You might choose to stay in Thanh Hoa if you’re planning on spending a lot of time hiking in nature. From Thanh Hoa, it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Cuc Phuong Nature Reserve via private transportation. It takes a little over 3 hours to get to Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
You can reach the karst formations of Ninh Binh in around 1.5 hours by car. There, you can choose to go boating on either the Trang An or the Tam Coc route. Both routes wind through limestone grottoes.
Frolic in the waves of Thanh Hoa's beaches, Sam-Son and Bai Dong. These aren’t Vietnam’s loveliest beaches, but worth checking out if you’re staying in the area.