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Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

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Calgary
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30 posts
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Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

I'm planning on staying on Cat Ba for 3 nights in November & then want to head to Ninh Binh for a 2-3 nights. Can anyone recommend the quickest way to do this? Thanks so much.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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1. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

Hope you're not thinking of Cat Ba Town? - I did and was very sorry!!! It's probably easier to return to Hanoi and then travel to NB. (travel from CB to NB involves a ferry and at least 2 buses)

Calgary
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2. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

Hi daawgon,

Actually, I hadn't determined exactly where on the island I was going to stay. We were going to use it as a home base to do some exploring of Ha Lan Bay (?) and do some kayaking, maybe some rock climbing etc. and just hang out for a bit. Then travel to NB for a few nights. Do you think then we should head back to Haiphong and train it to Hanoi and train it to NB? Thanks for the advice!

Llanbrynmair...
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3. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

Most people who have asked this question have intended to travel from Halong City to Ninh Binh, which does indeed involve a ferry and two buses, arriving in Haiphong at one bus station and departing for Ninh Binh from a different one, with inconvenient or impossible connection times to boot. For that journey it is quicker, less complicated and more comfortable to return to Hanoi and go by train from there.

However if you cross from Cat Ba to Haiphong (as early as possible) and take the bus to Ninh Binh from there the journey will take about 3 hours, which is a far shorter travelling time than going via Hanoi.

Calgary
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4. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

Thanks Creakingbones, that's what I was hoping to hear. I understand that taking the bus can be an adventure, which we're up for (albeit a little apprehensive - we're newbies to the country). Do you know if there is more than one bus company running out of NB?

DQAB

Llanbrynmair...
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5. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

If you mean buses travelling southwards to Hue, then yes there are several - your hotel in NB will probably have information on them and do your booking for you. I think that most of them travel overnight, so make sure you get a sleeper bus with lie-down seats rather than just reclining ones.

Having said that, I strongly recommend that you take the train instead. I left it too late to buy a train ticket so I had to take a bus to Hue and was tossed around like a sack of potatoes all night. Added to that were the effects of frequent sudden braking and constant horn blaring, so sleep was elusive to say the least! Buses have appalling safety records and accidents are common - the highway police stop work at 6 pm so all hell breaks loose after then, and heaven knows it's bad enough in the daytime.

Happy travels!

Hanoi, Vietnam
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6. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

There is a scam going on should you ferry to Cat Ba from Haiphong - if a lady approaches you with an offer of ferry tickets, be very suspicious. I believe there is both a hydrofoil and a jetboat to the island. Only buy your tickets from the authorized agents. I believe the price should be between 80,000VND and 130,000VND one way - the scam price is considerably more.

(I also think some cab drivers are in on this scam)

7. Re: Cat Ba to Ninh Binh

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