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Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

London
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Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Hi All

We are heading to Vietnam in two weeks :-)

We arrive in Hanoi and have a couple of days before we do the Halong bay tour.

After seeing the sights in Hanoi we want to go out and explore

Can we do Perfume Pagoda and Ba Vi national park for a hike in one day? how do we get there without a tour?

or Shall we do Ninh Binh and Cuc Phuong same question, can we do it in one day and ho do we get there?

Any suggestions are welcome so we can make the most of our time there.

Thanks so much

Karen

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Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Ninh Binh is a large province with many attractions. Cuc Phuong lies on its outer edge and the other places of interest are spread out in the countryside around Ninh Binh town. If by Ninh Binh you mean the most touristy of those attractions - Tam Coc - then you cannot visit that and Cuc Phuong under your own steam from Hanoi in just one day as they're widely separated and there is no public transportation linking the two. You could take a private tour by car with a driver and perhaps a guide, but because of the distance between them they are a bad combination for a day trip as you would have too little time to appreciate Cuc Phuong.

More or less the same applies to Ba Vi and the Perfume Pagoda - they can't be combined satisfactorily because the Perfume Pagoda requires a full day in itself, either in a group tour a private one.

London
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2. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Thank you for your comments, its hard to judge distance and the time needed to appreciate the sights sitting at a desk in London ;-)

I think ill do two separate days maybe staying outside of Hanoi.

can you recommend which of the two to go for in our limited time?

option a) Ba Vi and second day Perfume Pagoda or

option b) Cuc phuong and Ninh Binh?

can you also recommend how we book a private guide? and would buses connect us in option a?

Thanks

Karen

Hanoi, Vietnam
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3. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

In my opinion, I don't really like Perfume pagoda. I will choose Ninh Binh and Cuc Phuong. Ba vi nation park is great for a hike in one day. You can easy go there, no need to book a tour. You can hire a motorbike from Hanoi to go there.

Ninh Binh, it's better for you to spend 3 days if you want to go to Cuc Phuong. Many destinations to go such as: Hoa Lu, Bai Dinh pagoda, Tam Coc Bich Dong....

Llanbrynmair...
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4. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Hi Karen,

I can't comment on (a), but I know Ninh Binh Province well and will be returning yet again in a few weeks' time.

Ninh Binh town can be reached in about 2.5 hours by train from Hanoi and it makes a good base for visiting the area's attractions. By far the best way to travel around if your time is limited is to hire a couple of motorbike guides for about $15 a day each. Public transport is virtually non-existent so the only other alternative is to hire a car with driver and guide - much more expensive and not half as much fun.

With 2 days to play with, on your first day you could go to Trang An (a similar river experience to Tam Coc but without the tourist hordes and pushy vendors), Hoa Lu and Bai Dinh Pagoda. On day 2 you would have time to visit Cuc Phuong via the scenic route and make a briefish stop at Kenh Ga on the way back.

Massachusetts
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5. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

I agree with Creaking Bones, spend that 2 days in Ninh Binh and go to all the places including Cuc Phuong national park. You can choose to stay in the National Park for the night - the headquarter staffs is quite fun to hang out with.

Ba Vi is more a picnic place for me rather than the travelling site. A lot of couples went there for wedding photo shoot too. Being on the motorbike up hill in Ba Vi is beautiful and there are several viewpoints but look pretty old and dangerous to climb up.

Llanbrynmair...
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6. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Lol Saggie, I had a very unexpected and not at all welcome experience with one of the staff during my overnight stay at Cuc Phuong. I'll tell you about it one day. Perhaps.

Massachusetts
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7. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Really? Look forward to hearing it, my experiences there with the group was great. Lucky me. :-)

Hanoi, Vietnam
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8. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

You have to do 2 day trip to Cuc Phuong and Ninh Binh area. However, it is possible to do a day trip to Cuc Phuong National Park separately, and it is similar with Perfume Pagoda.

London
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9. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

Thank you all so much, Ive got lots of ideas and thoughts of what to do now.x

I'm also intrigued by the experience ill let you know how my night goes!

Llanbrynmair...
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10. Re: Ba Vi vs Cuc Phuong national Park

A little hint Karen, don't go night spotting alone with one of the male wildlife experts. Safety in numbers and all that.