TAM COC (THREE CAVES)
Tam Coc is a beautiful natural setting in Ninh Binh province. It is well-known as the Inland Halong Bay or between-rice-paddies Halong Bay. It is located about 100 kilometers south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province. Tam Coc which means 3 caves, is a zone of Vietnam that meanders between rice paddies, bathed by the Ngo Dong River punctuated by karstic rock formations and limestone caves.
The Tam Coc experience begins at the Dock Van Lam, where visitor will ride in small rowing boats, called sampan, with capacity for 2 adults. While floating along the river, it is impressive to contemplate the rock formations, watch the beautiful stalactites hanging down from the ceiling of the limestone tunnel-like caves.
For the row, visitor will share the boat with 2 Vietnamese who is in charge of rowing and steering the boat during the 2 hours that usually lasts for the visit by Tam Coc. The sampan-ride is a definite highlight, meandering through dumpling-shaped karst hills in a flooded landscape where river and rice paddy merge serenely into one; keep an eye open for mountain goats high on the cliffs, and bright, darting kingfishers. Journey’s end is Tam Coc, three dark tunnel-like caves whose names are the Hang Ca (First cave), Hang Hai (Second cave) and Hang Ba (Third cave), eroded through the limestone hills with barely sufficient clearance for the sampan after heavy rains.