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From Hanoi we took a transfer to the Ninh Binh region where we’d be spending three nights in Tam Coc. We’d heard wonderful things about this area which is also known as ‘Ha Long Bay on land’ and were looking forward to exploring it.
Serenity Villa and Hotel in Hanoi organised a direct transfer to our hotel in Tam Coc. There are cheaper local buses that provide this journey, but we preferred the ease of being taken to our hotel rather than being dropped in Ninh Binh town then having to organise a taxi to our accommodation.
After an extensive search on Booking.com to find a reasonably priced yet centrally located hotel with a swimming pool, we finally settled on Tam Coc Holiday Hotel where we’d booked a Deluxe Villa which was a nice ensuite room just around the corner from the outdoor pool.
The hotel itself is situated just a three minute walk from the main street in Tam Coc where there are many restaurants and shops to explore, which of course we did!
Tam Coc is small town with a few activities on offer, so it is a great place to both explore and relax, which was a welcome respite after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.
Day One was half taken up by our transfer from Hanoi but once we’d checked in we hit the swimming pool straight away to cool down before heading in to town to investigate what was on offer and grab a bite to eat.
Day Two was a slightly more active day as we decided to hire bikes and explore the wider area.
We cycled away from Tam Coc without a clue where we were going as we’d neglected to look at a map, but before we knew it we’d stumbled up on Bich Dong Pagoda so that worked out perfectly!
After lunch we took a path off of the main road and ended up in the most beautiful countryside, surrounded by limestone rocks and waterways.
Day Three meant making a decision as you have two choices in the local area for a boat trip, the first is in Tam Coc itself and the second is Trang An. We decided to go for the latter as advised by the hotel staff. When you arrive at Trang An you are offered a choice of three different routes (all the same price) and we decided to go for the most exhaustive option to really soak up the beauty of the place.
Our boat driver paddled us down rivers and through caves with the odd stop here and there to get out and explore on land.
Our final day was spent milling about town and hanging out at Chookie’s before it was time to head in to Ninh Binh for our sleeper train to Hue.
People do visit Tam Coc on day tours from Hanoi, but I am so happy with decided to spend a proper amount of time here to really take in the natural beauty of the place.