Don’t miss Tam Coc while visiting Vietnam

By: Nofar Ronen

One of our favorite places in Vietnam was Tam Coc. And one of the main reasons for it was the place we stayed in.
Tam Coc is about 2 hours driving from Hanoi.

There is a more touristic part and a non-touristy part. We only visited the touristic area once, but our guesthouse was located 30 minutes walking from the touristic part and we loved it.
It was isolated, but it was easy to reach other places from it. It was peaceful and relaxing. The family who runs the guesthouse is so friendly and nice; though most of them don’t speak English, but we managed to communicate. And, leaving that aside, the view from this guesthouse is breathtaking.

How to arrive to Tam Coc from Hanoi

We took a local bus. There is also a tourist bus bit it’s more expensive and we prefer to experience the local life so we chose the local bus. First we took a bus to Giap bus station.
We navigated all the time using the Moovit app in order to search for a bus and to see where the stop that we needed to get off at was.

From the Giap bus station we took a bus (more like a mini bus) to Ninh Binh. When you arrive in Giap, go straight to the cashier and they will tell you where the bus to Ninh Binh is and you can buy the ticket there. The bus cost about 3usd.
We had to wait a little bit until the minibus was full and then we started our ride. The ride was fine and it was quick.

When we arrived at Ninh Binh we shared a taxi with two girls to our guesthouse. We booked this place in advance because it looked nice, was cheap, and had really good reviews. But when we arrived there we couldn’t imagine it would be so pastoral and incredible.

About Chez-Beo guesthouse in Tam Coc

This guesthouse is located between mountains and a rice field. There are several huts made of bamboo and a little river near them. There are free bikes for the guests to use. At dinner all the guests sit together with the family who runs the guesthouse and they serve great dishes at the center of each table so you can taste all the food. The price for dinner is very cheap; about 2 usd per person and every night they serve other delicious dishes. We met great people there that were from all around the world (Germany, France,England, Estonia Israel, USA ,and more).

When we booked the place we only did so for two nights but after a minute of being there, we told them that we would stay for 3 more nights (we actually wanted more but they were already full).
And aside from all I described, the price was very cheap for this kind of place.

The guesthouse’s name is Chez Beo homestay. I recommend to book it in advance because they are full most of the time. To read more reviews about Chez Beo

Things to do in Tam Coc

  • Boat tour – really fun experience. It’s about 3 hours and you go beneath caves. I recommend to ask for tour number 2 and not 1, which is their default. 1 has more temples and 2 is has more caves – you can reach the start point with the bikes (about 1.5 hours riding) it’s a flat road, so it’s not too difficult; you can also rent a motorbike or take a taxi.
  • A cave that you can climb many stairs and reach a great viewpoint- it’s about 15 minutes walking from the guesthouse
  • Touristic Tam Coc- you can ride on the bike or walk to the touristic area which has restaurants and a few bars
  • Visit Ninh Binh- it’s not touristic at all, but there are many local restaurants, coffee shops and shops
  • Wander around the guesthouse area- The guesthouse was located near rice fields and local houses. We really enjoyed exploring this area and we found some local stalls with local food which was great.
  • Rent a motorbike to explore all the area
  • Sail in the small river near the guesthouse
  • Relax

Comments about the guesthouse

  • It’s not in the touristic area
  • The huts are not sealed
  • There aren’t any heating or cooling facilities, so if the weather is too cold or too hot, it’s less recommended to go there
  • If you are looking for a relaxed place, this is where you should go; if you are looking for nightlife in bars it’s definitely not the best choice.

Tam Coc is super beautiful and really special. I definitely recommend the Chez Beo guesthouse for a unique and local experience.

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