Famous for the name 'Nam Thien De Nhi Dong', Tam Coc Bich Dong possesses a peaceful village scene and an impressive limestone cave system. As part of the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Tam Coc Bich Dong is the perfect destination for those who want to fully explore the beauty of the river.
1. Where is Tam Coc located in Ninh Binh?
As part of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Tam Coc Bich Dong Ninh Binh is located in Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province, 100km south of Hanoi. Possessing a spacious area of 350.3 hectares, the scenic spot is a combination of limestone cave systems and peaceful village scenery. Besides, this tourist complex also owns a Bich Dong pagoda imbued with traditional architecture and historical relics related to Vu Lam palace of the Tran dynasty in the past.
(Road map Hanoi to Tam Coc Ninh Binh - source: google map)
2. When is best time to visit Tam Coc and Ninh Binh?
According to NinhBinhTours.com's self-sufficient travel experience to Ninh Binh, the best time to go to Tam Coc Bich Dong is from January to March of the lunar calendar. At this time, the climate in Ninh Binh is relatively pleasant, cool and less rainy, suitable for you to fully enjoy the journey to discover Tam Coc Bich Dong.
In addition, in the first days of the new year, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in general and Tam Coc Bich Dong in particular also have extremely interesting spring festivals, such as the Bai Dinh pagoda festival. If you explore Ninh Binh during this time, you will be able to immerse yourself in the bustling festival atmosphere but still retain the inherent solemnity.
More specifically, if you have the opportunity to come to Tam Coc Bich Dong in the last days of May and early June, you will surely be overwhelmed by the brilliant scenery of the rice fields in full bloom throughout the journey. At this time, the rice fields on both sides of the river are a harmonious combination between the green of young seedling and the bright yellow of ripe rice. This is a perfect picture of a river scene that makes everyone nervous and excited.(Tam Coc rice paddy in may - Picture source: Internet collection)
(Tam Coc rice paddy in may - source: tourist department)
3. How to get to Tam Coc Ninh Binh form Hanoi?
3.1. By Driving: Only about 7km from Ninh Binh city center, so there are many ways for you to get to Tam Coc - Bich Dong. The most popular are motorbikes, passenger cars and trains. If traveling by motorbike, you can follow the route Hanoi - Old National Highway 1A - Ninh Binh. Note that you should go in the direction of Ninh Binh - Thanh Hoa, avoid going to the wrong direction going to Nam Dinh - Thai Binh.
>>> Read More: Ninh Binh Transport services
3.2. By Trains: you can also choose to go to Ninh Binh from Hanoi or Saigon by train if you have plenty of time. From Hanoi, you can take the SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7 or SE19 train lines. In Saigon, the SE8 train will bring you back to the ancient capital.
4. What things to do in Tam Coc - Ninh Binh?
4.1. Take the Sampan - boat tour to discover Tam Coc rice paddy & visit 3 caves: Tam Coc is a scenic complex with three natural caves, including Hang Ca cave, Hang Hai cave and Hang Ba cave (Hang means cave and Ca, Hai, Ba means 1,2,3). All three of these caves were built by the Ngo Dong stream and went straight through the mountain. If you visit Tam Coc, you will be able to go by boat down the Ngo Dong River, weaving through the cliffs, water caves and rice fields before stopping at the mouth of Tam Coc caves.
(Tam Coc boat ride - source: tourist department)
4.2. Walking or Cycling visit Thai Vi Temple, Thien Huong cave & Bich Dong Pagoda: Long time ago, the mountains of Tam Coc & Trang An was the place of the Tran Dynasty's Kings chose to build the Vu Lam Palace to strengthen the forces in the second resistance war against the Yuan - Mongols.
Nowadays, Thai Vi temple becomes a place to worship all the kings of Tran dynasty as the kings: Tran Thai Tong, Tran Thanh Tong, generals Tran Hung Dao, Tran Quang Khai and even queen Tran Thi Dung...
4.3. Thien Huong Grotto: Located peacefully in the middle of Dong Vo mountain, Thien Huong cave is one of the most popular attractions in Ninh Binh. With a height of nearly 60m, the cave is 40m long and 20m wide, with a large bell-like arch.
Thien Huong Cave has a wide top, so people often call it Heaven Cave. Today, if you have the opportunity to go to Thien Huong cave, you will see inside the cave is a shrine to Tran Thi Dung, the wife of King Ly Hue Tong in the past. She was the one who taught the people of Ninh Hai commune the craft of embroidery, so everyone built a shrine to worship her and smoke incense for her all year round to express their gratitude.
(Thai Vi temple on festival - source: tourist department)
4.4. Bich Dong Pagoda: Located about 2km from Tam Coc wharf, Bich Dong is a dry cave located halfway up the mountain, in front is Xuyen Thuy Dong - a water cave through the mountain bed. Bich Dong is the name given to the cave by Prime Minister Nguyen Khiem - the father of the great poet Nguyen Du in 1773. This place has been favorably named 'Nam Thien De Nhi Dong', the second most beautiful cave in the South, only ranked after Huong Tich cave in Huong Son area.
>>> Read more: Bich Dong Pagoda Ninh Binh
4.5. Visit Ninh Hai commune the craft of embroidery & Ninh Van Stone caving village.
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