Bich Dong Pagoda (Tam Cốc Bích động) is a three-tiered ancient pagoda nestled into a mountainside in Tam Coc, northern Vietnam. The cluster of cave temples is surrounded by a bed of water and impressive water lilies that will have you in awe when you arrive.
I have put together this complete guide of Tam Cốc Bích động including how to get there, how much it costs, and what to expect when you arrive.
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WHERE IS TAM COC BICH DONG?
Bich Dong Pagoda is located 2km west of Tam Coc town in the Ninh Binh region.
Getting around Tam Coc is really simple as it’s very easy to rent a bicycle or a scooter from your choice of half a dozen rental shops in the center of Ninh Binh town.
It’s approximately a 5-minute ride on a scooter from the town center to reach Bich Dong Pagoda. Scooter rental costs around 100,000 VND per day and bicycle costs half the price.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
BICH DONG PAGODA ENTRANCE FEE
There is no entrance fee to visit, however, you may have to pay a small fee for parking at the jump-off point.
The entrance to Tam Coc-Bich Dong
WHAT TO EXPECT
The entrance to Tam Cốc Bích động is absolutely beautiful and the most photogenic spot at this location. You will see an arched concrete walkway that stretches over the water lilies and makes its way through an impressive temple gateway and into the mountains.
There are around 100 steps to reach the top of the mountain and this is where Bich Dong Pagoda can be found.
The trail cuts through a large cave in the mountain where looming statues and small bats appear behind the haze of incense.
When you reach the top of the stairs, you’ll be welcomed with a stunning view out of the valley of the distant mountain peaks and vast rice fields.
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Viewpoint at the top
Water lilies at the entrance to Tam cốc bích động
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The best time to visit is early in the morning around 6 am before the crowds arrive or you can visit in the late afternoon as it’s a great location to watch the sunset over the valley.
It can be visited year-round, although between the months of November to April it’s mostly dry and cool and when most travelers tend to visit.
May to October sees plenty of rainfall and hot humid days in Tam Coc. The rainy season, in my opinion, is the best time to visit Tam Coc and the Ninh Binh region as there are fewer tourists and the landscapes are vividly green!
Beautiful water lilies
WHERE TO STAY IN NINH BINH
Tam Coc and Ninh Binh have hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh
Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort is the best luxury accommodation in Ninh Binh. Located on the edge of a beautiful nature reserve featuring 3 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa, and free wifi. The spacious, vill-style rooms are fitted with wooden decor, a large balcony with stunning views, flat-screen tv, minibar, and a private bathroom. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families, and friends!
Mid Range: King Kong Homestay
King King Homestay is the best value-pick accommodation in Tam Coc. Featuring well-kept gardens, a shared lounge, terrace, free wifi, and a 24-hour front desk. Choose from a double room, king room, or deluxe family room, each with air conditioning, wardrobe, seating area, pool views, and private bathroom. Guests can also enjoy an à la carte breakfast.
Budget: Zuli Zen Home
I personally stayed at Zuli Zen Home and can’t recommend this place enough! With a great location in Tam Coc just walking distance to shops, cafes, bars, and tourist attractions. The property has a shared lounge and kitchen, free wifi, and is surrounded by beautiful rice fields and mountains. Choose from either a dorm room or a private double room, each of which has air-conditioning. Guests can enjoy continental or Vietnamese breakfast. Perfect place to stay in Tam Coc for solo travelers, couples, and friends on a budget.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
AIRBNB IN NINH BINH
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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HOW TO GET TO NINH BINH
There are buses that operate frequently on a daily basis from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and the journey takes around 2.5 hours.
You can search for all bus connections on the 12Go Asia website and book online to get the best rates!
Alternatively, you can pre-book a shared mini-van transfer between Hanoi and Ninh Binh for only $6 USD.
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BEST VIETNAM TOURS
LONELY PLANET VIETNAM
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Guide!
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MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
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Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
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Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Bich Dong Pagoda, please drop me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.