Unforgettable Experiences On The Route From Sapa to Ninh Binh – Exciting and Rewarding!

Vietnam Motorbike Tours Club has been a home gathering of leading experts in motorbike tourism in Indochina. For travelers seeking authentic experiences in Vietnam, Northern Vietnam must be ranked high on the list of considerations. With irresistible attractions, unique culture, and excellent cuisine, Vietnam can be very rewarding for your trip.

Besides Ha Giang loop and other famous places in the North of Vietnam, Sapa and Ninh Binh are charming and beautiful enough to be worth a visit. These unrivaled destinations contain nature scenery, eye-catching human-made terraced rice fields, and the unique culture of the ethnic minorities. Conquering the hilly terrains and immersing yourself in the beauty of the mountains, forests, and rivers while thrillingly driving a motorcycle will be remarkable experiences. You also can choose trains or buses as a means to travel, but both of them seem to be not exciting enough.

Let’s check some ways to get Ninh Binh from Sapa below to compare and choose the best suitable way for your trip.

You can refer to some useful  tips for other routes  from Sapa:

How to get from Sapa to Ninh Binh

Taking A Train

If you are used to bullet trains in Europe or other modern countries, you could be a bit shocked by the railroads in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s train is old and noisy but comfortable enough with soft seat cushions and air conditioners. Your convenience also depends on your budget, but we recommend taking a night train and choosing a four-bed or two-bed cabin. First, you will have to travel from Sapa to Lao Cai train station by bus or taxi, then select the train from Lao Cai – Hanoi, then take the train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.

You can depart from Sapa to Lao Cai at 5 pm for dinner (around the train station, you can easily find many restaurants with excellent and cheap food). There are two trains from Lao Cai to Hanoi every day: 10:55 pm and 9:40 pm lasting 7 hours and 45 minutes. You will be in Hanoi around 5 am the next day.

How to get from Sapa to Ninh Binh

Then you catch the train at the Hanoi station to go to Ninh Binh. You can pick up either the train at  2 am or  9 am. Both take 2 hours and 20 minutes to travel between the two destinations. Then, you will arrive in Ninh Binh on the same day.

This familiar way is very convenient for everyone. You just buy a ticket and move to the destination.

The advantages of the train are safe, clean, punctual and you can rest at night with drinks and food served on the train. However, you will not be able to be proactive and flexible in choosing the departure time. The trains also last very long and take a lot of your time.

Going by Bus

Going by Bus

With the development of transportation and infrastructure, the buses become more accessible and easy to travel from Sapa to Ninh Binh. Both day and night buses are available and usually take you 8 hours.

There are four departures per day. One is in the morning and often leaves at 8 am. The other ones are in the afternoon and the evening. The last one departs at 9 pm.

With different departure times, this option will provide great conveniences while helping you save more time. However, moving and staying on the bus too long will make you feel stuffy and uncomfortable to sleep. Besides, it is not a safe choice because there are many small and rugged ramps on the route from Sapa to Ninh Binh.

Riding A Motorcycle

Sapa o Ninh Binh by Motorcycle

Different from buses or trains, traveling from Sapa to Ninh Binh by motorbike promises to give lots of exciting experiences; therefore, quite a few adventure lovers are passionate about conquering this route on their two-wheelers.

On the way from Sapa to Ninh Binh, you will have to pass numerous hilly roads. For this reason, motorbikes are the ideal form of transportation to overcome such a narrow terrain. The freedom to see extraordinary views is not limited to a motorcycle, while car windshields often make you feel as if you were sitting in an armchair, watching tv. Driving a motorbike is also a way to get a sense of nature. On the back of a motorcycle, you also can easily visit other scenic spots such as Ha Giang Loop or Ban Gioc Waterfall – Global geological park Non Nuoc Cao Bang – Bac Son valley – Bac Giang highland Ha Long Bay while taking the trip from Sapa to Ninh Binh. So we highly recommend you ride the motorbike to see as many geological riches as you can in the North of Vietnam.

Riding motorcycle Sapa to Ninh Binh

In general, each type of vehicle gives you different experiences. Your choice depends on your time, budget, flexibility, and sense of adventure.

If you have a lot of time and patience, the bus or train system might be a possibility. On the other hand, if you have limited time or were born with a love for wild nature, please climb on your motorbike right now!

We are sure that from the moment you jump on the bikes, your journey will be an incredible adventure. Let’s check the top must-see spots on Sapa to Ninh Binh route to ensure you won’t miss out after discovering the splendid beauty of the North.

If you’re looking for some amazing Sapa motorbike tours for awesome riding experiences  on your two-wheelers. Check  here!

best way Sapa To Ninh Binh By motorbike Tours

Top must-see spots in Sapa to Ninh Binh route 

Ethnic markets

In addition to the beautiful scenery, one of the unique features of northern mountain regions that attract tourists is the markets of ethnic minorities. Each market has a unique, interesting feature that contributes to creating a special attraction for the route from Sapa to Ninh Binh.

