The mountainous city of Ninh Binh is just 60 miles (97 km) from Hanoi, and you have three easy travel options to choose from.
Private transfer is the most straightforward option, but if you're traveling with a larger party or have a lot of baggage, you might want to consider booking a group shuttle that will pick you up at the front door of your hotel. If you want a great excuse to hop on the famed Reunification Express, then this is an opportunity to take a quick ride through the countryside.
If you're interested in visiting Ninh Binh's primate rescue center, trekking through the oldest forest in Vietnam and taking many different boat trips, then consider this 12-day itinerary that balances countryside exploration with must-see urban sties.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 1.5 hours
You can book a private car to take you directly to Ninh Binh along the CT01 highway in just an hour and a half. There aren't particularly great opportunities to stop along the way, but you're sure to get some good people-watching in, as this is a popular route with locals.
By Group Shuttle
Duration: 2 hours
If you book a seat on a group shuttle, you will be picked up at the front door of your hotel. With comfy leather seats that recline, wifi, charging ports, and free water and snacks, this is a particularly good option for larger parties. Be sure to book a round-trip ticket if you're returning to your hotel in Hanoi.
Duration: 2.5 hours
This historically significant train line rejoined the northern and southern territories of Vietnam in 1976, and it now carries passengers all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
There are three trains that depart from Hanoi's main station for Ninh Binh each day. Consider booking a first-class ticket (Soft Seat) online ahead of time since the Reunification Express is popular with both tourists and locals alike.