When it comes to a day trip from Hanoi, the most recommend trip is taking Tam Coc Boat Ride, where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery, discovery history and culture in the rural Vietnam. Tam Coc is more popular compared to Trang An, which means you’ll find here more foreign tourists. Yet, the place has some charm and it’s worth the visit.
Best time for the Tam Coc Boat Ride
The charming scenery here is beautiful every season. But the best time to have Tam Coc Boat Ride is from July to September when Tam Coc is in the ripe rice season.
From January to March is also a good time, the weather is not too cold, the sky is clear and less raining, making it perfect to sit on the boat and admire the charming rustic beauty of the Vietnam countryside. This time is also the festival season, so you can enjoy the festive atmosphere, learning Vietnamese cultures and sightseeing.
In June, the weather is quite hot but the sky is clear and less rain. However, this is the time of the lotus season in full bloom, also suitable for sightseeing or for those who are keen on photography, this is very good opportunity to visit Tam Coc at this time to have the best photos for your Vietnam collection.
How to get to Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Boating is the main means of transportation when visiting Trang An, Tam Coc – Bich Dong. The Tam Coc boat ride will take you to visit the entire Trang An eco-zone, giving you the feeling of floating on water, admiring majestic scenery and beautiful caves.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong is located in Trang An scenic area recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, in Ninh Hai commune, 7 km from Ninh Binh city. From Hanoi to Ninh Binh about 90 km, it only takes about 2 hours to travel by car.
First, you go to Dinh Cac wharf and be taken by locals on Ngo Dong river. The fare for each person is 70,000 VND. The journey by boat takes about two hours, taking you on the river flows around large rocky mountains, flanked by golden rice fields in the harvest season.
At Dinh Cach wharf, the boathouse is numbered and take turns to take guests, so there is no scrambling, so everything can be assured.
Smelling the fragrance of rice, stroking our hand over a grain laden rice, all is possible only when having a Tam Coc boat ride. If possible, ask the boatman to stick to both sides of the field to get your hands on the ripe yellow rice.
Sometimes, you might see farmers harvesting rice, giving them a smile or a wave.
The beauty of Tam Coc – Bich Dong changes with the rice season, sometimes it is lush green, sometimes it’s golden in the sunshine mixed with the blue sky, the silver color of the water and the surrounding rock tops. All will make charming photos for your Vietnam collection.
Tam Coc means three caves including Ca cave ,Hai cave and Ba cave, meaning the first, the second and The third respectively. All three caves follow the winding river and pierce through the rocky mountains. Over millions of years of creation under the hands of nature, the cave still retains its pristine.
Ca cave is 127 m long, through a large part of the mountain, its mouth is over 20 m wide. Hai cave is nearly 1 km from Ca Cave and is 60 meters long. Hang Ba is close to Hai cave, 50 m long, ceiling like a stone arch, lower than Ca cave and Hai cave.
Even if the weather outside is very hot, you will be cool down immediately when sailing through the caves. You will also have a chance to contemplate hanging-down stalactites in various shape.
The transparency of water, with various-shape mountains, creates a perfect harmony, a precious gift which nature gives us.
Besides the majestic caves, you can visit other monuments such as Thai Vi temple, Tam Coc- Bich Dong pagoda, Tien cave, Linh Coc pagoda, Sunny valley, Thung Nham bird garden.
Price & Time of Tam Coc boat ride:
The price of the trip is divided into 2 types: entrance fee and boat trip price.
- The entrance fee is 120.000 VND/ticket
- The boat trip ticket is 150.000VND/time/trip (4 visitors/boat).
The time to observe the whole beauty of Tam Coc is nearly 3 hours – a reasonable time to contemplate all the beauty of this magnificent world.
How to book Tam Coc Boat Ride
We are very happy to find a big deal on Klook for Hoa Lu Tam Coc Day Trip from Hanoi with a discount of 55%. You can book it here.
The tour includes:
- Explore Vietnam’s ancient capital city, Hoa Lu, on an immersive 10-hour adventure
- Take stunning photos on the Tam Coc river voyage – a true treat for budding nature photographers
- Discover the full diversity of Vietnamese natural landscapes as you pass through limestone karsts and stone caves
- Visit the temples of Dinh and Le dynasties and explore ancient relics remaining from when Hoa Lu was the country’s capital
- Enjoy convenient roundtrip hotel transfers from Hanoi and the services of an informative guide
Note before you do the Tam Coc Boat Ride
- You are sitting in the boat for quite a long time so make sure you have protection from the blistering sun.
- You are asked to buy drinks at the return point but you do not have to buy. It was so hot sitting in the open boat that a cold drink was welcome. We did buy the rower a drink who opened it and downed half straight away.
- We stopped halfway back on the return and shown hand-embroidered tablecloths and bags. You do not have to buy but you have to wait in the boat until they realize you have finished bargaining before they start rowing again.
- In the end they do expect a tip. We had discussed this with our tour guide after the ride who said that they only get part of the ticket price and there are so many families operating the boats that they may only get one opportunity to row in a few weeks.