The list of ethnic markets in northern Vietnam is still expanding. Here we offer a selection of some most authentic and exciting ones in the region: the Sapa market, Bac Ha market, and Muong Khuong market (bordering with the China Border). In particular, Sapa and Bac Ha markets are famous throughout the northwest region.

Interestingly, the markets here are named after the towns or villages they are located in. Most of the markets start in the early morning and continue until mid-day, becoming quieter in the late afternoon.

Sapa Market

Top must-see spots in Sapa to Ninh Binh route  - ethnic Market

Sapa market, which is one of the most famous markets in Sapa, is often where many unique cultural activities are organized. This is the market of the H’Mong and Dao people. The largest meeting is held every Saturday and Sunday. It is the place for not only highlanders to exchange goods but also for young men and women to date through singing and flute. In reality, some people go to the market to buy and sell local products, while others come here to entertain and find partners. So everyone dresses up as if they attended the festival.

Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha market is considered one of the biggest markets in Sapa. In this market, you can find numerous specialties and some necessary items for decorating houses. Also, if you are interested in handmade jewelry, or skirts, Bac Ha is definitely for you. The hand-embroidered pictures with extremely eye-catching colors always make visitors full of admiration.

Corn wine, fresh fruits, herbs, honey, mushrooms, upland rice, vegetables, and wood ear with fresh flavors are neatly arranged according to each type of good to help shoppers quickly find and select products.

Of all the regional items, the most prominent one is colorful brocade items with vivid motifs. These are exquisite products showing the artistic talent of the Mong women, Phu La women, and Dao women through various stages, from weaving and dyeing to embroidering flowers.

Muong Khuong Market

Muong Khuong Market

Bordering China’s Yunnan province, Muong Khuong is a district of Lao Cai province, inhabited by many ethnic groups, including H’mong, Dao, Nung, Pa Zi, and Tu Zi.

Muong Khuong is 50 km from Lao Cai, 87 km from Sapa. It takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to reach this market by motorbike.

This is the most important market for the local ethnic groups. It takes place every Sunday and is often busy with thousands of ethnic people from both Vietnam and China in the early mornings. The Chinese goods sold at the market create diversity for local specialties. The incense made from bark, Beeswax, and special medicinal herbs for treatment and acupuncture is also found here.

Hoang Su Phi Rice Terraces in Phung village

Hoang Su Phi Rice Terraces in Phung village

Have you ever looked down the terraces from above? You only can find it when joining us on the route Sapa- Lao Cai – Ha Giang – Cao Bang, a route that will surprise you at every turn. We are sure that you will not regret spending the time exploring Hoang Su Phi, which is located in the North of Ha Giang. The combination of the scenes of primeval mountains and golden rice fields completely satisfies the soul of every nature lover.

Hoang Su Phi rice terraces become the most beautiful from September to October when they are ready to be harvested. During your trip, you will want to stop at some places to admire the yellow carpet woven with ripe rice. It’s time to immerse yourself in the soothing aroma of freshly blended rice for deep relaxation and forget all stress and the busyness of tedious daily life.

On our tours, our friendly and attentive guides can definitely help you communicate with the locals. Then you can join some exciting activities, especially learning how to harvest and plant rice and corn on steep terrains must be the most valuable and memorable experience for your trip.

Ha Giang Loop 

Ha Giang Loop

The Ha Giang loop cannot be missed during the journey to explore fantastic scenery in the North of Vietnam. You will get lots of interesting things that can be described as the most valuable experience while going through various lands in Vietnam. This might sound like a great adventure, but it would be incomplete without a motorbike.

The area boasts an incredibly special nature. The combination of huge limestone walls and granite boulders makes an excellent backdrop. The valleys hanging along the rice terraces impress tourists just at first sight.

The  Ha Giang loop can be described as a motorbike loop around Ha Giang in the northernmost part of Vietnam bordering China. It takes about 6 hours to move by motorbike from the east of Sapa.

If you dare to ride a motorbike through steep, sloping cliffs and rocky roads, you will be rewarded with the most spectacular mountain scenery in Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general, including an inspiring and captivating pass named Ma Pi Leng.

Gorgeous Non Nuoc Cao Bang park ” UNESCO global geopark

Gorgeous Non Nuoc Cao Bang park ” UNESCO global geopark

Cao Bang is the land of the caves, with up to 200 caves, 50 of which can be exploited for tourism. Coming to this “wonderlandâ€, you should pay a visit to the magnificent caves with beautiful stalactites such as Nguom Ngao cave (Trung Khanh), Bat cave (Ha Lang) … or the lake population – Thang Hen underground river (Tra Linh).

