Tam Coc Ninh Binh: Photos and Travel guides

by Ly Hoang

Tam Coc is a scenic area located in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam. It is known for its stunning natural landscape, characterized by limestone karst formations, lush greenery, and winding waterways. Tam Coc is often referred to as the “Halong Bay on land” due to its resemblance to the famous Halong Bay, which features similar limestone formations but is located on the coast.

The main attraction of Tam Coc is a boat ride along the Ngo Dong River, where visitors are taken through a series of limestone caves and past picturesque rice paddies, surrounded by towering karst cliffs. The boat ride typically lasts around two hours and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Tam Coc in ripe rice seasona
Tam Coc Ninh Binh: Photos and Travel guides

Where is Tam Coc ?

Tam Coc is located in Ninh Binh province in northern Vietnam, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Hanoi, the capital city.

To get to Tam Coc from Hanoi, you have a few options:

  1. Bus: You can take a bus from Hanoi to Ninh Binh city. Buses depart regularly from several bus stations in Hanoi, including Giap Bat or My Dinh. From Ninh Binh city, you can take a taxi, motorbike taxi, or rent a bicycle to travel the remaining distance to Tam Coc.
  2. Train: Another option is to take a train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh Railway Station. From there, you can take a taxi or other local transportation to Tam Coc.
  3. Private car or taxi: If you prefer more comfort and convenience, you can hire a private car or taxi from Hanoi directly to Tam Coc. This option allows you to travel door-to-door without the hassle of transfers.
  4. Organized tours: Many travel agencies in Hanoi offer organized day trips or tours to Tam Coc, which typically include transportation, a guided boat tour, and sometimes additional activities or visits to nearby attractions.

The distance from Hanoi to Tam Coc is approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles), and the journey takes around 2 to 3 hours by road, depending on traffic conditions and the mode of transportation chosen. It’s advisable to book your transportation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and smooth travel.

Tam Coc Ninh Binh
Tam Coc Ninh Binh- peaceful place

The best time to visit Tam Coc – Ninh Binh

The best time to visit Tam Coc depends on what you’re looking for in your trip:

For the most stunning scenery:

  • Late April to June:This is the rice harvest season, when the rice paddies turn a vibrant golden yellow, creating a picturesque contrast with the emerald waters and towering limestone karsts. It’s also the busiest and hottest time of year, so be prepared for crowds and high temperatures.

For comfortable weather and fewer crowds:

  • November to March:The dry season offers pleasant temperatures and less rain, making it ideal for outdoor activities like cycling and hiking. The rice paddies may not be as colorful, but the landscape still remains breathtaking.

For specific events:

  • Hoa Lu Festival (late February or early March):Immerse yourself in the rich history of the ancient Vietnamese capital with traditional performances, reenactments, and cultural displays.
  • Tam Coc Bich Dong Festival (July): Celebrate the beauty of the region with boat races, traditional music, and colorful processions.
 Tam Coc -From May to late June
Tam Coc -From May to late June
Lotus season Tam Coc Ninh Binh
Lotus season Tam Coc Ninh Binh
Tam Coc Ninh Binh
Tam Coc Ninh Binh

Things you should do when visiting Tam Coc

Tam Coc, nestled in the Ninh Binh province of Vietnam, boasts a captivating blend of natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re seeking serene boat rides or adventurous hikes, this place has something for everyone. Here are some top things to do in Tam Coc to make your trip unforgettable:

Immerse yourself in the emerald embrace of nature

  • Glide through mesmerizing caves: Embark on a traditional boat tour along the Ngo Dong River, weaving between towering limestone karsts and passing through three mystical caves – Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba. Each cave offers a unique charm, with Hang Ca being the longest and Hang Hai showcasing dazzling stalactites.
  • Cycle through the scenic countryside: Rent a bicycle and explore the lush rice paddies and charming villages surrounding Tam Coc. Breathe in the fresh air, soak in the tranquil landscapes, and interact with the friendly locals.
  • Hike to breathtaking viewpoints: Challenge yourself with a hike up Hang Mua viewpoint for panoramic vistas of Tam Coc’s majestic karst formations and sprawling rice fields. The reward is truly worth the effort!
Tam Coc Ninh Binh- bicycle around Tam Coc
Riding bike on countryside at tam coc mua cave tour

