Boating in Tam Coc – an activity not new but extremely attractive

Boating in Tam Coc always brings excitement and curiosity to travel enthusiasts. It’s not a new activity, not strange at all, but still interesting and always catches the attention of many tourists from near and far when visiting Tam Coc Bich Dong. Let’s explore with’s to see what else we can discover besides the breathtaking natural scenery when boating in Tam Coc.

What is boating in Tam Coc?

Tam Coc Bich Dong in Ninh Binh is a key tourist area within the Trang An Landscape Complex of Vietnam, recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage and considered a focal point of attraction for travel enthusiasts who visit and explore it every year.

Experiencing boating in Tam Coc is a great way to discover the hidden beauty of Tam Coc Bich Dong. You will have the opportunity to feast your eyes on vast green rice fields, nestled amidst the limestone mountains of the three small caves (Hang Ca, Hang Hai, Hang Ba). Only by boating in Tam Coc can you fully explore the “gift” that nature has bestowed upon this place.

The Ngo Dong River is always bustling with boats carrying tourists to admire the scenery

The journey of boating in Tam Coc may seem simple as you drift along the picturesque Ngô Đồng River, but ensures the allure of the wildness of moss-covered limestone mountains, the azure water reflecting the clear sky here will captivate you endlessly.

If you visit Ninh Binh without trying boating in Tam Coc even once, it’s truly regrettable. This place is only about 7 km from the center of Ninh Binh city, and it’s even close to some other interesting tourist destinations such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong Pagoda, Thung Nham Bird Garden… What could be more ideal than both “wandering through mountains and rivers” and sightseeing, right?

Is boating in Tam Coc as interesting as you think?

Boating in Tam Coc is indeed very interesting. If it’s your first time visiting Tam Coc Bich Dong and experiencing this activity, here are some things you need to know about boating in Tam Coc. Additionally, this article reveals some unique and meaningful aspects that you may be excited to discover when you hear about them. So why wait? Let’s head there right away!

Ticket prices for boating in Tam Coc

Location to buy boat tickets in Tam Coc: Main entrance at Van Lam port. You need to buy tickets for both sightseeing and boat rides.

Below are the ticket prices for your reference. After purchasing the tickets, all you need to do is get on the boat and enjoy the ride:

  • Boat ride ticket: 150,000 VND / 04 Vietnamese passengers or 02 foreign passengers
  • Sightseeing ticket: 120,000 VND / adult & 60,000 VND / child under 1.4 meters (Free for children under 3 years old)

The boat ride in Tam Coc, both outbound and return, takes about 2 hours. The boat will take you on a tour of the rice fields, weaving through water caves and cliffs. You’ll be amazed by the breathtaking natural scenery that will captivate your gaze. Depending on the season, the rice fields here may be ripe golden or vivid green with young rice.

You should prepare a hat, umbrella, raincoat for sun protection or rain prevention. In addition, sunscreen and bottled water will be handy for check-ins and enjoying the sun while boating in Tam Coc.

Unique foot-rowing boating

Boating in Tam Coc impresses most tourists, especially foreigners, due to the unique form of rowing with the feet by the boatman. Each boat at the pier is owned by a local household, which they consider as their “occupation” in the tourist area.

Tourism agencies will assign local households with boats to row tourists along the river for sightseeing. Regardless of age or gender, every member of the family is eager to go to the pier to row tourists. That’s why in Tam Coc, there are people who are 80 years old but still working, and young teenagers who row boats with great skill and proficiency. Boating in Tam Coc is seen as a daily joy for everyone.

Foot-rowing boats impress foreign tourists

The foot-rowing skills in Tam Coc are extremely agile and flexible, not inferior to their nimble hands. From the starting point, through each water cave, across the stretch of rice fields along the Ngo Dong River, the boatmen navigate smoothly using their strong legs to steer the boat gracefully on the water surface. This is also a job that provides stable income to support the livelihoods of the majority of households in Ninh Hai commune.

Photography and Shopping on the River

While experiencing boating in Tam Coc, apart from admiring the majestic and picturesque scenery that seems only seen in movies, you also get to witness another unique “occupation” when visiting Tam Coc Bich Dong in Ninh Binh – Photography and Shopping on the river on a daily basis.

Regarding photography, photographers have to register with the tourist area and conduct business by the hour or day, depending on the number of visitors. So if someone forgets to bring their phone on a beautiful day of boating in Tam Coc, or doesn’t have a smartphone to capture beautiful photos, they can rely on these photographers to create some cool snaps for the whole group.

Photographers in Tam Coc are extremely professional and dedicated, always ensuring top-notch service

There are up to 5 – 7 photo spots along the Ngo Dong River, and the photographers here are extremely professional and friendly. Some have been in business for 10 years solely by taking photos of tourists during boat rides in Tam Coc. The reason for having multiple photo spots is to avoid competition for customers. Each spot has 2 – 3 photographers sitting on boats waiting for you to approach them for a photo. According to regulations, photographers must obtain consent before taking photos and receiving payment, and failure to comply may result in severe penalties.

There are a plethora of goods sold on the Ngo Dong River, and the prices are surprisingly affordable

Another interesting “occupation” on the river is the floating market. Although it’s called a market, it’s essentially about 10 grocery-selling boats amidst the river. This market usually gathers at a fixed point at the end of the Tam Coc boating journey and sells a variety of items including souvenirs, local specialties, and food and drinks…

The selling hours are clearly regulated for each day. Beyond this timeframe, they must row back to the pier to make way for the next seller. Despite the unconventional and somewhat precarious nature of this trade, the prices of goods here are quite reasonable, providing a comfortable shopping experience for tourists who stop by.

Boating in Tam Coc is a recurring activity when you visit Tam Coc Bich Dong, yet it never ceases to engage the travel enthusiast community. Everyone who visits wants to experience the sensation of admiring the picturesque and romantic scenery in Ninh Binh while drifting on a boat atop the water. Hopefully, you too will have an experience filled with laughter while boating in Tam Coc, and don’t forget to share this valuable moment with


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