot here

Check the location of Trang An complex here

Trang An is quite near Am Tien cave, considered as “Tuyet Tinh Coc” (the most beautiful place)  of Ninh Binh. If you have time, you should not miss this location

Kong Skull Island Village

Sa Pa – Ihe town of fog and white cloud – Miraculous beauty

terraces in sapa

Fasipan – The roof of Dong Duong

Setting your foot to Sapa, where its weather is very cold, you can have the chance to admire stair fields of ethnic people, but don’t forget conquering Fansipan mountain

Check the location of Fansipan mountain here

Peak of Fansipan Mountain

Sapa stone church

Don’t forget to visit this church with unique architechure because this is must-do activity for all toursits coming here

Sapa Market

Brocade items are very popular here with the image of children going to the market and medium cold will all make you have indescribable feelings

Sapa Stone Church

Cat Cat village

Cat Cat , a beautiful and picturesque village, has attracted a flock of tourists lately

If you have trouble in planning your visit to Sapa or in homestay/lodging or accommodation, train ticket or sleeping coach to Sapa, feel free to contact us. We will provide you with free information or even give you the suggestion of the most perfect itinerary for you. Besides this, you can refer our most detailed schedue of some tours from Hanoi to Sapa as following: Sapa 2 Days 1 Night Trekking Tour from Hanoi

Sapa Local Food

Hanoi – The city of thousand- year culture

Hanoi always has peaceful and meditative beauty , which is not the same as Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city). This place will surely bring unforgettable memories to travellers, especially the old quarter, where it is meditative but bustling  – very hard to express. In addition to this, you can also explore: Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, One pillar pagoda, the imperial citadel of Thang Long, West lake, The temple of Literature, etc…


Lodging experience

Each tourist attraction has its own preferable hotels and homestays with good price which is not hard for visitors to look for

According to John’s valuable experience, to find a good accomodation, he oftens gets access to some online booking websites like:,, etc…After that he compares prices of all websites and choose the website which offers the lowest price of hotel to book

After choosing the most suitable hotel, he calls that hotel directly to negotiate about other terms like: the number of members, prices…maybe you can bargain to get a lower price

John’s team chose to book a hotel in the old quarter (the rooms are booked online before that). In case you want to find a good homestay, you can go for VietTrekking because it has very good and reputable name

You can also refer some recommendations of homestay in Ninh Binh like:

Special Food in Ninh Binh

Food and drink experience

You can enjoy a lot kinds of food and drink and specialities here without worrying too much about the cost

John said that we should if he finds a restaurant that looks good, his team go for it, but it does not cost them too much as they expected

Ninh Binh

The well-known specialities in Ninh Binh are goat meat, scorched rice topped with pork floss, Yen Mac fermented pork roll, nhech fish spring roll, Can wine, mountain snails. Besides, you can carry some scorched rice packed in bags in case you are hungry in the excursion

Sa Pa

Specialities are Thang co, some other roasted foods are salmon hot pot,village chicken,etc…; and particularly ordering a hot pot for 2 people can be enough for 6 people. That is fantastic, isn’t it? Besides Sapa is famous for traditional types of wine made by ethnic poeple like: corn wine, docynia indiaca wine, etc…


Hana definitely has many kinds of famous food, which typically are noodles (“Pho”), fried tofu with shrimp paste, La Vong frilled fish…However, you should consider which kind of food and restaurant are suitble for your taste and health condition first and remember to ask the price before choosing one.

In this article, Hanoi Explore Travel have pointed out and listed some good specialities of each tourist attraction. About the detailed price, please check the Part 2 of the next article

Perhaps you might find this article mising something, it is the detailed expenses of the tour,  right? Let’s follow Hanoi Explore Travel to read the next incoming article – Part 2 to know the rest of experience of John’s team about this special tour! Don’t miss it!

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