Tam Coc Bich Dong is a large landscaped area, featuring limestone caves. It’s beautiful village scenery and Bich Dong ancient pagoda. Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area is located in Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province, about 100 km south of Hanoi. Tam Coc Bich Dong is part of the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. Also a dual world heritage recognized by UNESCO for its cultural and natural values.
How Tam Coc is unique?
The name Tam Coc originates from the three caves here: Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba. Tam Coc is also known for its magical landscape of the river with rice fields on both sides. Especially surrounded by majestic limestone peaks.
Exploring Tam Coc Ninh Binh has 2 ways: You can ride a bicycle to enjoy the peaceful scenery of the rice fields and learn about the rustic life of the local people. Another very interesting option is to sit on a wooden boat, and take a boat trip along Ngo Dong river to see the beautiful scenery with green mountains.
The journey on a wooden boat from Van Lam village will take you through caves:
1: Ca Cave
This is the longest of the three caves in Tam Coc tourist area. Ca Cave is about 127 meters long with a width of about 20 meters. Legend has it that this used to be the place to fish for a fairy with white hair like a cloud, and up to now, from the outside, Hang Ca still has the shape of a fairy he relaxes fishing.
2: Hang Hai (Second cave)
After Ca Cave is Hang cave. Sitting on a boat going through the cave is more than 60 meters long, you can watch the sparkling stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave.
3: (Hang Ba) Third Cave
Located not far from Hang Hai is Hang Ba. This cave is quite different with a lower ceiling compared to Hang Ca and Hang Hai. After sailing through a series of caves through the mountains. Tha you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of clouds and water in Tam Coc area.
Compared to Trang An eco-tourism area, Tam Coc tourist area has fewer caves, and the distance traveled on the river is also shorter. It takes about 1.30 hour for visitors to complete the journey to discover Tam Coc.
Tam Coc Ninh Binh – Bich Dong Pagoda
Bich Dong Pagoda is located about 3 km from Tam Coc. The pagoda was built in 1428 on the Truong Yen limestone mountain range. Bich Dong means Green Cave. Bich Dong has been dubbed “Nam Thien De Nhi Dong” (the second most beautiful cave in the South Sky). On both sides of the small path leading to the temple gate are thousands of water lilies blooming on the river. Bich Dong Pagoda consists of 3 separate pagodas: Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda and Thuong Pagoda.
Ha Pagoda – Bich Dong
The Lower Pagoda has a Buddhist altar and a place to remember the masters who built the pagoda. Ha Pagoda has 5 compartments built on a high foundation at the foot of the mountain, the pagoda architecture is in the style of Dinh. Trusses, crossbars, and vertical beams are also made of ironwood. The roof of the pagoda is two tiers of curved roofs, including 8 roofs. The stone pillars in the lower pagoda are all made of stone in one block, without joints, more than 4m high, making such stone pillars is a feat. At Ha Pagoda, a Chinese character in the middle has the words “Ancient Tranquility” – to show that the main heart of the pagoda is purity from the past to the present. At the top is the triangle.
From Ha Pagoda, going up about 120 steps to the middle of Ngu Nhac mountain range is Trung Pagoda. Right in front are two words Bich Dong carved into the cliff. This is a very unique pagoda: half attached to the cave, half open-air, the pagoda has 3 rooms to worship Buddha. Right in front of the cave door, there is an ancient bronze bell with very delicate carvings. Looking outside is the Giai Oan bridge. Most of the visitors here often “request” three bells to ring as if to “clear the blame” for their souls in the place where the Buddha’s door is at peace.
Travel from Trung Pagoda up about 6m high is to Dark Cave. This is the main movement, profound, quiet. The way to Dark Cave is almost vertical, go under the bridge to clear the blame, because the cave door is shaped like a rainbow. Dark Cave is a long, wide space with electric lighting. All like a petrified fairy world of creation.
