Boat trips at Tam Coc and Trang An

Boat trips at Tam Coc and Trang An

Ha Long Bay on the land

More on Ninh Binh
A large swathe of land in Ninh Binh province is characterised by stony outcrops not unlike those at Ha Long Bay, though a bit smaller in size and of course without the water—lakes and rivers aside.
Travelfish says:

If you’re there at the right time of the year, when the paddies are full of water, the reflections make the landscape almost as beautiful as Ha Long Bay.

The best ways to enjoy the scenery are to rent a bicycle or take a boat trip, or both. The main kicking off points for boat trips are Tam Coc and Trang An, although smaller, less touristy outfits can be found near Bich Dong Pagoda and between Trang An and Hoa Lu.

Small boats will be paddled by local woman along the river for a couple of hours, through caves and past paddy fields and karst formations. If you start from Tam Coc you will also visit Thai Vi Pagoda. Whether one route is better than another is open for debate—we’d suggest choosing whichever suits your travel plans better.

Both Tam Coc and Trang An are big tourist attractions—Trang An in particular, though more popular with Vietnamese visitors—so don’t expect to have the river to yourself, but if you avoid weekends and Vietnamese holiday periods it’s not too overwhelming.

Prices at both are fixed but differ: at Tam Coc you pay 150,000 dong for the boat and 120,000 dong per adult, with a maximum of two foreigners per boat, whereas Trang An charges 200,000 dong per adult and 100,000 dong per child, with no apparent maximum, other than the number of seats—though they may expect a minimum of four passengers, meaning you might need to wait around. Use these prices as benchmarks if you decide to rent from one of the other operations. There is also a 15,000 dong scooter parking fee.

Transport information

To get to Tam Coc from the railway station at Ninh Binh, go straight ahead, up to the main road (Le Dai Hanh St), turn left and follow it to the main four way intersection. Turn right then left so you are following the river with the canal on your right and continue along the main road for about 4km where you then take a right turn down a wide road with large stone pillars on either side. Continue along this road for another 4km and you will come to where the boats leave at Tam Coc.

For Trang An, follow the directions to Hoa Lu, above, and you'll pass Trang An around 10km out of town.

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Tours in Vietnam

These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.

Our top 6 other sights and activities in and around Ninh Binh

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Hoa Lu

Beautiful location but not much of interest

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Bich Dong

Great views and an interesting pagoda

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Cuc Phuong National Park

Wildlife and caves

A few days in Ninh Binh
A few days in Ninh Binh

Some tips on how to keep yourself busy.

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Bai Dinh Pagoda

New and big

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
Phat Diem Cathedral

The Catholic's landing point