Unveil the rich tapestry of history and culture

  • Delve into the ancient capital of Hoa Lu: Explore the ruins of Hoa Lu, once the capital of Vietnam during the 10th and 11th centuries. Witness the remnants of temples, palaces, and royal tombs that speak volumes about the region’s fascinating past.
Hoa Lu ancient capital
Hoa Lu ancient capital
  • Discover the serenity of Bich Dong Pagoda: Climb the steps to this three-tiered pagoda nestled amidst a limestone cliff. Each level offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and the intricate architecture and peaceful ambiance create a truly spiritual experience.
  • Wander through Thai Vi Temple: This 13th-century temple, nestled amidst rice paddies, offers a glimpse into Vietnamese Buddhist traditions. Admire the serene atmosphere, intricate carvings, and beautiful gardens.
Tam Coc Ninh Binh-Bich Dong pagoda
Tam Coc Ninh Binh-Bich Dong pagoda

Embrace the thrill of adventure

  • Explore hidden caves: Venture beyond the mainstream and discover hidden gems like Hang Mua cave and Tuyết Tinh Cung cave. These less-frequented caves offer a sense of exploration and unveil the region’s hidden beauty.
  • Go kayaking or paddleboarding: For a unique perspective, explore the Ngo Dong River on a kayak or paddleboard. Glide through the serene waters, navigate around limestone outcrops, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
Tam Coc Ninh Binh
Tam Coc Ninh Binh- Go kayaking or paddleboarding

Savor the flavors of Tam Coc

  • Indulge in local delicacies: Sample regional specialties like “nem chua” (fermented pork), “bun cha” (grilled pork with noodles), and “com thung” (rice cooked in a bamboo tube). Don’t miss the chance to try fresh seafood and tropical fruits!
  • Learn to cook like a local: Take a cooking class and learn the secrets of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll not only enjoy a delicious meal but also gain valuable cultural insights.
culinary in Ninh Binh
speacial food in Ninh Binh

Some famous places near Tam Coc

Trang An Grottoes: A UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring stunning limestone karsts, caves, and temples that can be explored by boat. It’s located just outside Tam Coc and is a must-visit for any travelers.

Thung Nham Bird Park: Home to over 500 different species of birds, this park is a paradise for birdwatchers. You can take a boat tour through the park and see the birds in their natural habitat.

Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel: The ruins of the ancient Vietnamese capital, Hoa Lu, offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history. You can explore the temples, palaces, and royal tombs that remain from this once-powerful city.

Kenh Ga National Park: This national park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including primates, deer, and snakes. You can go hiking, biking, or birdwatching in the park.

Bai Dinh Pagoda: One of the largest Buddhist temples in Vietnam, Bai Dinh Pagoda is a truly impressive sight. The temple complex includes hundreds of statues, including a giant bronze Buddha statue.


Resorts near Tam Coc

  • Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort & Spa:Nestled amidst rice paddies and towering limestone karsts, Emeralda Ninh Binh boasts luxurious villas with private pools, a world-class spa, and delectable dining options. Indulge in their infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking scenery and rejuvenate at their spa offering traditional Vietnamese treatments.
  • Tam Coc Garden Resort & Spa:This charming resort offers spacious rooms with balconies, a swimming pool, and a spa. Enjoy authentic Vietnamese dishes at their restaurant and participate in cooking classes to learn local culinary secrets.
  • Trang An Eco Homestay & Restaurant:Experience the warmth of Vietnamese hospitality at Trang An Eco Homestay. Stay in their comfortable bungalows, immerse yourself in the surrounding rice paddies, and savor delicious home-cooked meals prepared by the local family.
  • Bich Dong Village Resort & Spa:Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Tam Coc at Bich Dong Village Resort & Spa. Relax in their beautifully designed bungalows with balconies overlooking the rice fields, unwind at their infinity pool, and savor authentic Vietnamese cuisine at their restaurant.
Emeralda Tam Coc
Emeralda Tam Coc
Ly Hoang

Written by Ly Hoang