Tam Coc is located about 90 kilometers south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province and is often known as romantic and peaceful sceneries, which are very charming and amorous. If you’re nature lovers and already in Hanoi, it’s a pity to miss this beautiful “Halong Bay on land”.
Below is everything you want to know if you’re planning your trip to Tam Coc Ninh Binh. All about the weather, local tips & famous attractions!
Tam Coc weather – best time to visit?
It seems that Tam Coc- Bich Dong is beautiful in all seasons and every season has a unique beauty. If you want to enjoy the charm of green rice paddy fields full of vitality lie a silky extensive river, the period of January and February after Tet holiday will be the appropriate time. It will bring tourists a sense of comfort and admiration of the taste of the sky, the river and nature.
Yellow rice paddy fields at Tam Coc during May and July
Or if you want to observe the magnificent picture of the Mother of Nature dotted with yellow rice paddy fields, green forests and floating boats along the rivers at the end of May and early July. When the summer comes, this is the appropriate time to enjoy the beauty of Tam Coc – Bich Dong.
From Ninh Binh to Tam Coc
Tam Coc – or “the inland Ha Long Bay” – is a popular tourist location and a part of Trang An tourism complex. It consists of two different destinations: Tam Coc, a flooded cave karst system; and Bich Dong, a series of mountain pagodas.
Tam Coc (or “The Three Caves”) has three caves: Ca Cave, Hai Cave and Ba Cave on Ngo Dong river. Bich Dong is a pagoda complex of three: Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda.
Ninh Binh centre to Tam Coc from Google Map
To travel from Ninh Binh city center to Tam Coc – Bich Dong, you can choose between taxi and motorbike just like traveling to Trang An tourism complex. Tam Coc – Bich Dong is around 10 kilometers away from the city center, so the price for a taxi should be around 100.000 VND to 200.000 VND (5 – 10 US$).
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However, moving around by motorbike can be a bit tricky because the route has more turning points and can be quite complicated. But if you still wish to rent a motorbike, you can rent in the city center just like the part mentioned above of this article.
How To Get To Tam Coc From Hanoi?
It’s about 7 kilometers from Tam Coc to Ninh Binh city, hence there are so many ways to get to Tam Coc- Bich Dong tourism complex. If you don’t have private transportation, travelling by public vehicles or hiring a motorbike are interesting choices.
Ninh Binh is an important intersection with 9 routes including 6 starting highways and 3 passing ones evenly located in all districts, cities and towns. Therefore, the most convenient way to reach Ninh Binh is travelling by road.
The bus routes from Hanoi to Ninh Binh all leave from Giap Bat bus station and end in the bus station in the center of Ninh Binh. Because Ninh Binh city locates near headway 1A so besides these buses, you can choose others from Hanoi to provinces of the Middle or the South.
It’s about 9km from the Hoan Kiem lake to Giap Bat bus station
If you use private cars, then you don’t have to worry much about the route, leave it for your driver. With a distance of about 90 kilometers, you only take about 1 hour to reach the center of Ninh Binh City. From there, it only takes no more than 30 kilometers to visit other nearby attractions.
Ninh Binh has an urban structure Tam Diep- Ninh Binh located in the North-South railway. In this area are Ninh Binh station, Cau Yen station, Ghenh station and Dong Giao station. Hence, whether you are living in the North or South, you can easily come to Ninh Ninh by Reunification trains.
The train offer you dreamy and poetic sceneries of Ninh Binh
From Hanoi, there are trains, namely SE1( 19:30) reaching Ninh Binh at 21:46, SE3 (22h00) – Ninh Binh (0:10), SE5 (9. 00) – Ninh Binh (11.21), SE7 (6:00) arriving in Ninh Binh at 8: 22 and SE19 (20:05)- Ninh Binh at 23:00.
If you arrive from Sai Gon, trains from Ninh Binh mostly arrive lately. The only train that is suitable for you is SE8 from Sai Gon to Ninh Binh (6:00- 13:15).
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Famous Attractions – Things To Do In Tam Coc
Taking a boat ride to visit Tam Coc Caves
Tam Coc means “three caves” including Ca cave, Hai cave and Ba cave. All of Tam Coc caves are created by Ngo Dong river through mountains.
