Tam Coc. In northern Vietnam, near Hanoi Tam Coc have a natural place in the province of Ninh Binh known as Halong Bay on land. Rice fields, rivers, caves and pagodas.

Tam Coc

In the North of Vietnam, Tam Coc, a beautiful natural setting in Ninh Binh province known as the Halong Bay on land we have very near Hanoi.

Tam Coc: Halong Bay through rice fields

Map of Hanoi to Tam Coc

Tam Coc is located about 90 kilometers south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province (home of the Tran dynasty) and 7 kilometres to the West of the city of Ninh Binh.

Tam Coc which means 3 caves, is a zone of Vietnam that elapses between rice paddies, bathed by the Ngo Dong River punctuated by karstic rock formations and limestone caves.

The rock formations, caves, water and landscape have made Tam Coc to know popularly as La Halong Bay on land or between rice paddies Halong Bay. More accessible than her older sister, Halong Bay, Tam Coc which squanders spectacular landscapes and exoticism, do not get to seize the throne of the major tourist attraction of Vietnam for travelers.

Tam Coc
Tam Coc, Halong Bay Shore

The river and rice paddies of Tam Coc

The natural landscape of Tam Coc runs in a small rowing boat plying the River Ngo Dong, where in addition to the impressive landscape we can also contemplate the rice fields. This zone of Vietnam has more than 350 hectares (including Tam Coc and Bich Dong).

Ngo Dong River to Tam Coc
Ngo Dong River to Tam Coc

Undoubtedly the most impressive of Tam Coc are rice fields when at its best, with a bright green with yellow, ending in the beginning of the cliffs of the rock formations.
The Vietnamese call the paddy fields of Tam Coc as the Green Sea.

Excursions and tours in Tam Coc

Map of Tam Coc
Map of Tam Coc
The price of admission to Tam Coc is approximately 2€, price to which must be added the cost of the boat. We can buy tickets at the ticket office located next to the parking space.

The Tam Coc experience begins at the Pier Van Lam, where we will sail in small rowing boats, called sampan, with capacity for 4 persons, by the Ngo Dong River. By our tour through the natural park will contemplate rock formations, we go through caves, visit pagodas and remains of monuments and buildings of times of the Vietnam's legend.

We will share boat with 2 Vietnamese who is in charge of rowing and steer the ship during the 2 hours that usually lasts for the visit by Tam COC.

Typical tours by Tam Coc, in addition to the 3 caves, include as part of the tourist visit the area named Bich Dong, which consists of a cave and a pagoda built on a limestone hill.

Tam Coc caves 3
Tam Coc caves 3

The caves of Tam Coc

Tam Coc, whose literal translation is the 3 caves, named by the 3 caves that are enconden in the interior of the rock formations in the area which crosses the River Ngo Dong, about 3 kilometers from the pier Van Lam.
These caves, whose names are the cave Hang Ca, Hang Giua cave and cave Hang Chateau, have been formed by erosion of the rio on the rocks, this is to say that the caves have no ground, but that the own River runs through the interior of the caves.

Tam Coc in Ninh Binh province
The caves of Tam Coc in Ninh Binh province

The caves were created by erosion and the passage of time, in his inside 2 meters of height, find estalagtitas, strange and surprising forms carved in the rocks, wild vegetation and if we're lucky, monkeys.

Entrance to the caves of Tam Coc
Entrance to the caves of Tam Coc

Inside the caves of Tam Coc
Inside the caves of Tam Coc

Hang Ca Cave

Hang Ca cave is the first cave and the largest of the 3, with 127 meters long and an entry of 20 meters wide, and a height of 2 meters. Their roofs reminiscent of a desert planet's surface.

Hang Cave Giua

The second cave (also called Hang Hai), distant cave Hang Ca 1 kilometer. Hang Giua has a length of 70 meters and find multitude of estalagtitas on their roofs.

Hang Cave Cuoi

The third and final cave, the Hang Cuoi (Hang Ba) cave, is the smallest of the 3 with 45 meters in length.

Bich Dong

Area known as Tam Coc Bich Dong is a beautiful natural setting close to the Ngu Nhac mountain, where there is a cave and also stands a 15th-century Pagoda (year 1428) that goes back to the era of the dynasty Le. Bich Dong means Pearl green.

Bich Dong Pagoda in Tam Coc
Bich Dong Pagoda in Tam Coc
Cave and Bich Dong Pagodas
Cave and Bich Dong Pagodas

Bich Dong pagoda, located 2 km from the caves of Tam Coc is composed of 3 structures: Have Pagoda (lower pagoda), Trung Pagoda (Middle pagoda), and Thuong Pagoda (upper pagoda) and a cave.

From the upper pagoda can enjoy the best views of Bich Dong. No wonder that in 1428 two monks decided to lift the pagoda here, entranced by the view of the river and mountains, King Le Canh even wrote a poem in honor of this beautiful place.

At the top of Ngu Nhac mountain we have the statue of a Mandarin, which contemplates the spectacular landscapes of Hoa Lu to the horizon.

The stream of fairies

Once we span the third and last Tam Coc cave, about 4 kilometres, we will arrive at a place called the arroyo de las hadas. Crystal clear waters that cover a vast expanse of land in which we can see schools of fish. The legend says that fairies used to go to this place anything, hence the name.

Van Lam village

The zone after Tam Coc is Van Lan village, famous for the hand-embroidered. Local craftsmen made embroidered on handkerchiefs, napkins, tablecloths, t-shirts, etc. Most of these items are sold on the streets of Hanoi, but village Van Lam is price is lower.

View Tam Coc and Ngo Dong River
View Tam Coc and Ngo Dong River

Recommendations for Tam Coc

We recommend travellers visiting Tam Coc wearing hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, because there is no possible shadow on the boats. We also recommend to carry a water bottle and the camera fully charged battery.

Tam Coc related

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