Hoa Lu - Tam Coc
Tam Coc translates to "Three Caves"
Longest floating cave journey is 125 m
Bich Dong pagoda dates back to 1428
Karst landscape, three caves visited by row-boat, picturesque scenery, historical signifiance.
Tam Coc takes about two hours driving from Hanoi (110 km) to the South. Once there visitors are treated to a several kilometer row-boat trip throught the area's three caves. The meandering river is lined by rice paddies and guarded by limestone cliffs, often inhabbited by local goats. If you are lucky, sometimes you can see mischievous monkeys. The river trip is wonderful for photo hunters, especially when local people come to harvest rice The tourists often compare the area with Guilin, China, or more closely, to the limestone islets of Halong for their similar geological structures and shapes. Thus, Tam Coc has earned the name the "Halong Bay On Land".
Hoa Lu, very near to Tam Coc, is the relics of the ancient capital Hoa Lu, and temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le remain. The two heroes who lived in 10th century chose Hoa Lu to build the citadel of the capital city then. Archaeologists continue to excavate buried parts of the ancient citadel with rusty weapons and ceramics. The temples are said to be built on the old foundation of their original palaces from the 11 and 12th centuries, then restored in 17th century. Though the temples are not maintained entirely some precious antiques are still preserved sucha as the whole-stone dragon thrones, wooden and lacquered statues of King Dinh, Kinh Le, Queen Duong Van Nga - who in turn got married both of the kings.