Tam Coc Ninh Binh: A Comprehensive Guide

Bich Dong - Xuyen Thuy Dong

Explore the serene beauty and cultural richness of Tam Coc Ninh Binh with our detailed guide. From the verdant rice fields to the mystical caves and historical pagodas, uncover the best of what Tam Coc Ninh Binh has to offer. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or a culture enthusiast, this guide promises an enriching journey through one of Vietnam’s most treasured landscapes.

Tam Coc Ninh Binh: A Comprehensive Guide
Tam Coc Ninh Binh: A Comprehensive Guide

Where is Tam Coc located in Ninh Binh?

Tam Coc is situated in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province, approximately 7 km from the center of Ninh Binh city. The Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area is part of the Trang An complex, Ninh Binh. It was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site in 2014 and has been classified as a special national monument.

Covering a vast area of 350.3 hectares, Tam Coc is a unique complex that includes cave systems and limestone mountains, along with picturesque landscapes that resemble peaceful countryside paintings. Moreover, the tourist area also encompasses Bich Dong pagoda, which features traditional architectural styles, and many important historical relics related to the Vu Lam royal court of the Tran Dynasty.

Visiting Tam Coc, tourists will have the experience of spending more than 2 hours on a small boat gliding on the Ngo Dong river, meandering through lush rice fields, limestone mountain ranges, and admiring the beauty of the caves

What does Tam Coc Ninh Binh have?

The radiant golden rice fields

The rice fields in Tam Coc are located on both sides of the Ngo Dong River, surrounded by limestone mountains. These fields stretch like a vibrant yellow silk ribbon, winding around the Ngo Dong River, creating a captivating and mystical beauty. To see the entire Tam Coc rice fields in their most beautiful season, you should climb to the top of Hang Ca. From the peak of Hang Ca, you will have the opportunity to admire the shimmering golden hues of the Ninh Binh ripe rice season.

Besides natural beauty, a particularly attractive aspect here is the harmonious combination of humans and nature, the serenity of the land and sky blending with the life and livelihoods of local people. Many visitors enjoy coming to Tam Coc during the ripe rice season and witnessing the locals rowing boats to harvest rice.

The complex of three caves

Tam Coc is famous for its complex of three caves (Hang Ca, Hang Hai, Hang Ba) created by the Ngo Dong River flowing through the limestone mountains, offering a majestic and magnificent natural landscape. The Ngo Dong River meanders, winding through the mountain ranges, creating curves and poetic water banks. Both sides of the river are lined with lush rice fields, stretching endlessly, forming a beautiful natural painting.

Each cave has its unique beauty that attracts visitors:

  • Hang Ca: Hang Ca is considered the largest and longest cave. It is 20m high and more than 127m long, with many stalactites and stone pillars forming unique shapes. According to legends, Hang Ca once housed a fairy man with white hair fishing. Even today, from afar, you can see Hang Ca resembling the house of a fairy. The cool space inside the cave and the beautiful stalactites captivate visitors.
  • Hang Hai: Located about 1km after Hang Ca, Hang Hai is over 60m long. Although smaller than Hang Ca, the experience of boating through the cave and enjoying the sparkling stalactites will not disappoint you. The climate and landscape inside the cave are not much different from Hang Ca.
  • Hang Ba: Hang Ba is different from the first two caves, with a lower ceiling. When visiting Hang Ba, you will admire the beautiful natural scenery of Tam Coc Ninh Binh.

Bich Dong – Xuyen Thuy Dong

Bich Dong - Xuyen Thuy Dong
Bich Dong – Xuyen Thuy Dong

Bich Dong is located on a mountain range, about 2km from Tam Coc. This place was named by Lord Nguyen Khiem, a relative of the famous scholar Nguyen Du, in 1773. Bich Dong includes Bich Dong Pagoda and Xuyen Thuy Dong. In front of the cave, there is a small river named Ngo Dong winding along the mountain range, with lush rice fields on the other side.

Xuyen Thuy Dong is a dark, waterlogged cave, about 350m long. The cave has an average width of about 6m, with the widest part about 15m. The ceiling and walls of the cave are often flattened, creating a series of natural paintings with diverse shapes and patterns.