Thuong Pagoda is also known as the Eastern Pagoda, the pagoda worshiping Quan Am Bodhisattva. This is the temple located at the highest position, near the top of Bich Dong mountain. From Thuong Pagoda looking out into the distance, there are 5 independent mountains adoring Bich Dong mountain, which looks like 5 lotus petals, called Ngu Nhac Son, including Tam Sang mountain, Gia Dinh mountain, Con Lon mountain, Dau Cau mountain and Dau Cau mountain. Hang Based Mountain. Bich Dong is a unique temple in Vietnam, nowhere near such land and mountains.
Thuong Pagoda has two shrines on both sides: the right side is dedicated to Tho Dia, the left side is dedicated to Duc Son Than. Next to the pagoda there is a water tank called “Cam Lo water tank” of Quan Am Bodhisattva. In front is the field of Ngu Mon. Standing on Thuong Pagoda, you can zoom in on the whole beautiful scene of Bich Dong Pagoda. It’s not only beautiful in charming scenery, but also in cultural art – architecture. But also in the meaning of a beautiful place, historical sites of Ninh Binh province.
How to travel to Tam Coc Bich Dong?
Depending on your personal preferences, you can start the Tam Coc Bich Dong tour on your own or go on a tour with a travel company. Also you can also travel by bus or limousine. Tam Coc – Bich Dong is 7km from Ninh Binh city center, so there are many options for you.
Traveling Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh by Road
1: Public transport
Bus routes to Ninh Binh from Hanoi start from Giap Bat bus station and end at Ninh Binh central bus station. In addition, if the location of your accommodation is convenient on the roads of Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Ha Tinh provinces, etc., you can also board these cars to go through Ninh Binh, these routes are numerous and run quite continuously.
2: Traveling Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh by Private Vehicle
If using a car, from Hanoi you can follow the Phap Van – Cau Gie – Ninh Binh highway, with a distance of about 90km. It only takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, and you will reach the city center. Ninh Binh. But if using motorbikes, from Hanoi you follow the old National Highway 1A through Ha Nam and then go in the direction of Ninh Binh – Thanh Hoa. Pay attention to the signposts to avoid going in the wrong direction in the direction of Nam Dinh – Thai Binh.
3: Traveling Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh by Railway
Ninh Binh has the Tam Diep – Ninh Binh urban axis located on the North-South railway line. In the province, there are Ninh Binh stations, Cau Yen stations, Ghenh stations and Dong Giao stations. Therefore, whether you are in the South or outside the North, you can easily come to Ninh Binh by the Thong Nhat train. From Hanoi, there are SE1 trains (19:30) to Ninh Binh at 21:46, SE3 train (22:00) to Ninh Binh at 0:10, SE5 train (9:00) to Ninh Binh at 11:21, SE7 train (6:00) to Ninh Binh at 8:22 and SE19 train (20:05) arrives in Ninh Binh at about 23h. If departing from Saigon, the trains arrive in Ninh Binh most of the time quite late, the only suitable train that you should take is SE8, which departs from Saigon station at 6:00 and arrives in Ninh Binh at 13:15 day after.
4: Traveling Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh by Air
Direct flights from cities with airports to Ninh Binh are not available, so if you are far away like Ho Chi Minh City or oversea countries, you can fly to Noi Bai airport and take a car or train to Ninh Binh.
Hotel, Homestay, Villa in Ninh Binh near Tam Coc Bich Dong
The trip to the land of Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh to admire the wonderful beauty of Tam Coc Bich Dong will be extremely complete when visitors choose the ideal destination. If you want your trip to be without any shortcomings, let’s take a look at these addresses located near Tam Coc Bich Dong as below:
Tam Coc Mountain View Homestay
- Tam Coc Bungalow
- La Belle Vie Tam Coc Homestay
- Tam Coc River View Homestay
- Tam Coc Friendly Homestay
- Sunshine Homestay
- Tam Coc Westlake Homestay
Sightseeing routes in Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh
1: Thach Bich – Thung Nang route
From Dinh Cac wharf (Tam Coc), travelling about more than 500m by road to Thach Bich wharf to go to Thung Nang. Sitting on a boat, crossing a waterway with yellow rice fields on both sides, rolling mountains, passing Voi temple is coming to Thung Nang. Thung Nang is a magnificent landscape, with a cloudy sky and mountains surrounding. The journey of sitting on a sightseeing boat lasts about 3 km on the waterway, you will come to many legends. Such as Ba Doi mountain, Coc mountain, Mang mountain, Vang mountain… Pass Thung Nang cave about 100m to reach Thung Nang temple. The temple was built in a quiet space, the back of the temple leaning against the sacred mountain is the place to worship the God of Heaven. After visiting Thung Nang, on the way back to Cay Gao wharf, you will have a chance to visit Voi temple. Voi Temple, hundreds of years ago, was built of stone, with elaborately carved stone altars. Voi Temple dates back to the Le Dynasty to worship Mr. Ly Dong Hai, an official of the mountain range.
