About the ride from Da Nang to Ninh Binh
Traveling from Da Nang to Ninh Binh allows you to experience two very different sides of varied Vietnam’s natural beauty. While Da Nang offers beautiful beaches, stark white sands and an unusual collection of bizarre bridges, inland Ninh Binh is mountainous, rocky and rugged.
One of the most popular destinations in Vietnam, Ninh Binh has great hikes, towering limestone peaks and some incomparably cool cave trips.
For the lengthy 671km (417 mile) jaunt from Da Nang to Ninh Binh, you have two options:
- Bus from Da Nang to Ninh Binh – typically around 13 hours
- Train from Da Nang to Ninh Binh – typically around 14 hours
Though these journey times make for long trips, all options are comfortable and convenient, so you don’t have to worry about enduring sore buns as you make your way towards the excitement and adventure of craggy Ninh Binh.
What to see when traveling from Da Nang to Ninh Binh
What you’ll see when traveling to Ninh Binh from Da Nang depends upon how you travel and where you travel.
If you make an overnight journey, for example, your views are going to be limited by nightfall. But if you travel from Da Nang to Ninh Binh during daytime hours, you’ll of course enjoy more of the surrounding landscapes.
There are some beautiful stretches on the journey from Da Nang to Ninh Binh, which takes you up and along a large chunk of Vietnam’s incredible coastline.
For large portions of the trip, you hug the shore, while the beaches to your right contrast with the vertiginous greenery of the mountains to your left. It’s a great way to swiftly experience lots of the varied natural beauty that Vietnam has to offer.
A note here on the Hai Van Pass: it’s very rare that buses from Da Nang to Ninh Binh tackle the Hai Van Pass. Instead, they typically take the easier and more accessible tunnel route.
If you want to experience the picturesque panoramas of the incredible Hai Van Pass, you should take the train. Though it doesn’t quite follow the same route as the road pass, the views are very similar, allowing you to experience one of the most iconic views in the whole of Vietnam.
How to get from Da Nang to Ninh Binh
Taking a bus
Buses offer a very affordable way to make the lengthy journey from Da Nang to Ninh Binh. These buses are popular with budget backpackers who are keen to save a little cash while they make their way between two of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations.
Though all buses leave and depart at different times, it’s very rare that any bus journey to Ninh Binh from Da Nang will take place entirely during the day. Typically, you’ll arrive in Ninh Binh in the early hours of the morning, well-rested and ready for a day of caving, climbing and clambering.
Different buses offer different levels of luxury. While all have AC, blankets and comfortable reclining seats (perfect for a peaceful slumber!), other perks are a little more varied. Some buses to Ninh Binh from Da Nang offer WiFi, toilets and English-speaking staff.
The buses which don’t have toilets will make toilet stops along the way. All buses will make stops en-route for food and rest.
Taking a train
Taking a train to Ninh Binh from Da Nang is an excellent experience. Though it’s pricier than taking a bus, it’s usually a lot more comfortable, and it’s also a little more interesting.
Traveling by train in Vietnam is typically popular with families, couples and those who don’t mind spending a little extra money in return for a little more luxury.
Trains from Da Nang to Ninh Binh typically offer slightly better views than buses, especially if you want to see the Hai Van Pass.
Both overnight and daytime train journeys are available. Most train carriages offer blankets and beds (some of which are very lavish!), while other more affordable options only offer upright seats.
While all train journeys from Da Nang to Ninh Binh offer food, toilets and AC, some have the convenient perks of WiFi and power sockets.