For 6$ (or 9$ including guide), plus price of petrol (about 2 to 3$ per day), you can motorbike around the sights of Ninh Binh. Cycling is also good for the close ones but there are a few miles to travel if you want to see most of the sights.
A motorbike will get you through the narrow lanes and between the paddy fields unlike a car and you can soak in the atmosphere so much.
I asked our guide how much for 1 person on boat ( They take only 2 tourists in one boat but if you are vietnamese they will take at least 5 persons in 1 boat---dont you think tourist is heavier than vietnamese? ) she said 30,000 dong --- I didnt see the ticket by myself.
By the way,sitting on boat enroute to Tam Coc, one is enclosed by the scenic beauty of huge rocks standing along the river and scattered green rice fields, all combining to form a poetic painting of the countryside. An early morning ride only adds to this scene a thick layer of fog, making one wonder if this is indeed earth or Heaven?
25 US dollar per person with guide and a driver --- we got Ford Everest
We left the hotel 7.30am stopped on the half way for 15 minutes --- arriving Hau Lu
Having lunch --- by the way, drink was not included.
When we back to HaNoi they dropped us at the one pillar pagoda as we request.
Some of the sights aournd the province such as Tam Coc can only be really appreciate on a boat trip. A little touristy I agree but well worth it, honest