- Ca Cave: This is the largest cave in Tam Coc caves Vietnam with the depth of more than 20 meters and the length of 127 meters.
- Hai Cave: It is a small cave with the half-length of Ca Cave- about 60 kilometers. It is about 1 kilometer from Ca Cave from the basin of Ngo Dong river.
- Ba Cave: This is the smallest cave with about 50 meters long, however, it is considered the most beautiful cave in Tam Coc caves. In this cave, you can enjoy the mysterious beauty like a rocky arch which the Mother of Nature carefully carves with the sophisticated features to create a unique and wonderful charm for Ba cave.
Took a boat from Tam Coc to explore Ninh Binh Province limestone karsts and rice fields
The price of the trip is divided into 2 types: Visit ticket and boat trip price. The visit ticket is 120.000 VND/ticket and the boat trip ticket is 150.000VND/time/trip (4 visitors/boat). The time to observe the whole beauty of Tam Coc is nearly three hours.
Exploring Thien Huong cave
Thien Huong cave lies on the way from Ngo Dong river to Thai Vi temple. It is the light and dried cave and located in the middle of the limestone mountain, which is about 15m from the surface.
The stair leads to Thien Huong cave Ninh Binh
The interesting thing about Thien Huong is behind the cave, there is a small path to the peak of the mountain. Climbing to the peak, you can enjoy the spectacular view and peaceful, dreamy of Ngo Dong river with the ripen paddy field from far away.
Conquering Tien Cave
Tien cave is located in Dan Khe village, Linh Hai, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh, which is 1 km far from Bich Dong pagoda. Tien cave is also called Moc cave by locals with exciting and gorgeous wonders.
Thanks to the natural impacts, stalactites turn into a variety of fancy shapes ranging from tiger, fairy, elephant, lion to colorful clouds- like a magical world. Stepping into Tien cave, tourist seems to get lost in a fantastic and dreamy paradise with peaceful current water and definitely passionate for exploring every corner of the cave.
The peaceful and gentle landscape in Tien cave
Praying in Lich Coc pagoda
If you visit Bich Dong pagoda, I really advise you to drop Lich Coc pagoda, far from 500m Bich Dong. Pagoda’s yard is quite large and situated in the foot of limestone mountain. Ahead of the pagoda is the dreamy rice paddy field, creating charming and incredible sceneries.
Isolated from Ninh Binh center, Linh Coc pagoda keep peaceful and antique beauty
Visiting Ancient Vietnamese village ( Cố Viên Lầu)
Co Vien Lau is the ancient house areas which are restored from miniature images of North Vietnames village. Coming here, you have the chance to contemplate the antique items, cultural values and traditional beauty conserved through the passage of time.
Co Vien Lau is the opportunity to escape from the busy life
In 2008, it is recently added to one of the tourism destinations in Tam Coc- Bich Dong complex. It is near Tam Coc boat marina and on the way to Thai Vi temple. Of all ancient houses, Nông Cống (1847), Ý Yên ancient house (1883), Thọ Xuân ancient house (1802), Văn Hải ancient house (1853), Thanh Liêm communal house, Nghênh Tân Các shelter are the most outstanding artifacts and listed one of the best things to do in Tam Coc Vietnam.
Discovering Thien Ha cave- the best things to do in Tam Coc
Thien Ha cave is embedded in Tuong mountain arrays with a height of 200m, which is a natural and firm wall protecting the Southwest of Hoa Lu ancient capital in the 10th century.
The view from Thien Ha cave to Tuong mountain
To explore Thien Ha cave, you start at Muong Tho Ha, Son Ha village and follow a small canal with 1km intercalating paddy fields. Then, you walk on the limestone path about 500m on the verge of Tuong mountain to reach the cave.
The light passes through Thien Ha cave, creating “Galaxy”
Stepping into Thien Ha cave, you are certainly attracted by the unreal and magical beauty of the stalactite’s world. Each form of stalactites is called different names according to its shape like: tiger stalks the pray, monkey climbs the trees,…
What To Eat In Tam Coc Vietnam?
