Tam Coc is one of the most underrated locations in Vietnam 🇻🇳. The scenery there is epic with grand limestone mountains that sit over a winding, calm river. It’s often called “Ha Long Bay on land” because of their similar landscapes. Head to Tam Coc Vietnam to experience some peace and quiet in a beautiful location.
Ninh Binh is a large district in Northern Vietnam with several towns within it including Tam Coc. I lived in Vietnam for a few months and while I was there I went on a group day trip. It was one of the most incredible expeditions I went on and still one of my favorite places in the country. You will find my suggestions for exploring this region on a day-trip below.
You Might Also Like these Posts:
Table of Contents
How to Spend a Day in Tam Coc
How to Get to Tam Coc
If you are staying in Hanoi or traveling through Vietnam, then Tam Coc is an easy destination. You can take a bus or train to the Ninh Binh area within 2-3 hours or take a guided tour from Hanoi. The mini bus will take you directly to Tam Coc, while you’ll need to get a taxi from the Ninh Binh train station to get to the Tam Coc area.
You can go to a travel agency in the streets of Hanoi to get you tickets or you can buy them online. Taking a mini bus will cost around $10 a person, while a train ticket 🎟 costs about $7 a person. However, you’ll need to add the extra cost of the taxi, but it will only add a couple dollars to the transportation cost. Make sure that you bargain with the drivers to get the best deal.
What to do in Tam Coc
Boat Through Tam Coc
Once you get to the pier, you will find plenty of women in boats that will take you for tours down the gorgeous river. The river is surrounded by rice paddies and limestone hills and goes through dark caves. The tour lasts about two hours and the women steer the boats with their feet, it’s truly impressive.
You may encounter a few other tourists and pushy boat vendors here, but generally it’s a very serene ride. As you glide down the river make sure to take in your stunning surroundings. Your boat driver may even offer to take photos of you, which is a fun way to have a photo shoot 📸.
Hike up Hang Mua
After your scenic boat ride, make sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the great restaurant options before heading to Hang Mua peak. You will have to pay an entrance free of 100,000 Dong 💰 when you get to the Mua Caves, but trust me it’s worth it.
At the bottom of Hang Mua, you will see a couple caves and then a large staircase up the mountain side. The staircase has 500 steps in total! So, get ready for a workout. Our group slowly made our way up the steep mountain side with plenty of breaks to stop and enjoy the view.
When we got to the top we were out of breath but we were also blown away by the view that laid before our eyes. Limestone hills roll for miles as the river snakes through the rice paddies below. We all stopped and sat on the wall taking in the landscape. I wrote in my journal 📓 that “I could have stayed there for hours.” It’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been.
If you’re going on a day trip, then you will likely not have time for much else. However, if you have time for more adventures than you can explore further into the Ninh Binh area. Some places you should consider visiting are Trang An, Van Long Nature Reserve, and Bich Dong Pagoda. Backpackers 🎒 often come to this area and stay for weeks at a time, because it is so secluded and relaxing. You should definitely add Tam Coc Vietnam to your bucket list!
Let me know if you enjoyed this guide in the comments!
📍 Pin One Epic Day in Tam Coc Vietnam to Pinterest