First surprise of the day was fact that we were picked up from our hotel on time traffic in Hanoi is very busy hence surprise. Vehicle for the day was a medium sized bus/coach, approx 24 seats, with air conditioning, clean, comfortable and maybe 12-16 people altogether on the tour. Our guide for the day was Kiwi, a young, petite and very cheery person who spoke reasonably good English, and she immediately explained the itinerary for the day and some interesting facts as we drove South out of Hanoi. The drive is approx 2 hrs with a rest stop on route. First main stop was an interesting temple complex where Kiwi warned us all how to deal with street sellers who pester you to buy their photographs of you outside the temple. Kiwi kindly offered to take our photograph with our own camera. Nevertheless, we did also succumb to the pressure of the street sellers and purchased 3 printed photographs for a mere 1. Next stop is Tam Coc area where we stopped and were immediately offered a bicycle and we rode through some interesting scenery. Its a flat cycle ride so no real effort but very enjoyable and lots of photo ops. Next stop was a buffet style restaurant. Surprisingly, the food was excellent with a good mix of Western and Vietnamese options. After lunch was a small boat ride down the river and through a series of caves. It was a very relaxing boat ride taking us through some interesting scenery. Sadly we were again hounded by street sellers on their own boats at half way point and kind of obliged to buy a snack/drink from them. We purchased a drink and snack and immediately gave it to lady rowing our boat which she seemed to appreciate but near end of the boat ride she insisted on a minimum tip of 4, a bit awkward when you only have 2 left in your pocket! Nevertheless, it was a very interesting experience and a good drive back to Hanoi. Overall it was a fabulous day and great experience.
Kiran Kumar V India
Great experience. A visit to the Bich Dong temple would have made it complete.
Lolly Evans United Arab Emirates
The trip was amazing. So much fun tho the free rides of 2.5h each way it was all worth it. Our tour guide is funny, knowledgeable her name is and #34;Nguyen Lan and #34; (FB) also would tell you places about all activities both day and night and the and #34;egg coffee and #34;
There are a lot of tour companies offering the same itinerary and we really enjoyed our day with Dee. Tam Coc was really beautiful and the temples were the oldest and best preserved we saw in Vietnam. It was well worth the day trip from Hanoi to go out to this area.
If you're looking to go an do a boat trip in Tam Coc and see the temples I would highly recommend this local tour company. Our guide, Dee, made the day special and he really made a big effort for everyone to get the most out of the trip.
The bus trip is quite long and the mini buses could be a little more comfortable but this does not detract from the beauty of the area. The limestone mountain backdrop is truly awesome but the best part is the interaction with the friendly locals and the food. Pheoung was our guide and she was very pleasant and knowledgeable. The weather was bit overcast and misty and I would definitely go back again.
Excellent day . Our guide Smiley was very engaging and we had a real fun time
Very interesting trip temples were steeped in history, boat trip to caves very good, unfortunately the tour guides English was not very good therefore she was not able to tell us about the history of the place. Overall enjoyable trip.
The boat ride was very nice, and the temple was in an idyllic location. The food was also very good. I felt that the bike ride could have been a little longer.
I liked the tour but the photographers on the boats wanting to take your photo and sell it to you afterwards put me right off and just spoiled it for me.
It is an amazing tour. The landscape is beautiful and to see the locals rowing the boats with their feet is just something incredible. It is a worth visit ever.
Not so good part... the AC in the bus wasnt enough to cool down. It was extremely hot that day.
This is a very good day tour out of Hanoi, but involves a rather lengthy bus trip. The palace/temple complex at Hoa Lu is interesting from a historical perspective, but not nearly as spectacular as those in Hanoi or Hue. The river trip and bicycle ride in Tam Coc was excellent. The road was flat, and traffic non-existant for the easy bike ride through rice paddies, and the towering Limestone Karst formations. A very enjoyable, reasonably priced day-tour.
Quite a pleasant tour - Tam Coc is beautiful and, at this point, relatively unspoiled by international tourism. The Hoa Lu tour was informative and educational. The guide and the driver were both quite friendly and accommodating.
Two minor quibbles: the lunch wasn't among the best I've had in Vietnam and the tour guide's descriptions weren't always easy to follow.
I do recommend this tour. Tam Coc is amazingly beautiful and the boat trip is worth the money. The food was awesome and abundant. The only negative note is be careful when tipping the people on the boats. Nothing wrong against tipping in general, but it never seems to be enough. We bought food and a beer for our rower during the trip I was ripped off, btw. I paid 3 times the price, yet when we got back to land his mom yes, that's right...although the rower was a 30-something year old big man was waiting for us asking for another tip for his baby! It was impossible to say no, as she chased us for a long time. And keep an eye on the photographers you find on the river. If you let them take a picture of you, they will bug you at the end until you buy the pictures, whether you want them or not. It is not nice to deal with people chasing you constantly asking for money.
Really good tour. You are rushed through Hoa Lu a little bit, and lunch was a bit rubbish, but the river ride was beautiful and I loved the cycle ride and wushed we and #39;d had longer.
A lovely day, apart from being picked up 1st at 8am, last pick up at 9am, not really acceptable, also we were 2nd last drop off at the end of the trip. But other than that an enjoyable day with spectacular scenery, probally as good as Halong Bay with half the travelling.
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