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“Row Boat”

Hoa Lu - Tam Coc Day Tour
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Full-Day Tour to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc from Hanoi
Ranked #117 of 821 Tours in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Tam Coc Tours has gained much experience in the field of international and domestic travel. With dynamic, enthusiastic, extensively experienced and multilingual staff, such as English, French and Chinese, we are always willing to help our clients in all circumstances and urgent cases. With an enthusiastic and professional service style, we would like to bring special tour programs to customers from the hearts of our tour operators and staff. We are committed to providing services of the highest quality to customers and ensuring that customers experience satisfaction and unforgettable moments when traveling with us.Established in Ha Noi, now Tam Coc Tours has a network of travel agents, both domestic and international, which ensure quality service and competitive prices. Tam Coc Tours will continue to satisfy the wide range of customer requirements and contribute to the diversification and development of the tourism industry in Viet Nam and Indochina. Our mission is to present the history, cultural relics and beauty of Vietnam and Indochina to international friends as well as to introduce world culture to Vietnamese people. We will continue to enhance our status in the travel market, both domestic and international.Why travel with us ? “We know Because we go”
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4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Row Boat”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I booked the tour from Rose Hotel and it cost only 25 $. From Hanoi to Hao Lu-Tam Coc took around 2 hours by van. The first place was Hao Lu, the capital city. Then, we moved to Tam Coc for lunch and enjoyed the rowboat.What I liked the most was; a man who rowed the boat by feet. One boat can contain 2 people. Lucky on me, I was solo backpacker so I had no choice but packed with a friend from Ho Chi Minh. He became my translator automatically ( so VIP :)). Along the canal, you can enjoy the clear water and three caves. When I almost reached the destination, there were many selling boats waiting for us to buy soft drink, fresh fruits or even Red Bull. Of Course, I bought and gave to the rowboat man. The temperature was around 38-40 degrees.Prepare the sunblock and tip for rowboat man at least 1 $.I enjoyed the day trip in Tam Coc, I could touch the paddy fields, caves and the way of life

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Wilaipond_Siri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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264 reviews from our community

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English first
SouthEast Asia
Level Contributor
189 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Very Satisfied with tour”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We booked the Tam Coc 1-day tour with Sinh Cafe (7 Hang Hanh), and paid $32 for the "deluxe" tour including bicycles.

After reading some of the reviews on here, I was dreading, but prepared to deal with really pushy sellers; however, I didn't experience anything like what was described, and I actually had a fantastic time.

Yes, there are people selling, but we didn't encounter anyone pushy and ALL of the prices we were offered were actually very reasonable after very light negotiating... it does help to speak a little vietnamese ($0.50 for water; $0.50 for a photo - which was actually a pretty good photo; $0.50 for a freshly cut mango...). Yes, you may not get a "local" price, but really... if the price is okay with you, then you shouldn't feel bad about paying slightly more than a local would.

All sellers were very easy to negotiate with and/or say 'no' to. Our boat rower was also very nice. Despite it being incredibly hot and humid, we passed through 3 caves in an hour, and he was very kind to steer us towards certain spots for photos. He did offer some things to sell, but I simply communicated that we would tip him - he understood and continued rowing.

While the tour guide suggests tipping $1 per person, I think that's incredibly cheap. Considering how hot it was, and that our guide was very friendly (didn't prompt us to buy things for him.... we actually just offered) = we tipped him $7, which he was more than grateful for. It was well worth it and he was incredibly kind.

Another group on our tour complained that their rower was incredibly slow and urged them to buy snacks for her. So, I see where some people may get very annoyed.

If you are considering this tour:

1) Bring snacks and water for yourself (if you don't want to buy) AND for the rower (because it's polite to offer, and you have an excuse not to buy stuff for them IF they say they're hungry/thirsty)

2) Yes, people are on boats taking photos... we wanted photos, so we posed and they turned out great! When we reached the wharf, they had already printed and laminated the photos. We chose 2 that we liked and negotiated to pay $0.50/each. We said 'no' to the ones we didn't want. Simple.