In particular, this journey takes visitors to explore Ban Gioc waterfall (Chongqing), known as the fourth largest and most beautiful waterfall in the world (among the waterfalls located on the borderline between the two countries). And the center of the UNESCO Global Geopark Global Park Cao Bang retains its pristine beauty and core indigenous geological and cultural values. On this route, visitors will also see the typical landscapes of the global geological park, such as Mat Than mountain, Nam Tra waterfall (Tra Linh) …

Dong Cao Prairie

Dong Cao Prairie

Unlike most of the mountains in northern and central Vietnam, which is one of the absolute boulders with sharp peaks or covered by forests, Dong Cao has a large and undulating peak that stretches for several kilometers. A large area of the mountain is covered with beautiful grass, making it an ideal place to camp. From the summit of Dong Cao, you can have a 360-degree view of the surrounding nature with the peaks arranged in succession. The scene is not even real at sunrise and sunset when the lighting conditions change, creating a blurry scenery.

Bac Son valley

Bac Son valley

The next stop on our trip is Bac Son valley, located in the west of Lang Son province, belonging to Northeast Vietnam.

Interestingly, Bac Son fields are not entirely planted at the same time, creating a vast “brocade plate” with many shades of green and yellow. The combination of ripe, green, newly transplanted rice brings a sense of visual satisfaction.

Other top places to visit are the cultural tourism village Quynh Son, Na Lay mountain, Bac Son flower valley, Mo Mam stream – Keng Tao cave, and Dang Mo waterfall.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay - Relax on private luxurious cruise

Vietnam offers a variety of ways to get around and explore it in your own style. The way to Halong from Lang Son will also be customized to suit your plan. You love riding a windswept motorbike to take the overland routes to get to Halong. The distance between these spots is about 170 km, which means you will spend nearly 3 hours on the way before getting to the destination.

So, is Halong Bay worth your time?

We can say that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you have in your life.

Halong Bay is such a peaceful and majestic place and should be a must-see on everyone’s bucket list. Halong means: “Where the dragon landed.” You will be surprised by the far skyscrapers that are visible along the booming resort coast. The UNESCO World Heritage limestone mountain sites appear pristine in the morning.

To avoid the huge crowds that you might encounter in bustling cities, you can stop to explore “Surprising Caves.” It has nearly 2,000 islands, including many lush green hills. View of Halong Bay from outside the entrance of the picturesque cave. The cave is awe-inspiring and massive, with a well-illuminated walkway safe for all visitors, which will be one of the memorable details on your journey.

Ninh Binh 

 Ninh Binh 

In Ninh Binh, there is no Grab or uber service. The bus is not accessible on every corner. Vietnam’s tourist  attractions here are not close to each other, so the most convenient means of transportation to move when Ninh Binh is a bicycle, especially a motorbike.

You can come to Ninh Binh at any time of the year. But it’s most beautiful, probably from February to May. In spring, the weather is not too cold or too hot. Also, if you come here around April, or May you can go to Cuc Phuong National Park to see the butterflies gather in large flocks. Or at the end of May and June, golden rice fields, or vast lotus swamps, nestled among rocky mountains, will make you fascinated. But regardless of  which  season you reach here, Ninh Binh is always magnificent, mysterious, and incredible.

To enjoy a great Ninh Binh day trip, you shouldn’t miss the three sights  below:

Van Long lagoon

Van Long lagoon

The chaotic valleys between the limestone mountains have spectacular shapes and hide many undiscovered caves. Van Long Lagoon is naturally beautiful and poetic. With the full nature of the submerged ecological forest environment, there are thousands of different species of birds gathered together, with more than 40 types of rare langurs residing.

Trang An

Trang An was selected as the main backdrop for the famous movie named  King Kong. With its pristine beauty and stunning  scenery, Trang An has been recognized by UNESCO as a world natural and cultural heritage. The system of  mysterious  natural caves  here is  made up of a river flowing  through the limestone mountains.

Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park

Located within the Tam Diep mountain range, Cuc Phuong National Park – the first national park in Vietnam evokes curiosity for many visitors. With abundant flora and fauna ecosystem, Cuc Phuong is very suitable for eco-tourism, convalescence, campfire, and adventure.

On the way from Sapa to Ninh Binh, you also have the opportunity to go through some typical enduro such as:

  • Coc Pai town – Chieu Lau Thi
  • Vinh Quang town – Tay Con Linh 1 and Tay Con Linh 2
  • From Ha Giang city to Quan Ba sky gate
  • Yen Minh town – Dong Van
  • Bao Lac town
  • Bao Lac – Ba Be
  • Bac Son valley to Dong Cao

If you love the Sapa to Ninh Binh route, we bet that you will be interested in the  tour below:

  • Off-road Sapa Motorbike Tour to Northeast Vietnam – 8 days

With this motorbike  tour from Sapa, you will get a chance to ride through  a wide range of beautiful sites, including Bac Ha market, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Bao Lac, Cao Bang, and Quang Uyen, Ban Gioc waterfall, and Lang Son. After that, you take a trip to Halong before spending one day in Ninh Binh and ending the trip in Hanoi.

Contact us for more interesting information​

  • Address: 3/7/36 Duy Tan Street, Cau Giay District, Ha Noi City
  • Mobile: +84 976 024 986
  • Email: info@vietnammotorbiketoursclub.com
  • Website: https://vietnammotorbiketoursclub.com/


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