Dong Tien – Linh Coc Pagoda

Dong Tien is located about 1km from Bich Dong Pagoda and includes 3 large caves. On the ceilings of these caves, you will see many rocks with different color patterns, creating a beautiful and sparkling image. These rocks have been naturally transformed into unique shapes like rice plants, coins, fairies, tigers, lions, and geckos.

Linh Coc Pagoda was built during the reign of King Tran Thanh Tong, facing the West, with a wide field in front. At the foot of the mountain is a large temple yard, with ancestor worship houses on both sides.

The pagoda has three halls facing the Northwest, the main deities worshiped are Ananda and the Western patriarch. The male quarters consist of five rooms facing the Southeast. The Mother Goddess hall faces the Southwest and backs onto the mountain slope, designed in the shape of the character “Tam”.

Detailed Guide to Visiting Tam Coc Ninh Binh

Is Tam Coc Ninh Binh open?

The Tam Coc-Bich Dong tourist area temporarily suspended its operations for a while to improve the landscape, conserve the environment, and optimize services for tourists. On September 2, 2023, the Tam Coc-Bich Dong tourist area reopened to welcome visitors with many improved activities and services to provide better experiences for guests.

Ticket prices for Tam Coc

Below are the ticket prices for visiting Tam Coc that visitors can refer to:

Adults: 120,000 VND/person/turn

Children under 1.4 meters: 60,000 VND/person/turn

Boat ticket: 150,000 VND/boat/turn (Applicable for 4 Vietnamese guests or 2 foreign guests)

Free for children under 3 years old.

After purchasing tickets, you will be directed to the boat dock. Here, a boat will take you on an exciting journey, with views of rice fields along the river, mountain peaks, and water caves. The trip takes about 2 hours.

When is the best time to visit Tam Coc?

Tam Coc possesses a unique beauty at any time of the year. If you want to see the lush, vibrant green rice fields, choose the period after Tet (from February to March annually). This is the time when the rice fields are in full green bloom.

If you want to see Tam Coc filled with the golden color of ripe rice, plan to visit at the end of May or the beginning of June. Especially for those who love participating in interesting festivals and experiencing local culture, the period from January to March in the lunar calendar annually is the best time.

Read more: Trang An Ninh Binh – A Fairyland On Earth

Interesting Tourist Spots at Tam Coc Bich Dong You Shouldn’t Miss

Interesting Tourist Spots at Tam Coc Bich Dong You Shouldn't Miss
Interesting Tourist Spots at Tam Coc Bich Dong You Shouldn’t Miss

Tam Coc and the Scenic Complex of Three Caves

Tam Coc features a scenic complex with three natural caves, namely Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba. All three caves are formed by the Ngô Đồng river that flows through the mountains. If you visit Tam Coc, you will travel by boat along the Ngô Đồng river, weaving through mountain cliffs, water caves, and rice fields before stopping at the entrance of Hang Ca.

Thai Vi Temple – Worshiping Kings and Generals of the Trần Dynasty at Tam Coc Bich Dong

Previously, the Trang An – Tam Coc mountain area was selected by the Trần Dynasty kings as the site for the construction of the Vũ Lâm Royal Palace to strengthen forces during the second resistance war against the Yuan-Mongolian invaders. Today, Thái Vi Temple has become a place of worship for Kings Trần Thái Tông, Trần Thánh Tông, generals Trần Hưng Đạo, Trần Quang Khải, and Queen Trần Thị Dung. 

Thiên Hương Cave

Peacefully located on the side of Đồng Võ mountain, Thiên Hương Cave is one of the most loved attractions in Ninh Bình. With a height of nearly 60m, the cave extends 40m in length and 20m in width, featuring a dome-shaped like a large bell.

Thiên Hương Cave, also known as Heavenly Cave, is wide at the top. Nowadays, visitors to Thiên Hương Cave can see a shrine inside dedicated to Lady Trần Thị Dung, the wife of King Lý Huệ Tông, who taught the people of Ninh Hải village the art of lace making. A shrine was built in her honor, and it is venerated all year round to express gratitude.

