Tam Grotto( three caves) consists of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba grottoes. All of 3 caves are formed by Ngo Dong River crashing through mountains.
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The journey to discover Tam Coc departs from Dinh Cac Wharf along winding Ngo Dong River with the ripe rice field’s surrounding. Tourists comfortably admire the panoramic views of the amazing limestones, carefully observe exotic aquatic species in the waters or contemplate the flocks of white flamingo on the lawns in the lagoon, which make a great inspiration for photographers.
Along Ngo Dong River, tourists will respectively come to 3 caves through the mountains, namely Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba Grottoes. Hang Ca Grotto owns 127m long crashing through a large mountain, with its entrance gate of 20 meters wide. The climate in the grotto is quite fairly cool. There are numerous alluring stalactites hanging down with their diversified shapes. Continue the journey about 1 km from Hang Ca Grotto, Hang Hai Grotto has a length of 60 meters with multi-shaped spectacular stalactites… Meanwhile, just nearby, Hang Ba is about 50m long and its ceiling is lower than the above two. It will take about 2- 3 hours for visitors to completely admire 3 grottoes and take beautiful photos of Tam Quoc. If you want to have the most beautiful views, you should deal with boatmen to find a place for climbing mountain.
After finishing the journey of discovering Tam Coc, tourists should not miss Bich Dong Pagoda, an ancient pagoda associated with limestones inspired Oriental architectural style, far about 2 km from Tam Coc Wharf. According to the history and epigraphies, the former name of the pagoda and grottoes is Bich Son (Pearl Grotto). In 1773, Trinh Sam Lord along with Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the great writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. Mr. Nguyen Nghiem gave name for this cave. Thanks to the magnificent scenery, the grottoes have dubbed ” Vietnam’s second nicest grotto” after “Vietnam’s first nicest grotto” granted by Trinh Sam Lord.
It can be said that the wonderful landscapes is the harmonious combination between exotic beauty of the cave, the rugged mountains, the romantic waters and the brilliance of the humans forming an inseparable unity.
Whole pagoda was built under the layout of “Tam Toa” style. Ha (Lower) Pagoda is situated in the foothills which is prominent in the architectural characteristics strongly inspired by Oriental style: the trusses, crossbeams, and spars were made from ironwood. The roof of the pagoda includes 2 curved storeys and 8-roofs. The stone pillars in the Ha pagoda are in a block forming an inseparable unity, higher than 4 meters. Up to about 120 other blue stone steps, tourists will meet Trung( Middle) Pagoda, a unique pagoda which its half is opencast and the other is attached the cave. Continue climbing 40 stone steps is Thuong (Upper) Pagoda in the highest position, worshiping Guan Yin Buddha Ba. The both sides of the main pagoda are 2 temples worshiping the God Earth on the right and Saint Son Tran on the left.
Standing on the campus of Thuong Pagoda, tourists completely admire Ngu Mon field and cover the wonderful view of Bich Dong Pagoda. Tam Coc – Bich Dong is not only owning the graceful beauty of the charming landscape, the cultural-art architecture but also a historical relic of Ninh Binh.
On May 10, 2012, the Minister decided to rank the Trang An- Tam Coc- Bich Dong scenic complex as special national monument thanks to its precious values on history, culture, science and aesthetics.
Tourists visit Tam grotto by only single path on the water and take about 2 hours. The small boats will take visitors to discover Ca grotto-the biggest grotto in three grottos with 127 meters length. It is under a big mountain which across the Ngo Dong river. Tourists will feel fresh and cool air. Continuing the journey, visitors can sight Hai grotto and Ba grotto. Two grottos are shorter than Ca grotto. The adventurous tourists can continue explore Tien stream and join adventurous journey with climbing into Noi Lam Temple.
Entrance fee (Tam Grotto): 30.000vnd/people
Price of hiring boat: 80.000vnd/people
Entrance fee ( Bich Cave) 10.000 vnd/people
Foreign people: 2 people/boat
Vietnamese: 4 people/boat