3) If it's hot, BRING HATS or AN UMBRELLA. The boats aren't covered. Wear sunscreen.

4) I think attitude is really important. If you go on the trip incredibly defensive and expecting to be hassled, it may really spoil what could be a great experience. Yes, there are sellers - just be polite and give them a firm "no, thank you."

5) Take the time to learn about money conversions. So many bad experiences start with not correctly converting money. Do yourself a favor by bringing small denominations and knowing how much each bill is worth. Don't pay over $1.50-$2 for snacks or drinks.

6) Although some guides may suggest tipping $1-$2.... if you were happy with your rower, don't be cheap - give a bit more if you can afford to. I believe in fair tipping, and I think good service deserves to be rewarded. Hopefully, this will encourage less 'scamming' and more faith that their service will be compensated fairly.

Visited May 2014
15 Thank CptWonderpants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
47 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Impressive tour”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

I took one day tour to Hoa Lu-Tam Coc in sunny day. We spent 2 hours from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. The tour guide was so friendly and informative. The first destination that we visited is ancient capital. It is small but nice place to explore about history. After that, we enjoyed the buffet lunch in local restaurant. The food was great. Especially, I liked the feeling when we seated on the boat and sightseeing the landscape around Tam coc. Have many mountains, paddy fields, caves ...The water is so clean and blue. I enjoyed.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank kilipi91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Excellent trip- Great day excursion from Hanoi”
Reviewed 20 May 2014

We booked this tour through our hotel and paid USD 35( tour guide and lunch included). The tour started at 8 AM with a 2 hour bus ride to the Ninh Binh province. We were informed by the guide that first half of the day will be spent is visiting the ancient capital of Hoa Lu then lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant followed by a 2 hour boat ride on Tam Coc.

The moment you get down at Hoa Lu, you will be attacked by the local people selling all sorts of goods and local photographers who will frame you and then sell the photograph. The sellers are very persistent but you can refuse or bargain and settle for around 1/3 rd the original price.

The Hoa Lu ancient town is set in a naturally beautiful landscape and the sprawling campus make for a good stroll visiting the ruins and ancient temples. This was once the capital of Vietnam. There are two main temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le. Finished with Hoa Lu we proceeded for buffet lunch which was filling and plentiful.

Post lunch session was the most impressive. We all went to the boat pier which was alongside the restaurant and a boat was allotted to a group of 4 people. Since we were a family of 4 people we got a separate boat and started on a 2 hour cruise along the Tam Coc. The scenery was spectacular as the boat paddled along the winding streams of Tam Coc. Paddy fields all along the stream added to the colour and towering limestone mountains all around added to the grandeur. The boat went beneath some very low caves and some of them very quite long.

Caution Again !! once you reach the turnabout point, sellers appear again selling all kinds of drinks and other stuff. Again they are very persistent and as a last resort insist on buying drinks for your boat driver. You may or may not buy, after waiting for a while the boat starts on its return trip covering the same route. Just after a few minutes again the boat is stopped and now it is the boat driver's turn to try her selling skills. There is box full of items which will be displayed and rates quoted, we are free to buy or politely refuse. After this the boat ride is a smooth one to the pier and now the boat lady will insist on a tip. We paid USD 1 as advised by the tour guide.

The tour ended and we were transported back to the hotel by the tour bus. Overall it was a day well spent and worth every penny and it is an ideal excursion from Hanoi if you have a day to spare.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank arif_kool2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good Trip with Friendly Tour Guide”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We booked this with Alova tour and paid $30/pax. We have 2 guides who made sure that everyone is safe and happy. Before we got on the boat trip, 1 hour ride, our tour guide gave us helpful tips to avoid disgruntled merchants along the river. It was a long ride but well worth it. We were lucky that it wasn't too hot as it was cloudy otherwise we will be toasted ducks! After the boat ride we were asked to go biking a long the mountain side. You will be asked to choose the normal road or the rough road and by rough it is really rough! After the bike ride I heard a few comments like "beaten eggs" and "omelette" so please choose wisely!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Luisa_Gomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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