What makes Tam Coc – Ninh Binh so appealing? Travel guide in Tam Coc from A to Z!

Just less than 2 hours driving from Hanoi, Tam Coc is one of the most impressive places in Ninh Binh. Featuring verdant rice fields, towering limestone cliffs, many scenic spots along with a wealth of historical relics, this location consistently draws a large number of visitors each year.

A part of Tam Coc area view from above. (Source: Collected)

To get more ready for your trip to Ninh Binh, let’s review this tourist attraction with the Hanoi Explore Travel’s article below!

Where is Tam Coc Vietnam? Tam Coc Ninh Binh Viet nam location

About 11 kilometers from the city center, Tam Coc is located in Dam Khe village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. Tam Coc is a part of the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which is recognized as a dual World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its ecological and cultural value. This tourist attraction is well-known for its stunning scenery of limestone mountains, caves, and rice fields.

>>> CHECK OUT MORE: What to See in Ninh Binh? 10 Best Things To See for First Time Traveler

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Stunning scenery of limestone mountains, caves, and rice fields. (Source: Collected)

With a large area of up to 350.3 hectares, Tam Coc is a unique complex of cave systems and limestone mountains, along with a picturesque, serene village setting. The Bich Dong pagoda with many traditional architecture and other significant historical relics related to the Vu Lam palace of the former Tran dynasty are also parts of the tourist attraction.

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A small boat on the Ngo Dong river to explore the beauty of Tam Coc. (Source: Collected)

Coming to Tam Coc, visitors will experience more than 2 hours of sitting on a small boat on the Ngo Dong river, passing through green rice fields, limestone cliffs, and admiring the beauty of the caves.

How to get to Tam Coc – Ninh Binh from Hanoi

You can go from Hanoi to Tam Coc – Ninh Binh via bus, motorbike, or car. The trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh City takes around two hours.

For these traveling means of transportation, you can follow the old National Highway 1A route to go from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.

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You can easy to get a bus from Hanoi to Tam Coc. (Source: Collected)

Furthermore, should you have ample time, you can opt to go from Hanoi to Ninh Binh via train. Train lines SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7, or SE19 are available for travel from Hanoi.

If you don’t mind traveling with other people, a tour bus from Hanoi to Tam Coc is another great alternative.

>>> Explore Tam Coc Tour and many other in BEST Ninh Binh Tours by Hanoi Explore Travel

How to get to Tam Coc from Ninh Binh

You may book a taxi or motorbike taxi as Ninh Binh City center and Tam Coc are only a short distance apart – roughly 11 kilometers. If you would like to see numerous more tourist attractions in Ninh Binh, you should rent a motorbike there and follow a schedule to visit all of the locations.

>>> See more: The Ninh Binh’s Road Map for Tourist Travel by Motorbike

Mai linh taxi in Ninh Binh. (Source: Collected)

You can select any of the aforementioned modes of transportation, depending on your time and budget. The best choice, though, is to travel to Tam Coc with a tour guide, who can offer a lot of knowledge and local insights.

Tam Coc Vietnam Weather. When is the best time to visit this place?

The best time to visit Tam Coc depends mostly on what you expect to experience in your Vietnam trip. Tam Coc in each season has its own beauty.

The time after Tet New Year (every year from February to March) is the best time to see the fresh green rice fields. This is the time of year when rice fields are a verdant hue.

tam coc green rice field. (Source: Collected)

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Come in late May or early June if you want to see Tam Coc filled with the yellow color of ripe rice. The stunning view of rice fields on both banks of the river will undoubtedly astound you. The vibrant yellow of ripe rice and the verdant of young seedlings blend in a harmonic balance. This is a perfect river landscape that enthralls and excites everyone.

In particular, for those who enjoy participating in interesting festivals and experiencing local culture, the lunar months from January to March are the most suitable time to visit.

Yellow rice paddy fields at Tam Coc during May to Jun. (Source: Collected)

Ticket price to visit Tam Coc Ninh Binh Vietnam

Below are ticket prices to visit Tam Coc that visitors can refer to:

  • For adults: 250,000 VND/person, including a 2-hour boat tour. A boat will only accommodate a maximum of 2 guests.
  • For children under 1m4: 60,000 VND/person.
  • Free for children under 3 years old.

After purchasing your ticket, you will be taken to the ferry station. Here, the boat will bring you on an amazing two-hour journey that offers stunning landscapes of the river’s rice fields, mountain peaks, and water caves

Interesting attractions in Tam Coc Ninh Binh you should not miss

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Taking a boat ride to visit Tam Coc Caves. (Source: Collected)

Tam Coc with its three-cave scenic complex

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The phrase “Tam Coc” refers to three caves: Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba. They are the result of millions of years of rain, waves, and geological changes eroding cliffs. Visiting these beautiful caves is definitely one of the top things to do in Tam Coc, Vietnam.

Explore Caves at Tam Coc by sampan boat. (Source: Collected)
  • Hang Ca Cave: This is the longest of the three caves (127 meters long and 20 meters wide).
  • Hang Hai Cave: On a boat passing through the 60-meter long cave, you can observe many brilliant stalactites hanging on the cave dome.
  • Hang Ba Cave: This cave is quite unique with a lower ceiling than Hang Ca and Hang Hai.
Hang Ca Cave at Tam Coc. (Source: Collected)

Thai Vi Temple

Thai Vi Temple is a place to worship kings and generals of the Tran Dynasty. Previously, this place was built as Vu Lam Palace with the purpose of strengthening forces in the second war against the Yuan-Mongol army.

