Tam Coc – Bich Dong: A Captivating Tourist Destination

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Tam Coc – Bich Dong: A Captivating Tourist Destination


Tam Coc – Bich Dong Tourist Area is located in Hoa Lu district, approximately 7km from the city center of Ninh Binh. The area comprises several attractions, including Tam Coc, Bich Dong Pagoda, Thung Nham, and more. Visitors can explore this destination throughout the year, but certain periods are considered the most beautiful in the region.


  • From January to March of the lunar calendar: This is a time of many festivals in Ninh Binh, and the weather is pleasant. Visitors can combine sightseeing at pagodas, participating in festivals, and taking boat rides to explore Tam Coc.
  • Late May and early June (Gregorian calendar): This is the season when the golden rice fields in Tam Coc – Bich Dong are in full bloom, creating a stunning landscape.

Tam Coc

Tam Coc Wharf is just a 3-minute walk from Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel. Tam Coc, meaning “Three Caves,” is also known as Xuyen Thuy, comprising Hang Ca (First Cave), Hang Hai (Second Cave), and Hang Ba (Third Cave). These three caves were formed by the Ngo Dong River flowing through the mountains. This area is famous for its boat tours.


Entrance fees:

  • Scenic ticket: 120,000 VND per person per trip
  • Children under 1.4m: 60,000 VND per person per trip
  • Boat ticket: 150,000 VND per boat per trip (4 Vietnamese passengers or 2 foreign passengers).
  • Children under 3 years old are free.


  • After purchasing tickets, visitors descend to the boat wharf. The boat takes tourists on a journey through the rice fields along the river, passing through limestone cliffs and water caves. The round-trip boat ride takes about 2 hours. Depending on the season, the riverside rice fields will be adorned with either bright green young rice or mature golden rice.
  • During the boat ride, visitors will stop at the Thai Vi Temple, where Kings Tran Thai Tong, Tran Thanh Tong, and generals Tran Hung Dao, Tran Quang Khai, and Queen Tran Thi Dung are worshipped. In the past, the Tam Coc mountainous area was where the Tran family built Vũ Lâm Court during their resistance against the Yuan Mong.

The top attraction in Ninh Binh

Bich Dong

Bich Dong is located 2km from Tam Coc Wharf, meaning “green cave.” It was named by General Nguyen Nghiem, the father of the great poet Nguyen Du, in 1773. Bich Dong is one of the landscapes included in the group called “The Second Best Cave in the South,” specifically known as “The Second Best Cave in the Southern Sky” (after Huong Tich Cave, “The First Best Cave in the South,” located in Huong Son) and “The First Best Cave in the Southern Earth” (before Dich Long Cave, “The Third Best Cave in the South,” located in Kem Trong). Bich Dong consists of a dry cave on the hill (forming Bich Dong Pagoda) and a water cave penetrating through the mountain (known as Xuyen Thuy Dong). In front of the cave, the Ngo Dong River winds alongside the mountain slope, and on the other side is a rice field.

Bich Dong Pagoda was established in 1428, during the early Le Dynasty, as a small temple on the mountaintop. In 1705, two monks named Tri Kien and Tri The, originally from Nghia Hung district, Nam Dinh province, met and formed a brotherhood. Both monks had a strong aspiration to propagate Buddhism and build pagodas. When they arrived at Bich Dong and saw its splendid location with an existing pagoda, they decided to stay and renovate the old temple, constructing three new pagodas: Lower, Middle, and Upper. In 1707, Tri Kien and Tri The cast a large bell, which is still hanging in the Dark Cave.


Visiting Bich Dong Pagoda is free of charge