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How to enjoy Tam Coc in 24 Hours: Beauty & Activities
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How to enjoy Tam Coc in 24 Hours: Beauty & Activities


Ninh Binh is beautiful all year round. Especially, when you come to Vietnam during rice season, don’t miss a chance to explore the beauty of Tam Coc Ninh Binh (May to late June). No matter how many days you have in Vietnam, one day in Tam Coc Ninh Binh is worth trying. In this article, You know how to enjoy Tam Coc Ninh Binh in 24 hours: must-try activities, best places for views and local experience. If you don’t know the way to combine Ninh Binh with other places in the North of Vietnam, this guide is for you.

Why 1 Day to Explore Tam Coc Ninh Binh is Enough 

Tam Coc Ninh Binh is easy to reach. It’s about 100 km from Hanoi Old Quarter, the heart of Hanoi's capital. Around 2 hours driving from Hanoi you can catch a bus to Tam Coc in the morning and come back to Hanoi in the late afternoon. If you start your journey from Noi Bai Airport, it takes around 2 hours, too (approximately 130 kilometres). Also, Ninh Binh is close to Halong Bay, you can move directly from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh or from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay. 

In Tam Coc, the tourist attractions stand next to each other, you will not spend much time travelling between distances. 

In addition, on a day in Tam Coc, you can do various activities: mountain climbing, boat tour, cycling, temple visiting and taking photos with the panoramic views. 

Tam Coc Things To See

In Tam Coc, you have multiple options to choose from: 

Ngo Dong River with limestone mountains, rice fields & caves 

The highlight of Tam Coc is a boat trip on the Ngo Dong River, winding through towering limestone mountains, and emerald rice paddies, nd passing by three caves: Hang Ca (First Cave), Hang Hai (Second Cave), and Hang Ba (Third Cave). The boat ride typically lasts for 1.5 to 2 hours, like an escape into nature.

Bich Dong Pagoda

After your scenic boat ride, you can take a short walk or bike ride to Bich Dong Pagoda, a lovely complex set on a hillside overlooking rice paddies. Climb the three levels, each featuring a different pagoda, to reach the top and be rewarded with breathtaking views.

Thai Vi Temple

Reserved to Vietnamese emperors and generals, Thai Vi Temple is a historical site located 2 kilometres from Tam Coc boat station. It's a peaceful place to wander around and learn a bit about Vietnamese history.

Hang Mua Viewpoint

For panoramic views of the Tam Coc geography, climb the 486 steps to the top of Hang Mua, also known as Lying Dragon Mountain.  The viewpoint offers stunning vistas of the river crawling through rice paddies and limestone mountains.

Thung Nham Bird Park

If you're a birdwatcher, Thung Nham Bird Park is a must-visit.  This wetland area is home to over 400 species of birds, making it a great place to spot some unique avian life.

A Guide for One Day in Tam Coc

A full day in Tam Coc, you can maximize your experience with the following itinerary:  

Option 1 Tam Coc Signature: Full-Day Tam Coc Highlights from Hanoi

  • Visit the ancient Dinh King temple & King Le Temple  (Hoa Lu's ancient capital)
  • Visit Mua Cave and climb up 500 steps on Lying Dragon Mountain to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view
  • Enjoy a set-menu lunch with Vietnamese cuisine at the local homestay
  • Boat trip on Ngo Dong River at Tam Coc
  • Cycle through the rice fields and local villages
  • Visit the ancient Bich Dong Pagoda

Option 2: Tam Coc Outdoor Adventure: Hoa Lu - Mua Cave - Tam Coc - Bike - Swimming with Sunset Party 

  • Visit the Dinh King & Kinh Le temple in the Hoa Lu ancient capital
  • Visit Mua Cave by hiking 500 steps to Lying Dragon Mountain to enjoy the stunning view
  • Have the Vietnamese set menu lunch at the private area with rice paddies and mountains
  • Visit Tam Coc by sampan boat among the rice paddy and mountains
  • Cycle to discover the beauty of the countryside
  • Swim in the bungalow pool and enjoy the sunset party with local tea and fresh fruits

Option 3: Tam Coc Best View: Tuyet Tinh Coc- Mua Cave- Tam Coc- Bike - Swimming

  • Visit Tuyet Tinh Coc Ninh Binh - Am Tiem Cave, enjoy the peaceful blue lake in the valley
  • Visit Mua Cave by hiking 500 steps up on Lying Dragon Mountain to enjoy the stunning view
  • Have the Vietnamese set menu lunch in a private bungalow
  • Visit Tam Coc by sampan boat among the rice paddy and mountains
  • Bike to discover the beauty of the countryside
  • Swimming with fruits and tea

When is the rice seaon in Tam Coc: A Guide to Tam Coc's Scenic Boat and Bike Tours

Combine Tam Coc with Other Destination in the North Vietnam 

Here are some exciting options to combine with Tam Coc for a truly unforgettable North Vietnam adventure:

Tam Coc and Halong Bay

Halong Bay is also famous for towering limestone pillars jutting out of the ocean. Explore hidden caves, kayak through secluded lagoons, and spend the night on a traditional junk boat in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Distance from Tam Coc: around 160 kilometres
  • Travel Time: The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours by bus or car.

Combination Itinerary:

  • Spend a day exploring Tam Coc, enjoying the boat ride, cycling through rice paddies, and visiting temples.
  • Head to Halong Bay for a 2-day, 1-night cruise. Kayak, swim in the crystal-clear waters and marvel at the breathtaking scenery.

Tam Coc and Mai Chau Valley

Mai Chau Valley is home to the White Thai people, a hill tribe known for their traditional stilt houses, rice terraces, and rich culture. Take a bicycle tour through the countryside, learn about local crafts, and enjoy a homestay experience in a traditional stilt house.

  • Distance from Tam Coc: around 130 kilometres
  • Travel Time: The travel time is approximately 3 - 4 hours by bus or car.

Combination Itinerary:

  • Spend 1 day exploring Tam Coc's highlights.
  • Travel to Mai Chau Valley and spend 2 days exploring the valley by bike, interacting with locals, and experiencing their culture.

Tam Coc and Ha Giang Loop

For adventure seekers, the Ha Giang Loop is an epic motorcycle ride through North Vietnam's most dramatic landscapes. Navigate winding roads, conquer breathtaking mountain passes, and discover remote villages inhabited by colourful ethnic minorities. This challenging yet rewarding adventure offers unparalleled scenery and cultural experiences.

  • Distance from Tam Coc: around 480 kilometres away.
  • Travel Time: It's a long journey, taking approximately 10 - 12 hours by bus or car.  

Combination Itinerary:

  • One day in Tam Coc
  • 3 - 4 days on the Ha Giang Loop motorbike adventure to fully appreciate the scenery and local cultures.

Overall Tam Coc rice field is an amazing place that promises many exciting activities and beautiful adventures. If you are a solo traveller, a family with kids or a group of friends, Tam Coc offers interesting things for all. One day in Tam Coc doesn’t take you too much time but brings you to a different world. 

See you in Tam Coc with Aloha Vietnam Travel Soon. 

You might read: 

Top Things to Do in Tam Coc Rice Field-Ninh Binh

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