Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? Then you have to consider a day trip from Hanoi. It is one of the most precious jewels of Vietnam because of the various tourist destinations that you can find. You should not miss going to Tam Coc from Hanoi, which is only around 90 kilometers far from the city. It is located within the Trang An Landscape Complex which was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth the day trip to Tam Coc.
What’s interesting with Tam Coc is that you will find a lot of tourists in the area. But what could have the tourists loved about the place? Here are some of the most wonderful facts about Tam Coc and the best things to know about this great day trip from Hanoi.
The Scenic Landscape
Is there a movie in your mind that is set on a heavenly background? Then going to Tam Coc would make you feel like you have been transported to a movie set. It is surrounded by beautiful wonders of nature such as stunning rice fields, rocks, and the famous Ngo Dong River. You can even ride a boat and explore the waters of Hanoi. To increase your interest in the place, you must know that the locals call the Tam Coc as the Green Sea. Maybe you can now imagine why it was labeled as such with a trip from Hanoi to Tam Coc.
The Three Caves
Tam Coc actually means three caves. Make sure that your heart is prepared to see extreme beauty as you visit the caves of the Hang Cam, the Hang Giaua, and the Hang Chateau. All these caves were formed by geological processes.
The Natural Grottoes
Going to the grottoes may seem like a challenge at first. You will need to pass through a river in order to reach the grottoes which are located in the Trang An Complex. There are even tunnels that you have to go through and some tunnels are actually too low that you will need to bow down your heads during your day trip to Tam Coc.
The Sampan Boat Journey
Have you ever experienced driving a boat using only your feet? Well, the locals of Hanoi are used to rowing their boats using only their feet. No need to tire your hands because they have wooden paddles that can actually be driven by both men and women. Because of this technique, you can actually feel more convenient in rowing a boat. You can go on a forward facing position while you are paddling.
The entire journey takes about two hours. You will have to paddle from the Van Lem pier to around three kilometers of water distance.
Tam Coc Accommodations
When you get to Tam Coc from Hanoi, you will certainly feel like a day is not enough. Let us give you options on where to stay in Tam Coc.
- Tam Coc Rice Fields Resort
If you want to get a true feel of nature, then you have to book a night at the Tam Coc Rice Fields Resort. We truly love this resort because it allows us to have a serene night in a bungalow-type villa that is exclusive for our use. What also makes the setting of the resort more admirable is the surrounding mountains and the beautiful rice fields. You could book your accommodation through TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and HotelsCombined.
- Tam Coc Bungalow
The Tam Coc Bungalow is a good choice for those who would like to witness the beauty of the entire Tam Coc. It is located near the banks of the river, thus visitors are given an opportunity to see the precious wonder of the Tam Coc. Depending on your preference, you could book a private room or a single bunk bed in their dormitory-type room.
Attractions In Tam Coc
Hoa Lu – Ancient Capital Of Vietnamese Kingdom
Apart from visiting the cave and paddling the boat, you could also opt to visit the Hoa Lou for a day trip. It is around 7 kilometers from Hanoi and you can reach it via boat ride.
The Hoa Lu is considered as one of the historical places of Vietnam. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Dai Co Viet from the 10th Century to the 11th Century. If you are wondering whether you will find any remnant of the kingdom, well you will surely succeed in finding one. Make sure that you take photographs of the King Dinh Temple and the King Le Temple which were both built in the 17th Century.
Van Lam Village
Walking and boating are not just the only fun activities that you can do in Hanoi. You can also go on a biking tour of the entire Tam Coc. By choosing to ride a bike, you can get to reach the remote areas of the place such as the Van Lam Village. It is a perfect adventure for those who are desiring a peaceful environment encounter.
Van Lam Market
A tour of a certain place will never be complete without tasting authentic local cuisine. It is, therefore, a must that you visit the Van Lam Market. It is in this place where you can find some of the most authentic goods of the Vietnamese merchants.
Bich Dong Pagoda
Visiting the Bich Dong Pagoda is like being transported to the 15th Century. It contains historical treasures and environmental wonders which can only be seen when you set foot on the base of the Ngu Nhac Mountain.
Tips For Your Tam Coc Adventure
Whenever you intend to ride a boat, be careful to choose the boat that is not loaded with any box. That is particularly because local boaters will continuously attempt to sell local items that are kept in their boxes. You will definitely not find peace when you are not able to buy anything from them.
It would still be nice to book a tour with a reputable company in order to schedule a boat ride that is convenient for you. Tour companies are very particular in choosing which boats to give their clients.
Well, there is really nothing wrong with trying one or two items from the local boaters. A souvenir won’t surely harm your travel fund. But if you are really after some peace during the entire boat journey, then make sure that you also bring your own food. It would be strategic to show the local boaters that you are bringing your own snacks in order to prevent them from bugging you to buy stuff from them.
In case that the hawkers attempt to convince you to buy stuff for your sailor or your tour guide, do not hesitate to say no. There seems to be an arrangement between the sailors and the hawkers with regard this kind of practice. Don’t be surprised to see that the guides or the sailors will eventually just sell back the stuff you have bought for them at half the price.
An Overnight Tour
We suggest that you schedule an overnight tour of Tam Coc from Hanoi. This will allow you more time to explore the place and also give you more freedom to try other adventures. An overnight stay will give you a chance to go on a morning boat ride the next day. This is better because lunch rides usually become busier due to the abundance of tourists wanting to ride the boat during this time.
The Tam Coc Boat Ride Fee
The entrance ticket costs around 5 USD. This is actually exclusive of the boat ride fee which is around 6.5 USD per boat. Know that only two tourists are allowed to share a single boat.
Getting To Tam Coc
Going to Tam Coc from Hanoi is actually easy. But for more convenience, we still recommend that you get a reputable tour provider when going from Hanoi to Tam Coc. It would make everything hassle-free and more enjoyable because you will not need to think about every little thing concerning your travel. Based on our experience, the Go Asia Travel company was really reliable. They arranged everything for our tour and all we did was enjoy every second of the day trip to Tam Coc.
Traveling To Ninh Binh
If you prefer to travel by train, then you have to visit the official website of Vietnamese railways to book your own tickets to Ninh Binh. The travel time from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is around 2.5 to 3 hours and would cost around 2.25 USD. In order to get from Ninh Binh to Tam Coc, you will then need to ride a taxi or a bike from the last train station.
The taxi ride going to Ninh Binh when coming from Hanoi is actually expensive. You will need to spend about 70 USD which is already a great sum for those who are on a budget. The travel time is around 3 hours.
A cheaper option in order to reach Tam Coc is by riding a bus. It will only cost you around 3 USD to reach Ninh Binh from the city of Hanoi. You can simply get a ticket at the bus terminal in Giao Bat and wait for the many buses that frequently go on trips. The ride will take about three hours. The bus won’t bring you directly to Tam Coc. You will still have to ride a taxi or simply rent a bike in order to reach the pier of Tam Coc.
Again, we recommend that you book a tour from a reputable provider in order to prevent any hassle in your travel. A tour provider is necessary most especially for those who are going on a single day trip from Hanoi.