Many of the sights are within 12km of Ninh Binh city, and the land is flat, so they can be reasonably easily reached by road. The town itself isn’t especially noteworthy and while there are a couple of decent places to stay, increasing numbers of travellers are choosing to base themselves in Tam Coc to be even closer to some of the main attractions of the province. This can be a good idea if you’re planning on spending more time in the area than just the single night that many travellers decide to go for.
Highway 1 runs through the centre of Ninh Binh, from north to south, and is named Tran Hung Dao Street. Most services you’ll require are located along or just off this main road, although the train and bus stations and some good hotels and eateries are to be found on the other side of the river: cross over the bridge where Tran Hung Dao meets the river. All guesthouses and hotels can assist with all manner of travel needs, from buying a train ticket to organising a guide to Cuc Phuong and renting bicycles and motorbikes.
Vietcombank and Techombank have branches with ATMs on Tran Hung Dao Street: Techombank is between the junctions of Van Giang and Le Hong Phong and Vietcombank is further north, on the other side of the road near Luong Van Tuy. The post office is also on Tran Hung Dao Street, just before the bridge.
Ninh Binh has both a General Hospital (Duong Tue Tinh St, Ninh Binh, T: (030) 387 1030) and a Traditional Medicine Hospital (7 Tran Hung Dao St, Ninh Binh, T: (030) 387 6336), but for anything serious head to Hanoi. There are many internet cafes located on Luong Van Tuy St.