Tam Coc is an area within Ninh Binh Province, often referred to as 'Halong Bay on Land'. A local rower will take you on a leisurely two-hour boat trip along the Ngo Dong River, which winds its way between dramatic limestone karsts.
The river also passes under the karsts, through three dark caves (if the water is high you may need to watch your head). You may also be able to spot goats traversing the mountains above, seemingly able to defy gravity.
En route you will pass a local graveyard, with hundreds of traditional tomb houses. The Vietnamese belief in Phong Thuy (better know for its Chinese name of Feng Shui), means that the preferred setting for a grave is for it to be shielded by mountains or hills, to protect against evil spirits, and to be close to running water; therefore the geography of Tam Coc is ideal.
The trip lasts around two hours in total, going to the end lagoon and back again, although this can vary depending on the strength and experience of your rower. The rowers also often use their feet to operate the oars to get a bit of extra leverage.
Ninh Binh, The Far North, Vietnam
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