20 Must-have items for Ninh Binh tour - Updated 2024 Skip to content
20 Must-have items for Ninh Binh tour - Updated 2024
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20 Must-have items for Ninh Binh tour - Updated 2024


You are going to Ninh Binh for the first time and you're worried about what to bring. Is Ninh Binh different from other regions in Vietnam? Actually, it is. Ninh Binh is a rural region of Vietnam. It used to be an ancient capital with a glorious history, but compared to big cities, Ninh Binh has its own unique characteristics. That means you must have careful preparation to make your trip smoother. Here is a list of the top 20 essential items you should pack when visiting Ninh Binh.

What are the differences between Ninh Binh and other big cities like Hanoi?  

Ninh Binh retains more of its rural and countryside charm

Ninh Binh is about 100 km from Hanoi. Hanoi is a big city with the most conveniences. It features high-rise buildings, modern amenities, and well-established transportation. Ninh Binh, on the other hand, retains more of its rural and countryside charm, with a slower pace of development and a more traditional lifestyle.

Its natural and peaceful beauty attracts many tourists coming to escape the bustle of life. However, you should change the way you visit otherwise you will be uncomfortable. Here are some of the key distinctions. 

1. The ride-hailing apps

The ride-hailing apps doesn't work well in Ninh Binh

Modern ride-hailing apps don’t work well in rural areas

You are advised to download and use modern ride-hailing apps for a cheaper price, right? However, in Ninh Binh, some popular transport booking apps such as Grad, Bee, and Gojek don’t work well. You may have to wait for hours without finding a driver because there are not many drivers operating on ride-hailing platforms. The prices for booking these vehicles are also not cheap. Therefore, consider a traditional taxi can be a better choice. Ask your local guide, and your homestay receptionists to book for you. Remember to ask the price in advance. Or if you can drive, renting a motorbike is an alternative. 

2. ATM in Hanoi Vs ATM in Ninh Binh 

The common questions from Aloha Vietnam Travel’s tourists are: 

  • Are ATMs easily accessible in Ninh Binh?
  • Can I withdraw Vietnamese Dong from ATMs in Ninh Binh?
  • Just wondering if there are ATMs easily available or if should we take cash.
  • How much cash should I bring to Ninh Binh? 
ATMs in Ninh Binh are not always easy to access.

ATMs in Ninh Binh are not always easy to access.

Yes, you can find them in the city centre, near some tourist attractions like Tam Coc, and at major banks. ATMs in Ninh Binh typically accept major international card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and UnionPay. You can withdraw Vietnamese Dong (VND). The ATMs usually dispense cash in sects of 50.000 VND, 100.000 VND, 200.000 VND, and 500.000 VND.

However, we suggest you bring enough cash instead of waiting for ATM. There are ATMs, but they’re outside the main part of Tam Coc. During your Ninh Binh trip, you should move among attractions. Finding an ATM can delay your trip. ATMs in Ninh Binh are not always easy to access. You wouldn’t want to rely on the one ATM in the area. 

About the amount of cash, you should bring enough cash for your tour. If you book a package tour from a travel agent, they cover everything including ticket entrance, transportation, meals, and accommodation…so no need for too much cash. If you plan a Ninh Binh tour by yourself, you should book accommodation in advance, and check the ticket price to enter attractions. 

You might read: Plan for a tour in Ninh Binh, Vietnam: Get Ready With 19 Frequently Asked Questions

3. Wifi connection

Wi-Fi connection is available in hotels, guesthouses, cafes, and restaurants.

Wi-Fi connection is available in hotels, cafes, and restaurants in Ninh Binh 

Like many other popular tourist destinations in Vietnam, Ninh Binh generally has Wi-Fi available in hotels, guesthouses, cafes, and restaurants. It's important to note that the quality and availability of Wi-Fi can vary depending on the specific location. Some places may offer fast connections, while others may have slower speeds. If you're staying at a hotel, inquire with them directly about the quality of their Wi-Fi. 

We also suggest you purchase a local SIM card with a data package for consistent internet during your Ninh Binh trip. This keeps you connected to the internet when you are on a boat trip. 

Top 20 Ninh Binh travel essentials for 2023

The first important thing is to determine how long you will be travelling and the places you will visit throughout the trip. A two-day trip requires more items. Additionally, if you participate in more outdoor activities in hot weather, you will need to prepare more carefully than a leisurely sightseeing tour. There are 20 most Ninh Binh travel essentials, updated in 2023. 

