Trang An or Tam Coc Boat Tour | Where should I go first? 2024

Trang An or Tam Coc boat tour, which one is the best place to visit? This is a pretty common question for tourists, even for Vietnamese people. Especially when you have time is limited like one day.

1. Overview of Trang An and Tam Coc boat tour

tam coc or trang an

It is not easy to answer the question because each attraction has its beauty and brings you different unforgettable experiences in Ninh Binh.

With over ten years of working in the tourism sector, we have been many times and received a lot of feedback from visitors. Go Viet Trip wants to give you some tips, and we hope that will help you have a great time in Ninh Binh.
Both Tam Coc and Trang An have spectacular landscapes from limestone karst and stunning scenery with mountains and clear water.

Both have the same view, like Halong bay – that is why we call it "Halong bay on land."

2. Why should pick Trang An boat tour and best time to visit

Trang An boat

Trang An is a famous scenic area of Ninh Binh, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014. There are three different routes. Each route has its beauty.
>>> Read more: Trang An best route
Besides, visit the stunning landscape, variety of caves (9 caves) incredible limestone formations, and stop by several Buddhism temples. Visitors can see it as a circle (go one way - come back a different way) and do not like Tam Coc going and coming back the same way.
Visitors also can stop at some beautiful places to take photos, like Hanh Cung Ngu Lam Temple, Vietname ancient village.
The service at Trang An is very professional because it is run by a private company and all boatmen work for that company.
They have to follow the rules and regulations of the company to serve customers well and work very hard to meet customers' satisfaction' so, most tourists are pleased and give them some tips.

Best time to visit Trang an
With typical weather in Ninh Binh, you can go boat trip any time of the year. But for Trang An the best time are the March to April or August to October this is the spring and autumn season, the weather is not so hot, not so cold the sky is clear, less rain it is very convenient to visit Trang An.


3. Why should pick Tam Coc boat tour and best time to visit


 tam coc boat ride ninh binh

 Visitors enjoy rowing at Tam Coc.

Tam Coc means "three caves," including Hang Ca (first cave), Hang Hai (second cave), and Hang Ba (third cave). All three caves are started at the Ngo Dong river and through the mountain.
We do not need to pick the best route like Trang An. We will take a boat trip for 1,5 hours and enjoy sightseeing of natural caves, majestic limestone mountains, and cultivation activities along your journey.

Best time to visit Tam Coc
Unlike Trang An, the boat tour to Tam Coc will give you the golden opportunity to go sightseeing of golden rice fields and agricultural activities along the river like catching fish, planting rice, and harvesting.
To be able to admire this fantastic view, we recommend that you should visit Tam Coc in the summertime for harvesting (from the end of April to June)
To have a panoramic view of the river and ripe rice fields, you may try climbing up to the top of Mua Cave nearby in the late afternoon or early morning; you can get the best photos of sunset or sunrise also from the top, you can admire the whole natural and tranquil beauty of Tam Coc.
Boatmen in Tam Coc are mainly residents living nearby. In the low season, they only have the chance to row once or twice a month.

4. The entrance fee tickets

4.1. Trang An boat tour price

The entrance fee is 250.000vnd /person.
Free for children who are below 0.8m in height. – Children's height is from 0.8m to 1.3m: 120.000 VND/person. – Children's height is above 1.3m: The same price as adults.

Minimum 4 people /boat – If you are solo or couple, you may share with another tourist. Do not worry. You do not have to wait so long, maybe only 10 to 15 minutes because Trang An is a must-see attraction, the number of tourists coming here per day is high all round of years.

If not, you can pay for four tickets for the private boat is 1000.000vnd (about 43$USD).
trang an or tam coc travel 1


4.2. Tam Coc boat tour price

The price is 250.000vnd/person or 500.000/boat
Adults: 250,000 VND per person - Maximum 2 Persons/ boat (foreigner) 4 Vietnamese people/ boat because foreigners often have higher weight than Vietnamese persons.

Children: 100,000 VND per child: from 1 meter to 1.4 meters. Childless than 1 meter will be free
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.

5. What type of tours should choose Trang An or Tam Coc or both?

5.1. Ninh Binh one day tour

Ninh Binh one day tour is a quite short time, however, we believe that you still have a great time, I recommend you should pick either Trang An or Tam Coc. Just imagine that you spend a whole day sitting on a boat. Although the scenery is so beautiful, you will get bored of spending too much time sitting.
That’s why you should combine to visit Hoa Lu ancient capital, Mua cave. For that, you can explore Ninh Binh more and take hiking and biking around the countryside.

5.2. Ninh Binh two-day tour

For 2 days tour, you will have more time to visit both places, besides that can combine to visit other attractions in Ninh Binh such as Mua cave, Hoa Lu ancient capital, Bai Dinh pagoda and you can stay at a homestay with local people, biking around, immerse the peaceful of countryside in Vietnam. That’ would be an unforgettable experience. 


6. Tam Coc to Trang An distance

From Tam Coc harbor to Trang An around 10 km, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes 

6.1 How to get from Tam Coc to Trang an

From Tam Coc to Trang An visitors can take a taxi or can take a bicycle through the countryside - it's such a good experience.

7. Tip from Local Experts for Trang An and Tam Coc boat tour

  • If possible, you should visit two places in the morning (around 8:00 -10:30 am) when most of the tourists are on their way to come here from Hanoi or in the afternoon (3:30 – 5:00 pm) when tourists often finish their tour or do not visit in the festival time (Luna new year or others holidays in Vietnam)

  • Most boatmen don't know English, but they are friendly and hard-working, especially their ability to row is very skillful. When you finish rowing in both places Trang An and Tam Coc, we strongly advise you to give some tips to the boatman from 1 -2 USD as your gratitude to them because anyway, they work hard and partially help you have a safe and wonderful trip and more importantly, they would feel happy and pleasant about that.

  • Should bring a hat or an umbrella, a waterproof bag, and suncream.

  • Don't forget to wear your life jacket on the boat

  • Don't forget your boat's number during the trip

  • Try rolling a boat

  • Bring water/ beer and snacks as the boat ride

  • To avoid the busy, you may go earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.

One more thing is about taking photographs. When you are rowing on the river, some local people may offer you to take pictures (Especially at Tam Coc). If you are interested in this, you can ask them to choose an excellent view for excellent photos, but please remember to negotiate the price and photographs. Otherwise, you can say Không - Cảm ơn (No - thank you) and refuse if you are not interested.

7.1. Review of Tam Coc and Trang An 

reviews of tam coc and trang an 1

review for trang an boat tour 1


8. Conclusion

Trang An or Tam Coc, each place has its attractiveness.
If you can visit Tam Coc will admire the original natural beauty created, with the beauty of the rustic countryside. Especially in May or June, a lot of visitors will pick Tam Coc for their holiday.

Some visitors prefer Trang An because it has a stunning landscape, a variety of caves, and incredible limestone formations, and they can rest and stop by several Buddhist temples.

We hope you will have two days to visit Ninh Binh, that you can both of them because of the beauty of each place.
If not, you can combine visiting other places in Ninh Binh like Mua Cave, Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital, which option depends on you.

Have you decided Trang An or Tam Coc? If you have not, don't worry. Let's contact Go Viet Trip to receive advice from our experienced staff and further information about Ninh Binh.

>>> Read more Ninh Binh tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary

We hope that this article can help you know where do you want to go if you need more help. Please feel free to contact us: Email: or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.

Author Hoan Nguyen

Hoan Nguyen has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.



author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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