Boat trips - Tam Coc, Trang An, Thung Nang - Ninh Binh - review by Rusty Compass
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Boat trips - Tam Coc, Trang An, Thung Nang - Ninh Binh

| 29 Nov 2011


Boat trips - Tam Coc, Trang An, Thung Nang - Ninh Binh
Around 80,000VND per person

Our rating
29 Nov 2011

Boat trips through along the gentle streams and through the scenic caves of Ninh Binh are a highlight of a visit.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

A leisurely row boat trip through the stunning Ninh Binh countryside - its rice paddies, karst mountains and cave formations - is a definite highlight of a visit. 

Tam Coc is the original boat trip destination and continues to be the favourite with tour groups. Travellers now have two extra options that are less busy and equally enjoyable. 

Boats usually wait for a group of four to assemble and then set off with a local woman rowing. If you’re happy to pay more, you can have a private boat. Tipping boat ladies is recommended. The excursion usually runs for around 2 hours.

Tam Coc

The original Ninh Binh boat trip at Tam Coc remains the most popular. A huge coach station, restaurants, hotels and a market all mark it out as a tourist trap. It’s still a beautiful ride providing you’re not travelling at the same time as the day trippers from Hanoi.

Trang An

The newest boat trip focuses more on some of the extensive caves in the area. The countryside is perhaps less impressive than Tam Coc and Thung Nang.

This place has been set up for big crowds and is becoming increasingly popular with tour groups.

Thung Nang

Nearby Tam Coc, Thung Nang is probably the least popular of the boat trip options. Don't let that out you off though. This is still a beautful trip and the absence of the crowds is a bonus.

Travel tips
In past years, boat trips have seen some very nasty harassment of travellers by local sellers. This was less of a problem on our most recent visits though we understand visitors to Tam Coc can still face some high pressure selling.

All of the sights listed above are easily accessed by bicycle from Ninh Binh.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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