1. Mobile phone and power bank

Ninh Binh offers thousands of chances to take photography 

Make sure you have a phone for communication and a power bank to charge your phone when needed. Many travellers think that their phone's battery capacity is sufficient for a one-day tour in Ninh Binh. In reality, we use more than that. Many tourists have asked for a place to charge their phones immediately after visiting the first or the second destination. 

However, the experience of charging your phone in the car is not efficient. You might end up running out of battery and miss the beautiful scenery while sitting on a boat touring Trang An scenic landscape complex. The beauty of Ninh Binh can be found everywhere, and we need to be ready to capture those beautiful experiences. To avoid your phone running out of battery during the trip, it's advisable to prepare a portable charger.

2. Plug adapter

Vietnam uses type A, C and F plugs

Vietnam uses type A, C and F plugs

The voltage and plugs in Vietnam may be different from your country, so if necessary, bring a plug adapter to charge your electronic devices. In Vietnam, the standard voltage is 220V, and the frequency is 50Hz. The power plugs and sockets used in Vietnam are of Type A, Type C, and Type F.

Type A plugs have two flat pins and are mainly used for devices with two-pronged plugs. Type C plugs also have two round pins and are commonly used for devices with two-pronged plugs. Type F plugs have two round pins with two earth clips on the side and are used for devices that require grounding.

It is advisable to carry a universal travel adapter

It is advisable to carry a universal travel adapter 

It's worth noting that the plug types may vary depending on the specific location in Ninh Binh. It is advisable to carry a universal travel adapter to ensure compatibility with different plug types.

4. Mosquito repellent

You should care about the presence of mosquitoes and other insects in Ninh Binh

You should care about the presence of mosquitoes and other insects in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh has many rural areas and rice fields. Like many other regions in Vietnam, Ninh Binh is known for its humid climate. That is why you should care about the presence of mosquitoes and other insects. Mosquitoes can be particularly active during the evenings and early mornings, especially in outdoor areas such as caves, rice fields, and near bodies of water. 

Using insect repellent will help protect you from mosquito bites and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever or malaria. It's also a good idea to wear long sleeves, long pants, and use mosquito nets. 

5. Sun protection

Make sure you have a hat, sunglasses, and suncream for a Ninh Binh day tour

The summer in Vietnam can be harsh on the skin and cause exhaustion throughout your trip. Therefore, it's essential to bring sun protection items such as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. They will protect your head from the intense rays throughout the trip.

When visiting Hang Mua, you will need to climb nearly 500 steps to reach the top. A hat becomes especially necessary to shield you from direct sunlight. Additionally, if you experience a boat tour in Trang An or Tam Coc, which can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, it's important to have sun protection as well. You can also buy a Vietnam traditional hat at the gate of some attractions like Hoa Lu, Mua Cave, and Trang An at the price of $1-$2. 

You might read: How to Explore Ninh Binh on a Sunny Day: A Perfect 2-Day Itinerary, Must-Do Activities

6. Umbrella or raincoat

An umbrella or raincoat always help

The weather is sometimes unpredictable. With an umbrella or raincoat, you can continue to enjoy your activities even if it starts raining. They don’t take up much space. Especially in more remote areas where these items may not be readily available.

7. Comfortable walking shoes and clothing

Wear what you feel most comfortable for you activities in Ninh Binh

Many natural attractions and historical sites in Ninh Binh require walking. So packing for a Ninh Binh tour should include comfortable walking shoes and clothing for enjoyable experiences. You have a chance to try various outdoor activities, such as hiking, exploring caves, and walking through rice fields. Whether climbing the stairs at Hang Mua or trekking along the trails in Cuc Phuong National Park, comfortable shoes will prevent discomfort and potential foot fatigue. 

8. Medications

Bring your personal medications if need

Bring your personal medications if need

If you have any specific medications or personal medical needs, be sure to add them to your Ninh Binh travel checklist. Being prepared with necessary medications, such as prescription drugs or over-the-counter remedies, ensures that you have access to essential treatments in case of illness, allergies, or any unexpected medical conditions. Additionally, having items like band-aids, pain relievers, or motion sickness medication can provide quick relief and convenience. 

