Guide For Travelling Tam Coc – Ninh Binh in 2019
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 are everything you want to know guide for travelling Tam Coc if you’re planning your trip to Tam Coc Ninh Binh.
1. Best Time To Visit Tam Coc?
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 the nature.
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.
2. What To Prepare Before Your Journey To Tam Coc?
You can visit Tam Coc in one day. To save time, it’s better to depart in the early morning to enjoy the cool fresh atmosphere as well as have a complete trip because the distance from the center of Hanoi is only 110 kilometers. Therefore, you only need to bring some simple stuffs such a thin coat when sitting on the boat floating across caves. The cool weather along with steams will bring a sense of cool fresh feelings. You can also bring an umbrella when taking a boat on the river.
Besides, the best thing that you should do is to wear a sneaker, which is very convenient for travelling and sightseeing. Remember to bring some snacks to eat when you are hungry.
3. How To Get To Tam Coc?
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.
If you use private cars, then you don’t have to worry much about the route, leave it for your driver. With the 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.
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 fro you is SE8 from Sai Gon to Ninh Binh (6:00- 13:15).
From Ninh Binh to Tam Coc Bich Dong
From the center of Ninh Binh city to Tam Coc- Bich Dong tourism complex, it seems relatively near. If you want to have a short visit, you can hire a taxi or a motorbike. A group of four people only costs 40.000-50.000 VND.
If you want to combine to visit many attractions in Ninh Binh, you can hire a motorbike from Ninh Binh then follow a fixed itinerary to all basic attractions.
4. Famous Attractions in Tam Coc – Bich Dong Complex
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.
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.
Besides, when visiting Tam Coc, you can visit other nearby attractions such as:
Bich Dong Pagoda: Known as “ The second most beautiful cave”, Bich Dong Pagoda is the second beautiful cave of the Southern area after Huong Tich cave in Ha Tay.
Mua Cave: Far from Tam Coc about 3 kilometers, you only walk out 486 rocky steps to reach the top and enjoy the whole beauty of Tam Coc with rice paddy fields or Ninh Binh Province. The entrance ticket is 100.000 VND/person and the transfer time is at least 2 hours.
Viet Co Village: Also called Co Vien Lau, this place will bring tourists the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere of Vietnam in the 18th and 20th century.
5. 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 a simple but reflects the carefulness of people. This dish is preserved in many thousand years, becoming a specialty of the capital.
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.
6. Tam Coc Suggested Itinerary
Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong (One day)
At 8a.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!
After relaxing, we say good bye 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.
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.
Day 2: Cuc Phuong – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc Bich Dong
After check 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 explore this old capital. Have a lunch then continue visiting Ninh Binh Tam Coc -Bich Dong tourism complex. Afterwards, come back Ninh Binh City to take a rest.
Have dinner and overnight in Ninh Binh City.
Day 3: Ninh Binh – Van Long – Kenh Ga – Hanoi
In the morning, after check 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 Hanoi city.
7. Local Tips When Visiting Tam Coc
Travelling 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.