Tam Coc, Vietnam - Tips, Tricks and Things To Do

14 November 2018


Our bus arrived in Tam Coc at about 5am so we just sat around in the lobby of a hotel which, fortunately, was open. When 6.30am rolled around we headed to our homestay as this was the time they opened. We weren't able to check in, but they did allow us to leave our bags in one of the dorm rooms and Toria had a nap. I headed out for breakfast on my own and sat in a cafe watching the world go by at such an early hour. During this time I discovered that pineapple jam is a thing and was blown away by how good it was.

Following this, we went for the famous boat ride through the limestone mountains and in the caves. Now, the interesting thing about these boat rides is they use their feet to steer and paddle the entire time. The boat ride lasted about 2 hours and was £6.50 each. The scenery really was stunning, and fortunately, we were early enough to miss the crowds so it was a really peaceful experience. As we were leaving there was just a constant stream of boats one behind the other, which sort of ruined the tranquility.

We then headed back to the room for a nap after our night on the bus and the early start. Can I just say how good it was to have a comfy bed AND A DUVET. I think this was the best nap of the entire trip. For lunch, we had vegetable noodles before hiring bikes and cycling to the Mua Caves viewpoint. Now, I was not prepared for what was ahead. 500 extremely steep, uneven steps. It's fair to say we took quite a few breaks on our ascent. But, when we got to the top, the view made it all worth it and more. There was even a wedding shoot happening at the top, with a bride in her gorgeous dress. Honestly, the things you see in Vietnam.

After making it back down safely we cycled to a nearby temple to have a look around. On the way home, we spotted a hostel in the middle of nowhere so stopped there to have a sprite to cool down. Whilst there, we met a couple of Aussies and ended up going for dinner with them. We went for an Indian, and let me tell you, the food was AMAZING. By far one of the best curries I've ever had. I had a chicken tikka and a garlic naan, incredible.

That evening we played pool in a bar and had a few drinks before heading to bed. The following day we woke up and had the free breakfast at the homestay. We then went for a wander and had smoothies, followed by lunch, and then boarded our minibus to Hanoi. The journey was only about 3 hours, so by far the easiest of the trip so far. The minibus itself was also really nice, so no complaints at all here.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Very quiet, but plenty of accommodation and restaurants 

THINGS TO DO 
- Boat Ride
- Mua Caves viewpoint
- Cycle to the temples

TIPS AND ADVICE 
- Do the boat ride as early as possible to avoid it being too busy
- Hire bicycles to see more of Tam Coc
- There's free/cheaper parking by the entrance of Mua Caves, don't be lured in by people at the beginning of the road telling you you need to park there

WHERE I STAYED & REVIEW
Ha Trang Guest House
If you're going to stay here, book a private room like we did. The bed was really really comfy and it was nice to have our own bathroom. It was fairly clean and the aircon was really good. Breakfast was included, and the stay overall was really well priced.

HOW LONG TO STAY?
1/2 days - there's not a lot to see and do

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