Tam Coc is a popular tourist destination situated in the Northern part of Vietnam, and a declared UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in Ninh Binh province, it has two main attractions namely - Tam Coc, a flooded cave and Bich Dong, a series of mountain pagoda.
How to reach Tam Coc:
Tam Coc, a small village situated south-west of Ninh Binh town, can be approached by bus from Hanoi, a 2-3 hour drive from the destination. It is characterized by the limestone karst dotting island and draws a close comparison to the famous bay. In case you skip it, you will miss the exquisite landscape and peaceful Vietnamese countryside.
What to see in Tam Coc:
Tam Coc refers to the three caves that run alongside the Ngo Dong River. The main attraction is a boat ride costing $9 per person, which allows a peaceful and picturesque view of the riversides. It is also possible to have a cycle ride along the paddy fields that lay between the karsts. Thereby you may avoid the thongs of the boat. To hire a bicycle, it will cost you VND 40,000 per day. A bicycle ride is the best option for observing the idyllic countryside.Boat ride in Tam Coc – a great way to a photography tour
Exploring Mua cave:
The attraction to Mua cave is not the cave itself but the scenic beauty around. You may climb up the distance 400 steps to reach the viewpoint even in the hottest times of the day. The entrance fees to the caves is VND 100,000 or $4.5
Bich Dong Pagoda:
It is a temple of several pagodas set to lime karst. Once you climb the first pagoda in the ground, you may see the second. You may climb up and then see the last one. Although, they are not among the beautiful pagodas, yet they make an excellent stop to the bicycle tour. It's necessary to dress respectfully inside the temple.
Trips conducted by Tam Coc
You can find many tour operators offering different types of travel packages to Tam Coc. The most popular conducted tours are 10 hours to 2 days with full lunch and dinner. That will cost you 80$- 146$. A typical trip will include activities like - climbing up to the top of Mua Mountain for viewing the panoramic views, exploring the caves of Tam Coc in a sampan boat and visiting the ancient temple of Hua Lu, Dinh, and Le temples. Tourists also can have custom tour packages and even private tour services with personal guides, which will be very convenient for people who love to enjoy personal preferences.
Heading from Hanoi towards Ninh Binh province, you will reach Tam Coc and have breakfast at the restaurant. Take a bicycle or bike and then ride up to Hang Mua and Mua caves. You'll be riding 486 steps at Hang Mua to get a photographic tour. Next, you'll avail a 1.5-hour Sampan boat ride to the caves and countryside of Tam Coc. You will visit the temples of King Dinh and King Lee. On a tailor-made package, you can have extended tour services. In most of the tour packages, the return to Hanoi will be a bus trip.
The inclusions on the trip are:
Pick up and drop from your accommodation at Hanoi, Hanoi and Ninh Beach round trip, entrance tickets to the sites indicated above, complimentary water bottles on the ride, buffet lunch specializing Vietnamese cuisine on the cruise, English speaking guide on the trip, 90-minute temple visits to Dinh and Le by boat ride. All these are an approximate estimation and can vary depending on tour operators and the travel packages.
The exclusions to this trip are the beverages, tips, personal expenses, and transportation outside the Hanoi's quarter.
Culture activities to the trip
If you are interested in cultural events you may indulge in embroidery classes, bamboo basket weaving classes, kite making classes, bong or Vietnamese popcorn making courses, fishing, sampon rowing classes, cooking classes, calligraphy classes, Chung cake making classes, candid coconut ribbon making lessons and many more.
In case you have made up your mind to visit Ninh Binh and Tam Coc, you might look for travel agents from the internet. You will have the option to make online booking and all your inbound and outbound travel arrangements, accommodation, visa processing through the travel agents. Depending on your preference, you may choose your package. Indulge yourself in enjoying the treasures of nature as well as the sumptuous Vietnamese cuisine while on the cruise.