Tam Coc Caves – Vietnam’s second nicest grotto

Entering the caves in Tam Coc

keyword: Tam Coc Caves Vietnam

Tam Coc – Bich Dong, also known as “Vietnam’s second nicest grotto” is a key tourist area of Vietnam. All of area surrounded by limestone caves and historical relics in relation to Vu Lam imperial palace of Tran dynasty is mainly located on Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh. Trang An – Tam Coc scenic spots is acknowledged as a special national relics by Prime Minister of Vietnam and a world heritage by UNESCO.

A scenery in Tam Coc Caves Vietnam

Scenic Landscape Complex of Tam Coc – Bich Dong with the area of 350.3 hectare is about 2 kilometers from 1A Highway and 7 kilometers from Ninh Binh city. Tam Coc- Bich Dong is mainly situated in Ninh Hai Commune (Hoa Lu).

Like Trang An, to visit Tam Coc, tourists have to travel by boat, floating romantic Ngo Dong River with cool fresh water to observe the beauty of three caves. The scenery of Tam Coc is impressive with the harmonious combination between rock and water. Mountains with a variety of shapes are in series from one mountain to another.

Tam Coc – Bich Dong consists of many tour routes including boat, bicycle and walking which connects almost 20 tourist destinations. Below are the main routes of this tourist complex:

  • Boat routes include: Van Lam- Ngo Dong river- Tam Coc; Thuy Dong route (through Bich Dong); Thach Bich- Thung Nang route, Thung Nham- Bird Garden route, But Cave- Thien Ha Cave.
  • Tourist destinations by walking, bicycle and climbing: Bich Dong pagoda and mountain, Tien cave, Mua cave, Co Vien Lau ancient house, Thai Vi temple- Thien Huong cave.

Best time to go to Tam Coc Caves Vietnam

Each season in Tam Coc caves has its own beauty. If you want to admire the green rice fields, then you go on the occasion after the Lunar New Year in February and March. If you want to admire a beautiful picture of Tam Coc in the ripe season, go in early June.

If you’ve chosen your time to visit Tam Coc, check out for a variety of tours to Ninh Binh.

What to bring to Tam Coc Bich Dong

Boat trip in Tam Coc

A tip for the trip to Tam Coc Bich Dong is that you can go back and forth in the day so to save time, start early in the morning. Bring a few simple things like a thin coat when you sit on a boat and enter into caves, which can be a little bit cold.

In addition, it is best to wear flat shoes for activities and comfortability. Bring some sunscreen when you visit in the summer. Also, you can bring some snacks to use when you’re hungry.

Tam Coc Caves Vietnam

Tam Coc, which means “three caves” includes Ca cave, Hai cave and Ba cave. All of three caves are formed by Ngo Dong River through the mountains. Tam Coc is the first tour route which is exploited in Tam Coc – Bich Dong Landscape Complex.

  • Ca Cave is 127 meters long which is through a huge mountain. The entrance of Ca Cave is more than 20 meters wide. The inner atmosphere is relatively cool and there are many dropping stalactites in a variety of shapes.
  • Hai Cave is about 1 kilometer from Ca Cave with the length of 60 meters. The ceiling of Hai Cave has many unique and strange stalactites.
  • Ba Cave is near Hai Cave and about 50 meters long. The cave ceiling is like a rocky arch which is lower than that of these two caves.

Entering the caves in Tam Coc

Tips for Tam Coc trip

To admire the beauty of Tam Coc Bich Dong, you only have one option is to go by boat. And if you are a person who likes taking pictures, ask the peddlers to stop at the most beautiful location on the way. Their experience and mastery of terrain will help you.

Another recommendation is that a boat trip normally takes 2.5 hours so take your time, don’t need to rush. This can be hard during summer, and you shouldn’t take the tour in the afternoon as the heat is high.

Bich Dong

Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong- Xuan Thuy cave is about 2 kilometers from Tam Coc station. In Vietnamese, Bich Dong means “Blue cave”.

Bich Dong consists a dry cave located in the middle of the mountains, which forms Bich Dong Pagoda and a water cave pierced through the mountain, which is called Xuyen Thuy Cave. In front of the cave is a branch of Ngo Dong River winding its way beside mountain sides. Opposite the river are spectacular rice paddy fields.

Xuyen Thuy Cave, a dark cave full of water is located along the length of Bich Dong Mountain. Xuyen Thuy Cave looks like a semicircle pipe made of rocks with the length of 350 meters winding its way from the East to the West. The average width of Xuyen Thuy cave is 6 meters with the widest of 15 meters. The ceiling and walls of the cave are often flat. The Mother of Nature seems to arrange each huge stone slab into circle and semicircle arches in various shapes.

Besides, there is also Bich Dong Pagoda, an ancient pagoda in a close relation to the rocky mountains featuring the style of East Asia. Bich Dong Pagoda was constructed since Hau Le dynasty.

There is a huge bell founded since King Ly Thai To period and tower tombs of monks who had contributed to building Bich Dong Pagoda. In the period of King Le Hien Tong, the pagoda was restored and enlarged more with Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda scattering in all three mountain floors.

Nowadays, the ticket price for Tam Coc- Bich Dong is 120.000 VND/adult and 60.000 VND/child. The ferry price to visit Tam Coc is 150.000 VND/ferry.

If you want to watch the yellow color of yellow ripen rice paddy fields in your own eyes, the time from late May and early July is the most appropriate time to visit. At that time, the green color of paddy fields mingles with the yellow one, which creates a marvelous picture with many beautiful colors. The time after Tet holiday is the one when you can observe the green paddy fields welcoming the spring winds.

Another destinations you can visit in Ninh Binh

On top of Mua Cave

Combine Hoa Lu and Tam Coc together in this tour. Hoa Lu is a ancient capital of Vietnam. Visiting Hoa Lu you will have the opportunity to explore the mausoleum, temples worshiping the King of Vietnam once. Then release souls into the natural scenery in Tam Coc caves.

Tam Coc with Mua cave Tour

Spending just 1 day in Tam Coc and Mua Cave is a great trip to explore one of the most attractive activities such as visiting Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, taking a rowing Tam Coc Boat Tour riding on the peaceful Ngo Dong river, cycling through the nicest paddy fields in Vietnam, learning how to make special dish in local area,…

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