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Why Should You Choose Tam Coc Over Trang An: Exploring the Best Choice for Ninh Binh Trip

Why Should You Choose Tam Coc Over Trang An: Exploring the Best Choice for Ninh Binh Trip


Which is your favourite destination: Tam Coc or Trang An? With newcomers, it can be tough. Both locations are stunning areas within Ninh Binh, famed for their dramatic karst landscapes, emerald rice paddies, and captivating cave networks explored via boat tours. However, Tam Coc is now voted by many travellers as the top destination in the North of Vietnam. It’s become more popular compared to Trang An for several reasons. Read to find the reason why Tam Coc is always the top choice for a Ninh Binh trip and a detailed guide to exploring Tam Coc.

Overview of Tam Coc

Travellers are attracted to Tam Coc for its amazing natural scenery. Tam Coc is located in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam, about 100 kilometres south of Hanoi. The easiest way to get there is by either a tourist bus or a public train. If you prefer a more comfortable option, you can hire a private car.

It is a tourist attraction often known as "Ha Long Bay on land". Instead of limestone mountains rising from the water, Tam Coc is large rice paddies with a peaceful river. Not only the view, there's more to discover in Tam Coc than just the landscape. The boat tour, bike tour and mountain climbing here are must-try activities. 

Why Tam Coc Is Better Than Trang An

The Rice Field, Close To Nature

Tam Coc's boat trip focuses on the beauty of the Ngo Dong River winding through towering limestone mountains and lush rice paddies. The boat rides through emerald rice paddies, creating a picturesque landscape, especially between May and June when the rice fields turn golden yellow. Many people appreciate this tranquil beauty because in Trang An there is no rice field compared to Tam Coc. 

Tam Coc Beyond the Valley: Explore the Top Viewpoint

Short Boat Tour Than Trang An

Tam Coc is often seen as more accessible and easier to discover than Trang An. The boat tours in Tam Coc are more straightforward, making it a popular choice for those looking for a more relaxed experience. Besides, it takes a shorter time for a boat trip in Tam Coc so you will have more time to join in other activities like riding a bike around the village and visiting the old temple. The Tam Coc boat trip typically takes around 1,5 hours, making it a good option if you're short on time. On the other hand, Trang An requires 2 or even 3 hours for a boat trip, which can be boring if you like outdoor activities. 

All about the boat tour in Ninh Binh: Tam Coc or Trang An is better?

Various Accommodations in Tam Coc To Choose From 

Tam Coc generally attracts a larger number of tourists compared to Trang An. To cater to this demand, a wider range of accommodation options have sprung up in Tam Coc, from budget guesthouses to luxury resorts. In addition, Tam Coc is located closer to Ninh Binh City, near other attractions. So it is convenient to visit many places on your journey. Besides, Tam Coc is not a place for tourists, it’s where local people live their daily lives. So more coffee shops, bars,...You can experience local life. 

Suggested things to do in Tam Coc 

One day in Tam Coc


  • Have breakfast at a local restaurant 
  • Move to Tam Coc 
  • Visit Mua Cave for a panoramic view of Tam Coc
  • Visit old temple 


  • Take a boat trip along the river 
  • A bike trip around the local village
  • Climb the mountain for a view or swim in a local bungalow 

See suggested itinerary: 

A Day In Tam Coc from Hanoi

A Day in Tam Coc with Outdoor Activities 

Stay overnight in Tam Coc 

If you have more time, stay in Tam Coc for 1 or 2 nights to maximize your fun. There are many options for your accommodation at affordable prices. At night, you can choose to spend the evening relaxing by the hotel pool or socializing with fellow travellers. Many Tam Coc homestays also offer opportunities to interact with local families and learn about their way of life. Or you can immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a traditional Vietnamese performance or visiting a night market.

Night Travel in Ninh Binh: Points of Interest and Considerations

Things to Consider about Tam Coc

  • The best time to visit Tam Coc is during the dry season (March to May) for pleasant weather. However, the rice paddies turn a vibrant green during the rainy season (June to August).
  • Tam Coc can get crowded, especially during peak season (Rice season or Lunar New Year Holiday).
  • If your priority is extensive cave exploration, Trang An might be a better choice.
  • During summertime, heavy rain can affect your trip ti Tam Coc because outdoor activities have to be delayed, consider alternative options such as Bai Dinh Pagoda or Hoa Lu Ancient Captial. 

Overall, Tam Coc or Trang An has its own beauty. You can check to get enough information and then compare Tam Coc vs Trang An. It depends on your preference. However, if you come to Ninh Binh at the harvest rice season or you love the rice fields, expect more time to join in other activities like bike riding or mountain climbing, Tam Coc is highly recommended. Tam Coc is worth visiting and there are many things waiting for you to explore here. 

Check our Tam Coc Tour at: 

Aloha Vietnam Travel - Tam Coc - Ninh Binh tour 

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How to experience Ninh Binh like local people - Explore Ninh Binh in authentic ways

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