9. Cash and small change

Cask or card in Ninh Binh?

Cask or card in Ninh Binh? 

As discussed above, while credit cards are accepted in some places, it's a good idea to have cash and small change for local purchasing. Local currency, Vietnamese Dong is preferred. 

For instance, local street vendors, small food stalls, and traditional markets often operate on a cash-only basis. Having small changes allows you to make exact payments, especially in situations where vendors may not have sufficient change for larger bills. Furthermore, some attractions might require cash payments, such as entrance fees to historical sites.

10. Travel guidebook or map

Tourist attraction map in Ninh Binh

Tourist attraction map in Ninh Binh (Source: Tam Coc Sweet Home)

Having a travel guidebook or map of Ninh Binh can help you save time and choose the right places to discover. It could be a flyer at the ticket counter, a printed book, an e-book, or a detailed guide on reputable websites. Keep important contacts handy if you need to call ahead to make reservations or get the local taxi.

11. Light backpack

A lightweight backpack will be convenient

A lightweight backpack will be convenient

A lightweight backpack will be convenient for carrying your essentials during day trips. Some famous attractions in Ninh Binh that you shouldn't miss are Mua Cave, Trang An, Tam Coc boat ride, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bai Dinh Pagoda, and Bich Dong Pagoda. A heavy backpack should be left on the bus or at the hotel. Sometimes, you have to change means of transport, so bring the most important belongings in a light backpack. 

12. Snacks and water

It's always a good idea to have some snacks and a water bottle with you, especially when visiting remote areas. Some visitors feel more enjoyable when they have something to eat during the 2-hour boat trip. 

13. Travel insurance 

Carry a copy of your travel insurance documents for any unforeseen situations or emergencies.

14. Personal identification

Bring your passport or a photocopy of your ID for identification purposes. Most hotels in Ninh Binh require guests to present their passports during the check-in process. In case of any emergencies, having your ID readily available can assist authorities in providing you with appropriate assistance.

15. First aid kit

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Bringing a first aid kit when traveling to Ninh Binh is essential for handling minor injuries or health concerns that may arise during your trip. If you accidentally get a small cut while exploring caves or hiking, you can clean and dress the wound promptly with antiseptic wipes and bandages from your first aid kit, ensuring proper hygiene and minimizing the risk of infection.

16. Plastic bags for storing wet or dirty items

These bags serve as a practical solution for keeping your clean belongings separate from wet or soiled ones. After exploring Ninh Binh's caves or boat trip you may have muddy shoes or damp clothes. Placing them in plastic bags ensures cleanliness.

16. Hand sanitiser or wet wipes, and toilet paper

Public restrooms may sometimes lack proper hygiene supplies. Having hand sanitizer ensures cleanliness, especially before meals or when access to water is limited. Additionally, carrying toilet paper is beneficial since some public restrooms may not provide it, ensuring you have a comfortable and convenient experience.

17. Waterproof phone case or pouch

You can protect your phone from potential water damage while capturing beautiful moments during activities like boat rides in Trang An or exploring the Tam Coc caves. It ensures that unexpected splashes or rain showers won't leave you worrying about the safety of your device. 

18. Travel-sized skincare

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Travel-sized skincare is easy to pack and won't take up much space in your luggage. They are also handy when you're on the go, allowing you to freshen up and maintain healthy skin even in humid weather conditions. After a long day trip, a face mask can help you refresh your skin. 

19. Binoculars for wildlife spotting

Kinh nghiệm du lịch Ninh Bình 2023 Đi không muốn về

Bringing binoculars enhances your ability to observe and appreciate the natural wonders during your trip. With binoculars, you can zoom in and witness details of distant animals, birds, or landscapes. Some places in Ninh Binh such as Van Long Nature Reserve, Cuc Phuong Natural Park, or Trang An usually have interesting things to catch your eye.

20. An open mind and sense of adventure

Lastly, bring an open mind and a sense of adventure to fully enjoy and appreciate the unique experiences Ninh Binh has to offer.

In conclusion, packing the right items for your Ninh Binh tour is essential for a memorable and hassle-free experience. With the Ninh Binh tour packing tips above, you can ensure that you have everything you need to make the most of your trip. 

If you are planning a trip to Ninh Binh, we offer various choices. See our best Ninh Binh tour options

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