Bich Dong Pagoda (Tam Cốc Bích động) is a three-tiered ancient pagoda nestled into a mountainside in Tam Coc, northern Vietnam. The cluster of cave temples is surrounded by a bed of water and impressive water lilies that will have you in awe when you arrive at the entrance of Bich Dong Pagoda.
I have put together this complete guide of Bich Dong Pagoda including how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect!
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WHERE IS TAM COC BICH DONG
Bich Dong Pagoda is located 2km west of Tam Coc town center in the Ninh Binh region.
Getting around Tam Coc is really simple as it is very easy to rent a bicycle or a scooter from your choice of half a dozen rental shops in the center of town.
It is approximately a 5-minute ride on a scooter from the town center to Tam Coc Bich Dong. A scooter costs around 100,000 dong per day and a bicycle will likely cost half the price.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Sunset near Tam Coc Bich Dong
The entrance to Bich Dong Pagoda
WHAT TO EXPECT AT BICH DONG PAGODA
There is no entrance fee at tam cốc bích động, however, you may have to pay a small fee for parking at the jump-off point.
The entrance to Bich Dong Pagoda is absolutely beautiful and the most photogenic spot at this location. You will see an arched concrete walkway that stretches over the water lilies and makes its way through an impressive temple gateway and into the mountains.
There are some 100 steps from the foot of Bich Dong Pagoda to reach the top. The trail cuts through a large cave in the mountain where looming statues and small bats appear behind the haze of incense.
When you reach the top of the stairs at Bich Dong Pagoda you will be welcomed with a stunning view out of the valley of the distant mountain peaks and vast rice fields.
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Viewpoint at the top of Tam Coc Bich Dong
The stairway at Bich Dong Pagoda
Water lilies at the entrance to tam cốc bích động
Bich Dong Pagoda
BICH DONG PAGODA – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The best time to visit Bich Dong Pagoda is in the early morning around 6am before the crowds arrive or you can visit in the late afternoon as it’s a great location to watch the sunset over the valley.
Tam Coc can be visited year-round though between the months November to April it is mostly dry and cool and when most people tend to visit.
May to October sees plenty of rainfall and hot humid days. The rainy season, in my opinion, is the best time to visit Tam Coc and the Ninh Binh region as there are fewer tourists and the landscapes are vividly green!
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WHERE TO STAY IN TAM COC
Tam Coc has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Tam Coc to suit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Emeralda Resort
Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort is the best luxury accommodation in Ninh Binh. Located on the edge of a beautiful nature reserve featuring 3 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa and free wifi. The spaciouse, vill-style rooms are fitted with wooden decor, a large balcony with stunning views, flat-screen tv, minibar and private bathroom. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families and friends!
Mid Range: King Kong Homestay
King King Homestay is the best value-pick accommodation in Tam Coc. Featuring well-kept gardens, shared lounge, terrace, free wifi and 24 hour front desk. Choose from a double room, king room or deluxe family room, each with air conditioning, wardrobe, seating area, pool views and private bathroom. Guests can also enjoy an à la carte breakfast.
Budget: Zuli Zen Home
I personally stayed at Zuli Zen Home and can’t recommend this place enough! With a great location in Tam Coc just walking distance to shops, cafes, bars and tourist attractions. The property has a shared lounge and kitchen, free wifi and is surrounded by beautiful rice fields and mountains. Choose from either a dorm room or private double room, each of which has air-conditioning. Guests can enjoy continental or Vietnamese breakfast. Perfect place to stay in Tam Coc for solo travelers, couples and friends on a budget.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN NINH BINH, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
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HOW TO GET TO TAM COC – NINH BINH
There are buses that operate frequently on a daily basis from Hanoi to Tam Coc in the Ninh Binh region and the journey takes around 2.5 hours.
You can search for all bus connections on 12Go Asia using the search form below:
Alternatively, you can pre-book a shared mini-van transfer between Hanoi and Ninh Binh for only $6 USD.
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BEST VIETNAM TOURS
Another option for accommodation in Vietnam is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Vietnam.
MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
MY CAMERA GEAR
• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii
• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2
• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black
• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm
• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L
• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m
• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod
• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome
• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank
• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB
WHAT TO PACK FOR VIETNAM?
• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case
• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket
• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes
• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag
• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter
• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes
• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel
• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance
• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions regarding the Bich Dong Pagoda please drop me a comment below.