Ninh Binh burned rice
Burned rice is not a traditional dish of Ninh Binh people but it is created by preserved by Ninh Binh residents. It is simple but reflects the carefulness of people. This dish is preserved in many thousand years, becoming a specialty of the capital.
The must-try dishes in Ninh Binh – Burned rice and Mountain goat meat
Along with hot serve, you can buy packed burned rice topped with pork floss for snack
Ninh Binh goat meat
Goat meat is less fat and flavored. The feature of the mountainous land provides a variety of grasses and vegetables, which are suitable to become food for goats. When enjoying goat meat, you can combine with Kim Son wine, Nho Quan wine and Ninh Binh burned rice.
Ninh Binh snails
This type of mountainous snail is very rare as they only live in the rocky caves. From April to August, they get out of their shelters to find food and give birth. Snails are in all regions of Ninh Binh but concentrate most in limestone areas like Tam Diep, Yen Mo and Nho Quan, Hoa Lu. The meat is tough, brittle and flavored. Snails can be made into various dishes, namely roasted snails, fried snails and boiled snails.
Steamed mountain snails with lemongrass
Tam Coc Tour Suggested Itinerary
Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong (One day)
At 8 a.m, we will start transferring from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. From this city, we will reach to Hoa Lu ancient capital to visit Dinh and Le King Temples. After wandering around and observing the beauty of the surrounding sceneries, you can find a restaurant to enjoy your lunch. Don’t miss to try coat meat and burned rice, two specialties here!
Free entrance to Bich Dong Pagoda
After relaxing, we say goodbye to Hoa Lu to transfer to Mua Cave. Take some photos in this beautiful place then head to Tam Coc – Bich Dong which is very adjacent to Mua Cave. Then enjoy your visit in Tam Coc – Bich Dong until afternoon. End your trip and come back Hanoi.
Eagle statue on top of Mua mountain
>>> See All The Itinerary For Hoa Lu Tam Coc Tour
Hanoi – Cuc Phuong – Tam Coc Bich Dong – Van Long (3 days 2 nights)
Day 1: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Cuc Phuong
In the morning, we will start your trip from Hanoi. After a three-hour trip, we will set our foot in front of the gate of Cuc Phuong National Park. Enjoy your meals in here. When visiting Cuc Phuong, you can’t miss visiting one- thousand-year-old tree, also known as Cay Tro and other nearby attractions of the forest.
Have an overnight in Cuc Phuong.
Pangolin – the endangered species of Vietnam
Day 2: Cuc Phuong – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc Bich Dong
After checking out the hotel, you will have a light breakfast then head to Hoa Lu ancient capital. After visiting King Ding and Le’s Temples, tourists can spend some time exploring this old capital. Have lunch then continue visiting Ninh Binh Tam Coc -Bich Dong tourism complex. Afterward, come back Ninh Binh City to take a rest.
Have dinner and overnight in Ninh Binh City.
Days in Ninh Binh
Day 3: Ninh Binh – Van Long – Kenh Ga – Hanoi
In the morning, after checking out the hotel, you leave Ninh Binh city then transfer to Van Long. This is one of the settings of the movie called Kong: Skull Island in the afternoon, from Van Long, you head to Kenh Ga thermal spring.
In the afternoon, come back to Hanoi city.
A setting of Kong: Skull Island
Local Tips When Visiting Tam Coc
Traveling by boat is the only way to visit Tam Coc. If you travel by land, you solely wander around the outside of Tam Coc Ninh Binh.
On the journey of visiting Tam Coc, you can negotiate with the boatman in case you want to stop somewhere to capture photos or climb to the higher positions for finding the beautiful and whole corner images. With experience and proficiency of the place, these boatmen can stop the boat and find a favorable position to help you climb to the mountain wall. If you stand up without the permission, it does not only cause risks for yourself but other visitors on the boat.
In the summer, Tam Coc often suffers from heavy rain so start early when visiting Tam Coc. Therefore, when you come to Tam Coc, the weather is still sunny and cool and you can avoid heavy rain in the afternoon.