Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hoa Lu - Tam Coc

Hoa Lu

I went to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc in December after I quit my job and needed some time to relax and I had a great time looking around this place. This is such a great peaceful place with a river, caves, temples and beautiful landscape which people refer to as another Ha Long Bay but on land.

Hoa Lu

We arrived at Hoa Lu, ancient capital of independent Viet Nam after a 2 hour drive by bus and everyone seemed to enjoy the scenery around for the whole trip. We biked for another 45 minutes from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc after visiting the old capital with amazing old temples where the remains of statues of Kinh Dinh and King Le, two heroes who lived in the 10th century and chose Hoa Lu to build the capital city. You can sit on a buffalo and take some photos as souvenirs and just pay the buffalo keeper a few thousand dong. Unfortunately, there are many aggressive sellers who follow and take you into their shop and keep talking, trying to make you buy their stuff even though you have refused many times.

Tam Coc

We cleaned our eyes after 45 minutes biking through the beautiful green fields, along rivers and around mountains. When we finally arrived at Tam Coc, we stopped for lunch before taking a boat trip. This boat tour is a bit like the boat tour to the Perfume pagoda. The small metal boats are pedalled by people using their hands and feet to move the boat really fast. The lady who owned the boat I was in was really aggressive. She thought I was the tour guide and she was a bit rude before I gave her a charge. The actual tour guide was a bit worried because he was scared that I may make some negative comment when the tour finished.

Tam Coc

It was really pleasant going along the river by boat, so peaceful and quite that you only can hear the water moving and birds singing all around. This place has a similar atmosphere to Laos. Coming here is like a heaven compared to the daily worry about money, work stress and so on. I wish I could afford to come here every month to relax.

Tam Coc

If you ever come to Viet Nam, do not forget this beautiful place.


junebee said...

Lovely, and so peaceful looking, except for the aggressive salespeople. I wish we had someplace similar nearby.

Anonymous said...

Heaven on earth!!! I wish I could live there to enjoy the serenity of Hoa Lu - Tam Coc. It is a very peaceful place indeed. Thanks for sharing these wonderful images with us.

alan said...

So many beautiful places you show me, especially wonderful right now when all here is still brown and spring is just thinking of sticking it's foot in the door.

Thank you for your photos and stories and a glimpse into your world!


Anonymous said...

I visited Tam Coc and Hoa Lu in November and your photos bring back great memories. It looks so cold in the photos (I know it's not!)

Our boat-paddlers were quite keen to sell us embroidery too, and re-sold the drinks we bought them back to the drink-sellers right in front of us!

Still, the trip was great. Very similar to Perfume Pagoda as you say, though I much preferred the Perfume Pagoda (despite nearly killing myself climbing up!).

Love your blog!

Van Cong Tu said...

Hi Micheele, Perfume pagoda has cable car now. Love it.

cherie said...


just curious.. if i can only pick 1 place, should i visit tam coc or perfume pagoda?

i'm from Singapore. Thank you so much!

Szu-Szu said...

Hello, I found you description about Tam Coc and it confirms myself in the belief that I should go there. :) Maybe you can recommend me some sightseeing in Vietnam? I am 28 year old woman from Poland, I am going to Hanoi on 6th of April. I would like to see off-the-beaten-path pleaces, but because I will be alone, I am interested in every kind of destination (couse of my budget nad safety :)).
My mail: igusiak(at)

Invertir en Oro said...

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Vietnam tours said...

It is a destination in Vietnam. I like it.

TC said...

Great, very nice and interesting article. Thank you said...

Very nice, interesting & useful comment, thank you