Ninh Binh is not lacking in reasonably priced accommodation options, including dorm beds, although those in search of luxury will need to look further afield. Many hotels and guesthouses are located on Luong Van Tuy, Truong Han Sieu and Le Hong Phong Streets but some great value options can also be found near the train and bus stations which are both more conveniently located if you just want a bed for the night.
The original Ngoc Anh Hotel, at number 36, has been around for years, offering good value basic rooms and friendly service. Now a second location -- Ngoc Anh 2 -- has opened in a newer building, a few doors down, but while it continues to be an excellent choice the rooms at both places are slightly overpriced compared to other options in town, That said, the deluxe room in Ngoc Anh 2 is a good... Read our full review of Ngoc Anh Hotels 1 and 2.
Located behind the original building which fronts the street, 'New Hotel' houses some spacious and clean rooms, the best of which have small balconies -- albeit with no view to speak of. Although the main reception area -- which is also the restaurant -- struck us as a bit gloomy, the corridors and rooms themselves are a good size and bright, and equipped with fridges, TVs, desks and bathtubs.... Read our full review of Thanh Thuy's Guest House and Hotel.
We couldn't help but laugh when we saw the homepage for the website of Canh Dieu Hotel and the photo of the girl staring out to sea from her private infinity pool. Ninh Binh isn't near the ocean and the hotel certainly doesn't have infinity pools, but it is well-decked out compared to many hotels we've seen in the same price bracket, although mattresses are on the hard side. Standard single rooms... Read our full review of Canh Dieu Hotel.
Located near the train station, Queen Mini Hotel is the best budget place we've found in Ninh Binh. Not only does it have bright and spacious rooms starting from just US$8 but it also offers dorm beds for US$3. Each dorm room accommodates six good sized single beds -- not bunks -- with a bathroom with hot shower to share. WiFi is available throughout, but there are also internet stations in... Read our full review of New Queen Mini Hotel.
While Ninh Binh city is a convenient base, it hasn't got much else going for it. If you want to stay somewhere more peaceful and nearer to the action, it's worth checking out the hotels around Tam Coc. The selection of accommodation isn't as wide and they are further from attractions such as Trang An and Hoa Lu, but a stay here makes exploring Tam Coc, Bich Dong and the surrounding countryside far easier and the setting's more attractive. A taxi from Ninh Binh bus or train station will cost around 100,000VND.
Tam Coc Garden opened in 2013 and is a welcome addition to the Ninh Binh accommodation scene, offering a stylish boutique alternative to the luxury Emeralda Resort. Located a few kilometres from Bich Dong Pagoda, Tam Coc Garden sits in a secluded position amidst the paddy fields and offers three standards of accommodation in bungalows set around a central garden. Rooms have been beautifully... Read our full review of Tam Coc Garden.
You can't miss The Long Hotel: not only is it opposite the boat station in Tam Coc but it's the biggest building in town, fronted by a large café decked with flags. Three standards of room are spread over seven floors -- don't worry, there is a lift -- which stretch back behind reception. Rooms open off wide terraces, equipped with bamboo chairs and tables from which you can enjoy the view --... Read our full review of The Long Hotel.
Chez Loan Hotel has an enviable location, opposite rice paddies and backed by karst formations on the road between Tam Coc and Bich Dong Pagoda. Rooms are good too: while basic in fittings, the cheerful soft furnishings really enhance their appeal and they feel cosy and welcoming. All rooms have windows with views, and although the cheaper rooms -- and their windows -- are small, some of the... Read our full review of Chez Loan.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.