Vietnam Tours – Tam Coc – Bich Dong – Ninh Binh

This little known spot in Vietnam is well worth the visit. Ninh Binh itself may not have as much to offer as other places, but we found it pleasant, and worth it just to see Tam Coc.
The main thing about Tam Coc is to remember that people will try and sell you things during the trip, and I don’t really know why travellers get so upset about this. I mean, it’s hot, and someone is trying to sell you a drink and some pineapple?! What’s the big deal. Just buy what you want and then politely say no, and keep saying no until they give up, much like in the rest of the country.
Tam Coc is beautiful and in some ways more so an Halong Bay as it is more remote and there is no smog. Take your camera, some sunscreen (absolutely no shade on the boats) and sit back and enjoy.
While in the water, make sure to keep an eye out for the apparently unreachable pagoda! You’ll know it when you see it!
Also, don’t forget to take a peek at the pagoda up the hill near where the boats pick up and drop off from. There was what I assumed was a mentally handicapped man who seemed to be very pleasant and took great pleasure in taking photos for us while up there (I think he liked the sound of the DSLR) and some young Buddhist girls who kept an eye on him and who were just lovely to talk to.

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Discover Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and Le dynasties. Vibrant green rice fields dotted with limestone outcrops will impress every visitor to the area.

Enjoy a leisurely ninety minute sampan cruise through the caves of Tam Coc, a photographer’s dream with opportunities at every turn.
See where the movie ‘Indochine’ was filmed, and how it brought fame to Vietnam

+ 08:30 departure. The pleasant drive to Tam Coc takes two and a half hours.
+ Along the way, stop where you wish to take photographs of local villages and the surrounding landscape
+ On arrival in Tam Coc Town, board your private sampan boat. For ninety minutes your private oarswoman / man will take you down the Ngo Dong River. Pass through the three caves that made Vietnam famous in the French film ‘Indochine’, Hang Ca, Hang Giua and Hang Cuoi.
+ On the way visit Bich Dong Pagoda, set among pink lotuses, the temple offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
+ Back in Tam Coc Town enjoy a delicious Vietnamese lunch.
+ Following lunch drive to Hoa Lu to visit the temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh Dynasty (968-80), and Emperor Le Dai Hanh of the Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient Hoa Lu Citadel (most of which has since been ruined) once covered an area of three square kilometres.
+ In the afternoon journey back to Hanoi. Arrive at around 17:00 Hanoi in the afternoon.

What’s Included: Transportation, guiding, a lunch, All entrance fee and sampan in Tam Coc.
What’s Excluded: Drinks, tipping and other personal expenses.

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