TAM COC – BICH DONG – Tips + Boat Rides

tam-coc-bich-dong-vietnam
Tourists and visitors in Tam Coc – Bich Dong in Ninh Binh.

Information icon-info-circle      How to get to Tam Coc Interesting places icon-search-plus Map – Ninh Binh


Tam Coc in Ninh Binh – beautiful and easily accessible place from Hanoi.


What to visit if you are in Hanoi and have more time? You have plenty of choice to stay in Hanoi for longer, such as Ha Long or Cat Ba Island, Ba Vi National Park or other interesting places in the north. There is also another very interesting place about 110 km south of Hanoi and it is the city of Ninh Binh and mainly its surroundings. Very easy and fast to reach by bus or train, in 2.5 hours, you are on site. You will be surprised by this place and this travel quide about Tam Coc and detailed Google map below the article will help you.

tam-coc-ninh-binh-vietnam
Tam Coc rice fields before the harvest time.


Tam Coc – Bich Dong is one of the Ninh Binh’s most popular tourist places.


Tam Coc (Tam Cốc-Bích Động) in Ninh Binh is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this area. Various tourist agencies in Hanoi offer 1-day trip to Tam Coc. Tam Coc – 5 km from the city center of Ninh Binh and therefore a very easily accessible place, is often visited by many tourists. After Trang An Scenic Complex, another amazing spot in Ninh Binh, about 7 km from Tam Coc, is the most visited spot in Ninh Binh. And it definitely has a lot to offer to tourists. The Tam Coc complex includes Tam Coc and Bich Dong in Van Lam village.

tam-coc-boat-ninh-binh-vietnam1
Local people in Tam Coc wait for travelers and visitors in Van Lam village.


The Tam Coc complex includes Tam Coc and Bich Dong in Van Lam village.


Take a boat in Van Lam village and go. Karst scenery, boat or bike rides and breathtaking scenery in the whole area. You can enjoy all of this. Tam Coc in Ninh Binh is recognized as a special national heritage and is also often referred to as “Ha Long Bay on Earth” for its limestone cave system and historical monuments from the Tran dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries.

tam-coc-cave-ninh-binh
In Tam Coc you can visit 3 caves on the river.


To reach Tam Coc, you have to board a small boat of local people.


Boat trip in Tam Coc – is necessary if you want to explore and visit this place, because you can ride three caves on the ship. “In Chinese, ‘Tam’ means three and ‘Coc’ means cave, so ‘Tam Coc’ means three caves. In Vietnamese, it is called ‘Ba hang’. Hang Ca is the first cave, ‘hang Hai’ is the second cave, and ‘hang Ba’ is the third cave. It takes about 2.5 hours to visit all three caves and ships depart from Port Van Lam. In Port Van Lam you can buy boat tickets, price range 100 000 – 190 000 viet.dongs (about 18-20 USD/boat).

tam-coc-ninh-binh-vietnam1
Tam Coc and Ninh Binh area is full of amazing karst sceneries.


What’s the best way to explore Tam Coc? By bicycle or scooter.


Cycling in Tam Coc is very popular. The entire area of Tam Coc and Trang An complex offers beautiful karst sceneries, including rice fields and rivers. Around the karst sceneries, the whole area in the lowlands, so the best and easiest way to explore this countryside and visit nearby points of interest is to rent a bicycle or motorbike/scooter.

Other points of interest include Bich Dong Pagoda and Hang Mua and Thai Vi Palace.


Other points of interest in Tam Coc – Ninh Binh area include Bich Dong Pagoda and Hang Mua and Thai Vi Palace. Tam Coc is not just a boat trip. It is very convenient to rent a bicycle or a scooter, but you can move easily on your own. About 2.5 km from Tam Coc’s port, the historic site of Bich Dong Pagoda and its cave is located. The Bich Dong pagoda in Tam Coc was built on a limestone hill in 1428 under King Le Thai To.

tam-coc-bich-dong-pagoda
Bich Dong Pagoda in Tam Coc / Ninh Binh.


The former name of the pagoda and grottoes is Bich Son (Green Grotto or Pearl Grotto).


Bich Dong Pagoda was included three parts (three pagodas), it is located on the mountain side and called Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda. Bich Dong means the green cave, this name is named by Prime Minister Nguyen Nghiem, he is the father of a great poet Nguyen Du, the name of Bich Dong was named since 1773. From the top of pagoda you can enjoy the best views of Bich Dong.

Trang An scenic complex, Hoa Lu – the historic city, the Hang Mua outlook.


Other very interesting places in the Tam Coc neighborhood are undoubtedly the scenic Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, where you can also take advantage of boat trips or the nearby historic city of Hoa Lu, formerly the capital of Vietnam. The Hang Mua viewpoint will probably offer you the most beautiful view of the Tam Coc area and Ninh Binh. The whole area was also celebrated in 2017 when the movie Kong-Skull Island was shot here.

hang-mua-tam-coc-vietnam
Viewpoint in Hang Mua (Mua Caves) in Tam Coc.


What is the best way how to get from Hanoi and Ninh Binh to Tam Coc?


The best way how to travel from Hanoi to Tam Coc, is to travel by train or bus to the city of Ninh Binh (about 2,5 hours). Tam Coc is only about 5 km from the city center, so in Ninh Binh you can rent a bike or take a taxi, or you can walk. Train and bus tickets from Hanoi to Ninh Binh you can book and buy easily online. Bus and train tickets in range only about $4-8.
icon-angle-double-rightbook and buy bus and train tickets from Hanoi to Ninh Binh on Baolau or 12go.asia

When to visit Tam Coc? When is the harvest season in Tam Coc?


You can visit Tam Coc in Ninh Binh all year round. If you can – skip the winter season. The best time to visit Tam Coc is from mid-April to early June – the rice harvest season. In April the rice paddies are evergreen, and from late-May till early-June, they turn yellow as they ripen.

How long to stay in Ninh Binh?


A lot of travel agencies offer 1-day tour/trip to Tam Coc or Trang An from Hanoi. Yes it can be a nice trip, but, in my opinion, this area is large and has also another various very interesting historical places, so if you travel on your own, stay in Nin Binh for at least 3 days and rent a motorbike or bicycle.

Interesting places in Tam Coc – Ninh Binh areaicon-angle-double-down 


– Bich Dong Pagoda + cave
– caves in Tam Coc (Ngo Dong river) – Hang Ca, Hang Hai, Hang Ba
– Thai Vi Palace
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex
Mua Caves + viewpoint (Hang Mua)
– Thung Nham ecotourism zone (bird sanctuary)
– Hoa Lu Ancient Capital (about 15 km from Tam Coc)
– rice fields in this area

Ninh Binh / Tam Coc – tourist map:

vietnam-tam-coc-ninh-binh-thai-vi-palace
Thai Vi Palace, about 2 km from Tam Coc.
tam-coc-cave-ninh-binh1
Tourists at the cave in Tam Coc.
tam-coc-cave-ninh-binh
In Tam Coc you can visit 3 caves on the river.
tam-coc-boat-ninh-binh-vietnam
Tourist boats in Tam Coc.
tam-coc-cave-ninh-binh2
On the boat you can pass through three caves in Tam Coc area.
tam-coc-ninh-binh-vietnam
Tam Coc area is fascinating – nature, karst sceneries, rivers.
tam-coc-ninh-binh-lotus-vietnam
Some hidden spot near Tam Coc area in Ninh Binh.


Book and buy your bus or train tickets from Hanoi to Ninh Binhicon-angle-double-down 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 24

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Share this article!