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“Incredible ”
Review of Tam Coc

Ranked #5 of 47 things to do in Ninh Binh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Located in Ninh Binh province 100 km southeast of Hanoi, Hoa Lu and Tam Coc are two of the most picturesque spots in all of the north. For 41 years, from 968 to 1009 CE, Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam. Nearby Tam Coc is often referred to as “Ha Long among the rice paddies.” Visitors are conveyed by rowboat along the peaceful Tam Coc stream past green fields and the feet of mountains into the mouths of caves, where they encounter new surprises, like stalactites and stalagmites that shimmer like gemstones just inches from the water.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Beautiful area and a great experience. The rowers use their feet to row which was fascinating to watch. There are a lot of other tourists on the river so the trip wasn’t as peaceful as we would have liked and the people selling food at the end are very irritating. Apart from that it is worth a visit. You should go early in the morning or in the evening when it isn’t as busy

Thank Eimear N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"the river"
in 272 reviews
"halong bay"
in 200 reviews
"boat ride"
in 216 reviews
"rice fields"
in 83 reviews
"buy something"
in 39 reviews
"day trip"
in 84 reviews
"turnaround point"
in 14 reviews
"buffet lunch"
in 22 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 65 reviews
"turning point"
in 15 reviews
"half way"
in 24 reviews
"her feet"
in 32 reviews
"limestone caves"
in 17 reviews
"taking photos"
in 14 reviews
"small boat"
in 26 reviews
"early in the morning"
in 24 reviews
"natural beauty"
in 19 reviews
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103 - 107 of 2,277 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Probably one of the top 5 in Vietnam. Unfortunately, had a lot of rain... still went on the boat tour. It takes around 90 min return to go on the traditional boat trip. Really worth it! The landscape is breathtaking!

Thank Ana L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

I did a couple things there that were awesome. Boat ride and riding around on bicycle. I'll review them individually:

1) Boat Ride

This was a great experience. It was more expensive as a solo traveler, however is not that much difference between 1 or 2 people like some other things/tours I experienced in Vietnam. It can get very busy out there. If you are doing a day trip, you may not have a choice when you can go, but if you are staying there, you can go whenever you want. As such I went first thing in the morning and was on the first boat out there. I didn't see any other people until just after the 1/2 way point when we turned around. That meant the entire way out there it was just the boat I was on and the nature and morning calm. Even on the way back there weren't that many boats. The weather was a bit socked in but still was beautiful and mystical.

Bicycling

This was another great experience. As others have described the area, it's like Halong Bay on land. Getting around on bike was a wonderful way to explore the formations and rice fields. Very enjoyable and I would highly recommend.

Thank R B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

We stayed in Tam Coc for one night, rented bikes and visited Trang An one day and Tam Coc the other.
Tam Coc was nice , the ride is very pretty full of nature, if you enjoy just chilling deffo recommend it, in my opinion Trang An was even nicer.
Watch out for the floating market ladies half way through the boat ride, try not to buy anything, they forcefully asked if we wanted fruit etc and then gave a bunch of snacks to our boat driver without him wanting them and charged us 200 VD for fruit and snacks, major rip off ! Other than that, the experience was lovely

Thank nicoleconstantinides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 March 2018

The sign at the ticket booth says 120,000 VND per person + 150,000 VND per boat, but they will charge you for two people if you're a solo traveler, making the cost 390,000 total (plus tip, usually 50,000-100,000). If you don't want to pay this much, you can try to find other travelers to share the boat with. Nearby parking costs 10,000 for a motorbike.

It's better to go early in the morning (before 9am) or late in the afternoon (after 3pm), when there are less people and the tour buses aren't there. Not all rowers are dishonest or pushy. My rower was a very nice 40 year old woman who didn't ask for any tips (so I gave her 100,000).

Photography: The guided tour companies usually advertise gorgeous panoramic shots of the boats on Ngo Dong River winding through Tam Coc valley. You won't get this view since you'll be at water level. The valley itself is completely surrounded by mountains and the only way to enter it is through Mua cave by boat (see: google maps satellite view). There are no hiking trails leading there from outside since the cliffs are too steep (I spent a full day exploring and looking for one). The best view will be from Hang Mua, where you can look down on the rice fields and boats right before they reach the first cave. I did see walking paths along the edges of the valley after the boat passed through Mua Cave, so I assume the photographers entered this way and then used the paths to find a higher viewpoint for the panoramic shots. (Of course, the boats won't let regular tourists out.)

That said, you can still get some nice pictures from the water -- although other reviewers are correct when they say you can rent a motorbike and get similar pictures riding around Tam Coc. The tour is a little less than 2 hours long, and it can be uncomfortable sitting in the boats. Also wear sunscreen and bring a hat/umbrella if the sun is out. Also note that by late March, the rice fields will be greening up nicely.

Overall I would recommend it, especially if this is the only time you'll ever be in Tam Coc in your life, $20 USD isn't that much money in the grand scheme of things.

Thank A W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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