The first thing is a boat trip. You can do it in 3 differents places:
Tam Coc: Certainly the most famous place of the 3 sites. It is also the most touristy place and where you will meet the most groups. This site is very popular because it was here that was shot the film "Indochina" in which plays Catherine Deneuve. Count 2 hours boat trip on the Ngo Dong River. During this trip you will have the chance to cross several natural caves. You can see ducks, paddy fields (during the rice season from February to May), and karstic rocks present in number.
Trang An: As tourist as Tam Coc and always surprising. Trang An is composed of the same characteristics as the previous site, you can discover mountains, channels bordered by rice fields and temples throughout the crossing. Caverns are also present in Trang An. This place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Count 3h for a ride.
Van Long: Clearly the least tourist of the 3 sites, the Van Long Reserve is a little distant from other sites. But it's probably the most natural site. It is not uncommon to see married couples dressed to make pictures. Count 2h for a boat trip.
- The second thing is a bike ride: If you want to visit Tam Coc then opt for the bike. It is the means of locomotion par excellence to visit the surroundings of this village. You can cycle through the rice fields, pass through small villages or visit one of the many temples or pagodas that border the road. In addition the landscapes are beautiful.
- The third thing is the visit of the stone cathedral of Phat Diem: Located not far from other sites (28km from Tam Coc). It fits perfectly in the landscape and Vietnamese culture because it is shaped pagoda while maintaining the character of a cathedral in the west. It was built in 1891 and the whole site where it is located is composed of ten monuments in stone and wood. One of the main reasons to visit this place is the unique architecture of the place. In addition some sisters still live in the convent and some speak foreign languages ??so it is possible to have a short visit of the building.
- The fourth thing to do is to go to the temples of Dinh and Le in Hoa Lu. Located about 10km from Tam Coc, Hoa Lu is a real historical site. Hoa Lu was previously the capital of Vietnam during 3 dynasties. There are not many traces left today in the country of this time, so this is the unique opportunity to discover this unknown period. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to visit the two temples. The site is also composed of some other small temples.
- The fifth thing you can do is visit the Bai Dinh pagoda: Complex of 700ha, everything is here disproportionate. The site includes several temples, a stupa, thousands of Buddha statues, a large bell. For the anecdote this site has several records such as the largest bronze bell in Vietnam or the largest Buddha statue in Southeast Asia. The complex is divided into 2 sites. One with an old pagoda located in the mountains and the other with new pagodas built only about fifteen years ago. These pagodas were built with the aim of celebrating the 1000's of Hanoi's construction. The complex is located 18 minutes from Tam Coc.
- Finally the sixth thing that we can advise you is to go to the pagoda Jade. These are small pagodas located 2km from Tam Coc. The setting is idyllic and you will surely be amazed. The site is composed of a troglodyte pagoda on the rock, it is the only one in Vietnam. You will have to be sporty because there are many steps to climb. The pagodas are spread over 3 levels; a lower, an average and a superior.
How to get there ? You can get there by bus from Hanoi Bus Station, by limousine, or by train.