Tam Coc in Vietnam is an exquisite cave system in the northern part of Vietnam, a section of the larger Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the caves are a popular attraction for tourists visiting the South East Asian country. Technically a karst system of flooded caves, Tam Coc boat ride through the caves is a thrilling experience for families, couples as well as travelers in groups. The nearest town to this natural wonder is Nin Binh, a small town on the River Delta, where tourists visiting Tam Coc usually stay while exploring the Trang An.
Occasionally referred to as the inland Ha Lang, Tam Coc is a fascinating place for people who love the outdoors and natural sights. Read on to know all about the things that are unique to Tam Coc in Vietnam, including how to get there, where to stay and all the things that you need to see at this world wonder heritage.
Basic Facts About Tam Coc Cave System
Location: North Vietnam
Opening hours: Boat rides to the cave system are available through the daylight hours, which vary somewhat over the seasons. Temples and pagodas are usually open to the public by 5 AM and close at 9 PM. Restaurants and shops usually open at 11 AM and close at 8 PM.
Entrance fee: INR 250 per person
Tam Coc Map
How To Reach Tam Coc In Vietnam
The Trang An complex, which consists of an ancient pagoda and temple complex beside the cave systems, is located in the Nin Binh district. Here are the ways in which you can conveniently reach the complex of Tam Coc in Vietnam:
1. Public transport
There are regular buses that ply from Hanoi to Nin Binh, which is about 100 kilometers from the capital. In Hanoi, you will find public buses at the Giao Bat bus station. These bus rides are bumpy and uncomfortable, but the tickets are cheap and there is no need to book beforehand. There are also regular trains that run between Hanoi to Nin Binh, with typical 2nd class sleeper tickets costing INR 450. However, most days you can easily get unreserved seats on the train, which are both cheaper and a great way to meet local people. At Nin Binh, you can take a break before continuing on to Tam Coc, which is 30 minutes away. To get to Tam Coc, you can rent a motorbike or a bicycle, or even a taxi. Boat rides to the cave complex are available from the village of Van Lam in Tam Coc.
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2. Private transport
If you want to avoid taking public buses from Hanoi to Nin Binh, there are several private bus operators that you can opt for. Catba Express is the most popular, and you can book tickets online or through travel agents in Hanoi. Typical journeys take around 2 hours and will cost INR 650. You can also hire a taxi directly out of Hanoi to Tam Coc, which will typically cost around INR 5000, although you will have to spend some time negotiating with the drivers for a good price.
Tam Coc Weather
Tam Coc Vietnam weather is warm throughout the year, with maximum temperatures hovering around the 35 degrees Celsius mark during the summer period of June through September, and between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius in the winter. June through October, Tam Coc receives significant rainfall, and the high humidity coupled with the heat can be uncomfortable.
Things To Do In Tam Coc
Searching for the perfect exeriences to indulge in during your time at the Tam Coc? Look no further. We got you the most exciting activities that travelers love to try when they’re there:
1. Ngo Dong river : Explore the caves
The limestone caves of Tam Coc are its most popular attraction. Literally, the “three caves”, the system consists of three distinct structures - Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba. These flooded cave karst systems, on the river Ngo Dong river, are the principal attraction in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trang An. Tourists who wish to explore the caves can get boat rides out of the village of Van Lam. Local women from the village are the ones who operate the boat ride and often attempt to sell local embroidered goods on the boat itself.
While you should politely but firmly say no to that, the boat ride itself is fantastic as you go through gorgeous paddy fields, limestone karsts and through the three cave systems and back. Rare mineral formations such as those of stalactites and stalagmites dominate the insides of the caves and are quite a sight to behold.
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2. Bich Dong Pagoda Complex : Seek blessings
Located in the Ngu Nhac mountains near the village of Van Lam, the structure consists of three pagodas in ascending order - Ha, Trung and Thuong pagodas. The pagodas are one of the most significant symbols of Vietnamese Buddhism, offering serenity and peace and wonderful views of the amazing Vietnamese countryside. The lower pagoda is situated right at the base of the mountain, while the Middle Pagoda is located a 100 steps up the mountain. The highest cave temple is a smaller number of steps up, but the climb is steeper.
3. Van Lam : Buy embroidered goods
The small village that lies at the entrance to the caves of Tam Coc, Van Lam is known for its local artisans who produce the most charming embroidered goods. You can buy napkins, pillowcases and embroidered fabric at the local shops for reasonable prices. Local boat operators taking you through the caves will also offer to sell you the same things, but at much higher prices, so if you are looking for some local souvenirs, be sure to buy them at the locals' shops in the village.
4. Chookies Beer Garden : Hang out with your buddies!
Located on the Tam Coc-Bich Dong Road, the Chookies Beer Garden is a great place to hang back and chill after a long day in Vietnam. After spending the daylight hours boating through the caves or mountain biking through the Trang An area, tourists and backpackers love the chilled local beer (you can also get some international brands if you ask), enjoyed on deck chairs laid out along the riverside. The hosts are friendly, and let guests stay till as late as 10 PM. The place also offers light snacks such as burgers, wraps as well as salads.
5. Thuy Linh : Have a delish Vietnamese dinner
Covered with traditional Vietnamese red lanterns and verdant plants, the Thuy Linh is one of the best places for a nice Vietnamese dinner if you are in the Tam Coc strip. The Ninh Binh area is quite popular for its goat dishes, and Thuy Linh is one of the best places to enjoy this very Vietnamese novelty, along with cheap noodles and rice.
Suggested Read: 10 Wonderful Places To Visit In Hanoi, A Land Lost In Time!
Places To Stay In Tam Coc In Vietnam
Your search for the most comfortable and budget accommodation options near Tam Coc ends right here. Pick the one that suits you the most.
1. Limestone View Homestay
Close to Tam Loc (5 km), Hoa Lu (5 km) and Trang An (2km), this is a homestay owned by the charming Dzung family. With four clean rooms to offer and beautiful views of the hinterland, this is a nice place to stay on a budget when visiting Tam Coc. The place has free Wi-Fi and laundry services, as well as airport transfer services from Hanoi International.
Location: Xuan Thanh Road
Starting Price: INR 6783
2. Tam Coc Garden Resort
Tam Coc Garden Resort in Vietnam is a luxury eco-resort located amidst the rice paddies, offering an authentic Vietnamese experience while ensuring you have all the essentials needed to make this a charming vacation. Modeled after a Tonkinese village, the Tam Coc garden in Vietnam offers rooms with tiled roofs and stone walls, surrounded by groves of bamboo and traditional orchards.
Location: Hai Nham Hamlet, Ninh Binh
Starting Price: INR 13,698
3. Mua Caves Ecolodge
This charming eco resort, located in the Hang Mua area amongst the limestone karst and the rice paddies, is one of the best places to stay in Tam Coc. The rooms are big and betray a tinge of the Vietnamese royalty, you can book half day tours through the team at the lodge and also hire mountain bikes for tours around the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Location: Khe Ha, Ninh Binh
Starting Price: INR 2171
The beautiful landscapes of Tam Coc in Vietnam, along with the historical and religious landmarks from Vietnam’s golden age, is a treat for visitors. Because the region does not get much traffic for most of the year, it is also a relaxing vacation filled with wonderfully natural and man-made sights. And on top of everything, the people of North Vietnam are a very hospitable bunch, and tourists end up falling in love with both the people and the place. So if you are looking for a tropical vacation, book your escape to Vietnam today to have the best trip through North Vietnam!
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