2: Chua Cave – Hang Go – But Cave route
With this cruise route, visitors will take a boat to explore the mysterious beautiful trans-water caves of Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh.
2.1: Thai Vi Temple
Thai Vi Temple is the place to worship Kings Tran Thai Tong, Tran Thanh Tong, Generals Tran Hung Dao, Tran Quang Khai and Queen Tran Thi Dung. In the past, the mountains of Trang An – Tam Coc was the place where kings of the Tran Dynasty came to set up the Vu Lam palace in the resistance war against the Nguyen Mong (Mongolian). To get to Thai Vi temple, visitors can stop on the journey from Tam Coc or walk 2km from Tam Coc boat station.
2.2: Thien Huong Cave
Thien Huong Cave is located on the road from Ngo Dong River to Thai Vi Temple. It is a dry and bright cave located halfway up the mountain with an altitude of about 15 m above the ground. The cave is about 60 m high, 40 m deep, and 20 m wide.
2.3: Xuyen Thuy Dong
Xuyen Thuy Cave is a dark and flooded cave located along the length of Bich Dong massif. Xuyen Thuy is like a semicircular stone pipe about 350 m long winding from the east to the west. The average width of Xuyen Thuy Cave is about 6m, the widest place is 15m. The ceiling and walls of the cave are usually flat, creating like a large stone slab arranged into a dome, a semicircle with various shapes. The entrance to Xuyen Thuy Cave is at the back of the mountain, opposite the road to Bich Dong Pagoda. At the end of the journey through the cave, visitors can climb the mountain to reach the cave and Bich Dong pagoda.
2.4: Fairy Cave
Tien cave is a beautiful dry cave of Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area. The cave is located nearly 1 km from Bich Dong Pagoda. The dynamic range includes large, wide and high caves. The ceiling of the cave has many stone veins, stalactites drooping with colorful sparkles that look like big tree roots. There are many bats and birds on the ceiling. From the outside, the cave looks like a magnificent castle.
2.5: Linh Coc Pagoda
Linh Coc pagoda is located in Moc pagoda mountain. The pagoda faces west, in front is a water field. According to the epitaph placed in the temple, Linh Coc dates from the reign of King Tran Thanh Tong. The temple yard is large at the foot of the mountain, on both sides of the yard there is an ancestral center.
Which season is the most beautiful to visit Tam Coc – Bich Dong?
When should you go to Tam Coc Bich Dong tourist area? With two basic seasons: rainy season and dry season. Tam Coc – Bich Dong has a rainy season that starts from May and lasts until October, while the dry season lasts from November to April. The best time to visit Tam Coc – Bich Dong is from May to mid-June. Because this is the golden rice season in Tam Coc, with the rice fields gradually turning from green to bright yellow. But ff you want to attend the festivals of Ninh Binh such as Trang An festival, Bai Dinh pagoda spring opening festival. Especially the temple associated with many world records, then you should go in January to April of the lunar calendar.
What to eat when traveling to Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh?
Obviously, when traveling, what we want to discover is the local specialties. Therefore, when traveling to Tam Coc you should not miss: Dishes of goat meat, Ninh Binh burnt rice, Mountain snails, Fish salad & Bun Cha.
It’s great for
- The solo traveler to Ninh Binh and Photographer hunter