Tam Coc & Bich Dong Pagoda, Vietnam Holidays

When holidaying in Hanoi, please do not miss Tam Coc and Bich Dong in Ninh Binh. It is about 4 hours drive from Hanoi. 
The highlight of  Tam Coc (Three Grottoes) is going through three small opening under limestone hill (grotto) and emerging to the other side.

Destination : Going inside this grotto

The last grotto is the smallest, with the openning of 20m wide and height of less than 2m. I can touch the ceiling of the limestone while sitting on the boat! Refer to Vietnam Beauty

We started from the Dinh Cac pier or otherwise called Tam Coc pier after a sumptuous lunch at the restaurant. I was given a souvenir by the resturant!

The pier is full of rowing boats and the journey takes 2 hours. The boats are rowed by using both legs controlling the oars. No hands doing work! Boatman and women just leaned backwards and their legs are doing all the work!

These rowing boats going towards the 3 grottoes, with last grotto having a very low ceiling and total darkness for awhile before emerging to the other side.

Boats going inside

Nearing the opening
My boat going inside...
There is total darkness for a while before emerging
Emerging .....
Once out from the grotto, there are a few boats loaded with foods and drinks waiting. They will approach our boat and try to sell refreshments. They will ask us to buy for our boat lady who may be tired. I bought some can drinks and biscuits for my boat lady.
Once at the other side, there are a few boats laden with goods waiting to sell their goods
The goods sold by this boat lady
The view was fantastic all the way. But on the way back, the rowing boat lady will stop and try to sell  some local embroidery cloths and table cloths. It is somewhat like a harassment and she will say she is poor and is trying to make some extra income with small kids at home. Beware.

Bich Dong Pagoda
Bich Dong pagoda means Blue cave. The pagoda is installed in a cave. We have to walks rough a narrow bridge with both sides filled with lotus flower. But it was not in blooming season when I was there. The entrance is free and a good place to take ancient pagoda pictures as known to be built on a small scale in 1428 and upgraded in 1705.

There are some steps to climb up, and for the adventurers you can go to other side of the hill to enjoy peaceful natural sceneries.  

I am most impressed with going into the grottoes sitting on the unique rowing boats. I hope you enjoy you trip there too. Thank you. 

This is Part 2 of my Hanoi Holidays which I went about a year ago.  
The Malay Language version can be read at:     Bercuti di Hanoi Episod 2/3
1. The first part of Hanoi Holidays can be read at: Halong Bay & Hanoi Holidays 1
2. Visiting Mai Chau and discover its culture at:Mai Chau, my idyllic holiday
3. Perfume Pagoda

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