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Top Things to Do in Tam Coc Ninh Binh Vietnam

06/12/2022 388 Views
Tam Coc has many limestone mountains and is well known for the name “Ha Long Bay on land”, so if you have already visited Ha Long Bay, this place can give you a whole new experience that you never had before. Read along to explore more about the Top Things To Do in Tam Coc.
Top Things to Do in Tam Coc Ninh Binh Vietnam
Tam Coc has many limestone mountains and is well known for the name “Ha Long Bay on land”, so if you have already visited Ha Long Bay, this place can give you a whole new experience that you never had before. Read along to explore more about the Top Things To Do in Tam Coc.

For as small as they may seem, there are some truly unique and amazing things to do in Ninh Binh and Tam Coc. Whether you’re interested in hiking to the tallest viewpoint, paddling through caves, or soaking up the culture at the ancient capital, there’s a little something for everyone.

The province is home to breathtaking limestone formations that shoot up out of rice paddies and broad rivers. The town of Tam Coc is surrounded by mountains on three sides, with some homestays nestled right up against the stark cliffs. You can explore the region by car, bike, and boat.

Our original plan for traveling through Vietnam had us skipping right over them, but some mishaps landed us there anyway. We’re glad they did because Ninh Binh turned out to be one of the most beautiful places we visited.

Here are seven awesome things to do in Ninh Binh and Tam Coc that you definitely should not pass on.
Spectacular things to do in Tam Coc

Tam Coc is located in Ninh Binh province which is only 1.5 hours drive from Hanoi, it is a fascinating and peaceful place with ancient features and a natural landscape. Let's discover things you can do when visiting this famous destination.
Road from Hanoi to Tam Coc Ninh Binh
One of the highlights of visiting Tam Coc is riding a small boat along the Ngo Dong River. The winding river runs alongside the towering limestone peaks and the flooded rice paddies which are vibrant green in spring and glamorous yellow in autumn, a 2-hour trip on the river is an absolute scenic ride.

1. Boat riding along Ngo Dong River

You will have a chance to enjoy the splendid landscape which includes three original caves from thousands of years (Ca Cave, Hai Cave, and Ba Cave). The first Cave you will visit is Ca Cave and it’s the longest cave (127m). Inside the cave is a marvelous sight of stalactites hanging from above. The next stop on the boat ride is Hai Cave and Ba Cave respectively.

During harvesting season, you can easily meet friendly local people rowing with a full stack of rice on their boat; making the view even more interesting to see. Not to mention, you will be amazed also by the skills of boat riders. They can row the boat in any direction with their feet, through a low-roof cave or narrow waterways, which must be quite challenging to do. It is said that almost everyone in this area can rowboat, even with their feet.

2. Visit Temples and Pagodas

When traveling to Ninh Binh in general and Tam Coc in particular, it’s perfect to pair the boat ride along Ngo Dong River with a visit to some local attractions nearby. These landmarks are religious and sacred places, especially for local people so remember to dress appropriately and respectfully when you visit.

a. Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda
Not too far from Tam Coc wharf, about 2km (1.2 miles), there is a pagoda built into a side of a cliff called Bich Dong Pagoda. It is composed of 3 structured pagodas (Low, Middle, and Upper) and surrounded by vast greenery. The entrance to Bich Dong Pagoda is small yet enchanted and the most photogenic of this location. It’s better to keep in mind that Bich Dong Pagoda is a popular spot among travelers for taking stunning photos so you should come early to avoid big group tours or other travelers.
It’s not a big complex of pagodas so you can make a quick visit from the foot of Bich Dong Pagoda to reach the very top. When you reach the Upper Pagoda, you will be welcomed with a gorgeous view out of the valley of the stretching mountains and enormous rice fields.

b. Hoa Lu Temple

Hoa Lu temples
Hoa Lu was once the ancient capital of Vietnam dating back to the 11th century. Located approximately 16km (10 miles) north of Tam Coc, this area has a beautiful setting and tranquil spot to soak in some ancient Vietnamese history and admire the stunning natural scenery surrounding the citadel. The temples were built in honor of the emperors Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh, their sons, and empress Duong Van Nga, who was married first to Dinh Tien Hoang and then to Le Dai Hanh.

The temples were built in honor of the emperors Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh, their sons, and empress Duong Van Nga, who was married first to Dinh Tien Hoang and then to Le Dai Hanh. Hoa Lu is a beautiful spot to soak in some ancient Vietnamese history and admire the stunning natural scenery surrounding the citadel.

c. Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a huge complex of Buddhist Temples situated about 14 miles outside of Tam Coc. The entire area is over 100 hectares making it the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia. The Bai Dinh Pagoda stands an impressive 13-story tall with a panoramic view at the top and 500 Arhat statues made of stone that stand higher than a human’s head.

You don’t have to pay the entrance fee when visiting here however, the complex is gigantic and it’s a very long way from the gate to the actual temples so you may consider taking a ride on the golf buggies. Bai Dinh Pagoda was recognized as a cultural and historical heritage site in 1997 and since then became the largest tourist attraction in Vietnam.

d. Mua Cave

Mua cave
Traveling in Tam Coc, You will wallow in a wonderful landscape of mountains, valleys, and rivers. These places are a must if you want to have the best view and surround yourself with verdant nature.

You will come to the first incredible viewpoint with a spectacular sight of the Ngo Dong River below that cuts its way around the towering mountains and landscape view of rice fields. Continue the hike up a little further till you reach the top of Mua Cave and to the second viewpoint that offers you 360-degree views of the countryside. Not only are the views of the valley below absolutely breathtaking, but there is an impressive dragon statue at the top that is the perfect spot for a few photos

There are 486 steps to climb up to the top, doesn’t sound so bad right? However, it would be very tiring if you walked up during the day as no shade protects you from the heat. So the ideal time to visit is to go in the early morning or late in the afternoon when the sun starts to set, so you can avoid the hot weather and large crowd of tourists.

e. Thung Nham Bird Park

Thung Nham bird park
Be immersed in the wild and nature, enjoy a fresh atmosphere and quietly listen to the birds singing, Thung Nham is a beautiful site and known to be home to various species of birds that can let you do that. The Thung Nham Bird Park is surrounded by tropical forest strips on limestone mountains and numerous valleys and caves.
To see the bird, you have to walk to the bird-watching area and pass by a bamboo bridge. You can also take a boat ride out to the bird area for an additional fee. Around 4-5 pm is when the birds fly back to their nest, it is also giving you a chance to see a lot of birds.

Tam Coc is a wonderful destination if you prefer a getaway-from-the-city trip, it offers more than just a scenic destination as there are a lot of things to do in Tam Coc and you will fall in love with this place for sure. Thinking about traveling by booking Ninh Binh - Tam Coc tour and exploring the North of Vietnam? Check out our itineraries to visit this beautiful destination.

See more for guides:
>> Top 17 best places to visit in Ninh Binh
>> Cuc Phuong National Park
>> Van Long nature reserve

See more for tours:
>> Hoa Lu Tam Coc Tour
>> Cuc Phuong national park tour
>> Vietnam tour 2 weeks


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