Escape from the noise and bustle of urban life with the busy and hustle lifestyle, in the journey to Hanoi, tourists can take some trips around Hanoi, visiting the countryside and enjoying the view of peaceful and beautiful nature. It will be an unforgettable experience for visitors after the long trip visiting Hanoi. And, one of the popular and attractive destinations around Hanoi is Tam Coc- Bich Dong.
About 110km from the center Hanoi, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, also known with famous names such as “Ha Long Bay on land” or “the second beautiful cave in Vietnam”, is a key tourist destination of the country Vietnam. The entire region includes the system of limestone caves and historic sites related to Tran dynasty located mainly in Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh province. Discover Tam Coc – Bich Dong in a hot summer afternoon or just a sunny day is always an appropriate choice for travelers.
Sitting on a boat and starting river cruise, visitors will be surprised by the natural scenery here. Tam Coc, which means “three caves”, consists of Ca cave, Hai cave, and Ba cave. All three caves are formed by Ngo Dong River piercing the mountain.
To visit Tam Coc, there is only a single waterway departing at Dinh Cat marina. Boats along the Ngo Dong River about 400 meters will come to Nghi Mon Ngoai(the outside door) which is two steep mountains on both sides of the river, the mountain on the right is Cua Quen mountain, the other is Vung Gao mountain. Going a little further, the boat comes into Rong (Dragon) sewer crossing the river on the way to Thai Vi Temple. The sewer is 2.8 meters long, made of stone, carved dragon head. Through Rong sewer, looking to the left, guests will see Go Mung Mountain next to Thai Vi Temple, then is Van and Vo mountains.
The boat moves slowly to Nghi Mon Noi (the inside door) also because of the formation of two mountains on 2 sides. The left side is Ben Thanh Mountain and the right one is the shape of an eagle swooping down Ngo Dong River creating a vivid beauty and impressive scenery of Bich Dong. Looking to the right is a large and flat rock near the river. Legend said that, in the summer, King Tran Thai Tong usually sat fishing here to relax and enjoy the fresh air and admire the sky, mountains, and water. From here, surrounding the river is many layers of rocky mountains like a solid wall, separated from the noise of the market economy which is changing vigorously.
Then, an entrance of a cave opens. That cave is named Ca (first). An area of mountains and water appears as a colorful and miraculous picture of shimmering water surface with seven colors of the rainbow when sunlight shines through. Ca cave is 127 meters long, 20 meters wide, under a huge mountain crossing the mountain range in Ngo Dong River. Arriving here, Ngo Dong River becomes smaller and flows through mountains establishing the cave. The deeper we go into the cave, the more sparkling the stalactites light up the magical colors and reflect the water surface.
The next is Hai (second) cave, almost 1 km from Ca cave, 60 meters long and the cave ceiling with stalactites hanging down strangely. Then come to Ba (Third) cave, it is 50 meters long, and the cave ceiling is a stone arch that is lower than the other two.
Not only the cave is beautiful by the system of limestone mountains and caves, Tam Coc also makes the tourists be impressive by the paddy rice fields stretching along two sides of the river. All create a romantic scene, lyrical and full of vitality of an ancient land.
Bich Dong – Xuyen Thuy Cave
Bich Dong, about 12 km from the wharf, which means “green cave”, was named by the prime minister Nguyen Nghiem, the father of the great poet Nguyen Du in 1773. This was one of the sites in the group which the ancients called “the most beautiful caves in Vietnam”. Specifically, Bich Dong was named “the second beautiful cave in Vietnam” after Huong Tich Cave. The front of the cave is Hoang Long river winding around the mountainside, the other side of the river is the rice fields.
Bich Dong Pagoda is an ancient pagoda associated with rocky mountains bearing the style of the East Asia. The pagoda was built in the beginning of early Le dynasty. In the pagoda, there is a large bell cast from the reign of King Le Thai To. Under the reign of Le Hien Tong (1740-1786), the pagoda was restored and extended including Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda, and Thuong Pagoda spreading out over three floors of the mountain.
Xuyen Thuy cave is a dark cave and wetland located along the length of Bich Dong. Xuyen Thuy is like a semicircular stone pipe about 350 meters in length winding from the east to the west. Ceilings and walls are usually flat, and visitors can see the large stones seems to be ordered as a bow dome, a semicircular with diversified shapes.
Discover Tam Coc – Bich Dong, visitors can not only admire the poetic beautiful scenery, relax to escape from everyday life, but also learn about the culture of an ancient capital land. Beside Tam Coc – Bich Dong, guests can visit many other beautiful attractions in the destination like Thung Nang, Thung Nham, Tien Cave, Linh Coc pagoda, and ancient Vietnamese village – Co Vien Lau.