Located amidst the picturesque natural landscape of Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, the temple possesses a unique architecture characterized in the Tran Dynasty, which will certainly make visitors astonishing.

Thai Vi temple festival. (Source: Collected)

Thien Huong Cave

Thien Huong cave is located along the way from the Ngo Dong river, Tam Coc to the Thai Vi temple. This is a dry, well-lit cave located at an altitude of around 15 meters. The cave measures 20 meters in width, 40 meters in depth, and roughly 60 meters in height.

You will find a shrine inside the cave that honors Mrs. Tran Thi Dung, the wife of King Ly Hue Tong. She was the one who taught the people of Ninh Hai commune the embroidery profession, so people erected a shrine with yearly offerings of incense sticks in her honor.

Tien Cave and Linh Coc pagoda

Belonging to Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh complex, you can easily visit Tien Cave and Linh Coc Pagoda.

  • Tien Cave: Only about 1 kilometer from Bich Dong Pagoda, Tien cave consists of 3 large caves. When you look up at the cave’s ceiling, you’ll find a lot of stalactites and colorful, shimmering stone veins hanging down, resembling massive tree roots. Due to natural changes, the stalactites are honed into many unique shapes such as rice trees, money trees, fairies, tigers, lions, lizards… From its outside, Tien Cave bears a striking resemblance to a majestic castle.
Tien cave in Ninh Binh. (Source: Collected)
  • Linh Coc Pagoda: Located atop Moc Pagoda Mountain, Linh Coc Pagoda faces west and boasts a frontage of expansive water fields. The pagoda was built under the reign of King Tran Thanh Tong. Right at the foot of the mountain is a large temple yard, on both sides are ancestral churches. The pagoda has 3 compartments facing Northwest, worshiping the holy monks A Nam Da and the Western Patriarch.The left house has 5 rooms facing Southeast. Dien Mau (the mother goddess worshiping area) faces southwest with its back to the mountainside, built according to the letter “Tam”.
Linh Coc pagoda in Ninh Binh. (Source: Collected)

Visiting Co Vien Lau – Ancient Vietnamese village

It is a collection of ancient houses, located in Tam Coc – Ninh Binh complex. Houses in this area were restored and characterized by the architecture of the Northern Delta provinces and also Ninh Binh.

This is considered clear evidence of a golden age of Vietnam in the previous dynasty. Visitors to Co Vien Lau can not only admire the unique ancient architecture but also see many ancient tools such as mahogany tables, sofas, tea cabinets…

Co Vien Lau is the opportunity to escape from the busy life. (Source: Collected)

Bich Dong Cave and Pagoda

One of the most well-liked activities in Tam Coc is visiting Bich Dong Pagoda, also known as Xanh Cave. Encircled by lush forests, Tam Coc’s rice fields, rivers, lotus ponds, and more, Bich Dong is home to some of Ninh Binh’s most recognisable locations, particularly the entrance. Bich Dong Pagoda is made up of three different layer structures: Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda.

>>> Read more: Bich Dong Pagoda? Are There Any Interesting Things There?

Bich Dong Pagoda in December. (Source: Collected)

Slight silhouettes and incense smoke emanate from every cave shrine, creating a spiritual and tranquil atmosphere. Arriving at Thuong Pagoda will take approximately two hours, but the amazing views of Tam Coc it provides will make the journey worthwhile!

Xuyen Thuy Dong

Xuyen Thuy Cave is a dark and flooded cave that stretches the entire length of the Bich Dong mountain. Xuyen Thuy Cave winds 350 meters from east to west like a semicircular stone pipe. The Xuyen Thuy cave is 6 meters wide on average, with a widest part of 15 meters. The cave’s walls and roof are typically flat, and big stone slabs appear to be arranged by nature into a variety of shaped arches and semicircles.

Xuyen Thuy Dong Ninh Binh. (Source: Collected)

The entrance to Xuyen Thuy Cave is at the back of the mountain, opposite the road to Bich Dong Pagoda. After exploring the cave, visitors can ascend the mountain to the Bich Dong cave and pagoda.

Visit Thung Nham Bird Garden

A more recent addition to the Trang An beautiful complex than Tam Coc is the Thung Nham tourist area, often known as the Bird Garden. This tourist area is located in Hai Nham village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, about 5 kilometers west of Bich Dong pagoda with the main attractions being Vai Gioi cave, Tien Ca cave and bird valley.

>>> More about: Thung Nham Bird Garden in Ninh Binh. Is Worth Being Visited?

Thung Nham Bird Park in December. (Source: Collected)

Explore Hang Mua – Mua Cave

Mua cave is located in Khe Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, this is an man-made tourist area offering many activities such as climbing, weekend getaways and conferences. Mua Cave is one stop in the sighseeing route: Cay Da Wharf – Thanh Wharf – Ca Cave – Mua Cave – Hai Hang – Ba Cave – Suoi Tien – Trang An Cave Tourist Area. Legend has it that Mua Cave was a place for musical performances, dancing and singing by palace maids of the previous Tran Dynasty.

>>> More about: Mua Cave is worth being visited in Ninh Binh?

Mua Cave Viewpoint. (Source: Collected)

Tips for the best experience in Tam Coc – Ninh Binh, Vietnam

  • Wear sandals or comfortable sneakers
  • Dress in classic colors for the best photos
  • Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, hat and water
  • Depart in the morning to avoid the hot summer sun

Ninh Binh is just one of many great destinations to visit in Vietnam. There are still many notable destinations that are worth-visiting like Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Sapa, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long Bay. These destinations not only have breathtaking landscapes but also rich culture and history.

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