Tam Coc – Bich Dong (Three Caves – Green Pearl Cave) is a famous destination, located in the Ngu Nhac Son mountain, belonged to Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. It is a magnificent complex of Bich Dong pagoda and Tam Coc grotto which is also called “A terrestrial Ha Long Bay”, or the “Vietnam’s second nicest grotto” (the first one is Huong Tich grotto). Its poetic and inspirational natural scenery together with a sacred spiritual life have converged into a fascinating and attractive point of Tam Coc -Bich Dong to numerous tourists.
Visiting Tam Coc (Three Caves), a mysterious place, tourists may feel like they had just disappeared from the real world to get lost in such a hidden fairy site. Tam Coc is 3 kilometers from Van Lam Wharf. Taking you three hours on a boat from Van Lam Wharf along Ngo Dong river to reach and visit the Tam Coc Grotto, which consists of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba caves. This trip will proceed you through a scenic landscape dominated by rice fields and karst towers. Tam Coc Grotto is adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colours that sparkle like gemstones that will make you impressive. When drifting under the Grotto, you can feel the deeply pure atmosphere with special smell of fresh rivers water and cool air from karst mountains when reaching each of the 3 caves in turns.
Among the three caves, Hang Ca is considered the most picturesque one since it is the longest and contains most fascinating natural arts deep inside. It is around 127m long, with a cave mouth of 20m wide. When visiting Hang Ca, you will feel that it were like a very old white-haired man sitting down for fishing. Hang Hai is nearly 1 kilometer far from Hang Ca. This is the second stop-over on your waterway journey, where can be found a series of colorful sparkling stalactites falling from the cave ceiling. The last but not least cave is Hang Ba, just nearby, is about 50m long, with lower ceiling than the above two, but very splendid.
Bich Dong is a beautiful pagoda on the nearby Ngu Nhac Mountain dated to 1428 under the Le Dynasty, comprising three structures: Ha (lower), Trung (middle), and Thuong (upper) Pagodas, in ascending order. In 1773, Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the great writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. He was much impressed by the whole magnificent scenery of mountains, waterways, fields, and sky covered in green mist. Thus he gave it a very beautiful and romantic name, Bich Dong, which literally means “Green Pearl Grotto”. From the upper pagoda, you will have the most magnificent view of Bich Dong, which is romantically charming in terms of architecture and history. Bich Dong Grotto reveals its natural beauty with colors, shapes and sounds of stalacites that no one could refuse to touch and feel in deed this beauty.
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