Bích Động – Bích Động Pagoda

Located about 2km from the Tam Coc wharf, Bích Động is a dry cave set halfway up a mountain, in front of which is Xuyên Thủy Động – a water cave that pierces through the mountain. Bích Động was named by the Regent Nguyễn Khiêm – the father of the great poet Nguyễn Du in 1773. It was once given the esteemed title of ‘The Second Beautiful Cave of the South’, ranking only after Huong Tich Cave in the Huong Son region.

As part of the Tam Coc Bich Động complex, Bích Động Pagoda is an ancient pagoda built on the Trường Yên limestone mountain range since 1428 in the early Lê Dynasty. Today, the pagoda still houses a large bell cast during King Lê Thái Tổ’s reign, tombs of monks who contributed to the pagoda’s construction. During King Lê Hiển Tông’s reign, the pagoda was renovated and expanded with three separate pagodas, namely Lower Pagoda, Middle Pagoda, and Upper Pagoda, stretching across three mountain levels.

Tien Cave – Linh Coc Pagoda

Within the Tam Coc Bích Động complex, Tiên Cave consists of three large caves with a variety of stalactite formations, such as immortal trees, rice sheaves, fairies, elephants, lions, crocodiles, dragons, eagles, and multicolored clouds.

It’s unknown when Linh Coc Pagoda, located within the Tràng An scenic complex, was established, but it’s often said to have existed since the time of King Trần Thánh Tông. Peacefully situated in Mount Moc, Linh Coc Pagoda faces west, overlooking a water field.

The pagoda is designed with three sections, housing statues of holy monks and an Indian saint with a high nose and curly beard. The pagoda’s rear hall is dedicated to the Three Palace Mothers, including Mother of the Upper Realm, Mother of the Water, and Mother Liễu Hạnh.

Co Vien Lau

As part of the buffer zone of the Tràng An scenic complex, Cổ Viên Lầu is a collection of ancient houses mainly sourced from Ninh Bình and the Northern Delta region. Inside, the houses display various traditional furnishings such as wooden beds, antique cabinets, and tea chests. Most of these houses were built during the Nguyễn Dynasty but still showcase the ancient architectural style.

Co Vien Lau
Co Vien Lau

Discovering the enchanting beauty of Tam Coc Ninh Binh is a journey that promises unforgettable memories and experiences. To ensure your adventure unfolds seamlessly, Vietnam Tour 247 stands as your premier guide and companion. Why choose Vietnam Tour 247? Our expertise in crafting tailor-made itineraries ensures you’ll explore Tam Coc’s breathtaking landscapes, majestic limestone mountains, and tranquil waterways in the most authentic and memorable way possible. 

We take pride in our team of local experts who not only possess deep knowledge about Tam Coc but are also passionate about sharing the rich culture and hidden gems of this spectacular region. With Vietnam Tour 247, you’re not just embarking on another trip; you’re immersing yourself in an experience that’s thoughtfully designed around your interests and preferences. From securing the best accommodations to providing access to exclusive experiences, our commitment to excellence is evident in every detail of your journey. 

Embrace the adventure with Vietnam Tour 247, and let us transform your visit to Tam Coc Ninh Binh into a masterpiece of travel, filled with beauty, adventure, and moments that will linger in your heart forever. Visit us at Vietnam Tour 247 to start your unforgettable journey today.

In conclusion, Tam Coc Ninh Binh offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural richness that stands unmatched. Whether it’s the tranquility of gliding through the Ngo Dong river, the awe of exploring the three majestic caves, or the spiritual solace found within the ancient pagodas, Tam Coc Ninh Binh encapsulates the very essence of Vietnam’s natural and cultural heritage.

For those looking to immerse themselves fully in the wonders of Tam Coc Ninh Binh, partnering with Vietnam Tour 247 ensures an unparalleled experience. Our commitment to providing personalized, insightful, and respectful tours guarantees that your journey through Tam Coc Ninh Binh will be as enchanting as the landscape itself. Embark on this journey with us, and let the timeless allure of Tam Coc Ninh Binh fill your heart with unforgettable memories. Visit Vietnam Tour 247 today and take the first step towards a journey that will redefine your travel experiences.

Read more: Mua Caves Ninh Binh – A Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *