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“Absolutely a must see!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hoa Lu - Tam Coc Day Tour

Hoa Lu - Tam Coc Day Tour
126 Hong Ha Stress-Long Bien | 126 Hong Ha Street, Hanoi 1000, Vietnam
+84 97 756 59 69
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Ranked #137 of 457 Activities in Hanoi
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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”
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
273 reviews 273 reviews
146 attraction reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
325 helpful votes 325 helpful votes
“Absolutely a must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

Since Ha Long Bay in the winter is shrouded by a perpetual mist, this is a great substitute. I booked my tour through my hotel, and they organized it well. We arrived in Tam Coc just before lunch and while some went cycling, the rest of us walked through the Hoa Lu Temple for a bit over a half hour. We then went to have a splending buffet lunch at The Long Hotel Restaurant. This was the best lunch I had in all my tours in Vietnam. The food was absolutely delicious. I personally have never liked goat, but the way they prepare it at this village even lured me to try it. I had two helpings of each type of goat dish afterward! Other options were amazing as well.

The cruise on the river was absolutely lovely. I enjoyed the scenery, the ducks and wild goats, the people fishing. Many reviewers say they were hustled by the boat peddlers. I’ve learned a trick while travelling in Asia – just ignore them, and if they get too aggressive, keep saying no in a very neutral, characterless voice. They will eventually understand that you will buy nothing. Our tour guide was helpful in saying that we should not buy our boat rowers Western snacks that the peddlers sell because they will not consume them but sell them back to the peddlers to then sell again to other tourists. Our rower did ask for a tip, but I gave enough for a street snack.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Santa Barbara, CA
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Loved the boat ride through the natural tunnels and the bike ride.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

While in Hanoi we wanted to go to the Perfume Pagoda the next day even though some of the TA reviews were negative. The tour was all booked up, so our hotel receptionist suggested this tour. The minibus ride is a little long (about 3 hours each way). The stop at the old capital was not so hot. However, the boat ride up the river was great. The oars people rowed with their feet. The rice paddies along the river were beautiful as were the hills which shot up sharply just like the ones in Halong Bay. We passed fishermen standing in the water up to their waists with fish traps. We passed through 3 natural tunnels. The bike ride afterwards was very pleasant, especially since there was hardly any traffic. The lovely pagoda at the end of the ride was in a mountain cave. I recommend the bike ride option. Also, everyone should take the option to ride after the boat trip since the road has less traffic, and you get to the buffet earlier when the food is fresher and the selection is better.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Halong Bay on Land and a slice of Vietnamese village life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012 via mobile

My sis and I booked a day tour to Tam Coc, which was labelled Halong Bay on Land, since my sis has already visited the real Halong Bay. It turned out to be a pretty interesting day excursion where we visited an ancient Vietnamese palace which looks like some Chinese temples of sorts to me. The buildings and architecture were in no way grand nor intricate, quite unlike the more well maintained Forbidden City in Beijing which is of a much more magnificent scale. It speaks of how Vietnam was afterall a vassal state of ancient China aeons ago.

However, I enjoyed the natural beauty and formations at Tam Coc very much. Cycling through the village where goats and ducks roam by the roadside was an unforgettable memory to be cherished. Beware of the boat ride where the paddlers will sell their wares of t-shirts, tablecloths and laundry bags with embroidery. My sis and I had a rather fun time shopping on the boat ride and bargaining with the paddlers. But not everyone may be game enough. It takes some skill and good humor! Do visit this charming part of Vietnam if you have the opportunity, it will give you an insight into the country's history as well as mordern village life. Enjoy!

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Tam Coc Cruise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

Incredible scenery!!! Cruise with a small boat to the Hoang Long river with stunning rock formations all over the way. Watch out how the boatmen are paddling with their legs. There is also a lot of older people driving the boats. 3 USDs are welcome if they always ask for more. There are also many photographers on the go trying to take pictures in order to sell you. They ask for 15USD for less than 10 photos but of course you can bargain with them. Be careful on the boat. You must be sited in the middle for balancing.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
“Beautiful but marred by fierce oarswoman and peddlar”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2011

It was a bumpy 2.5 hour mini van ride from Hanoi. Such a tight squeeze and no leg room. Really uncomfortable. The toilet stop enroute was at this place selling souvenirs. The doors at the ladies toilet have no latches. We had to close the doors for each other.
When we arrived at Hoa Lu, we visited the temple and then went for the 14km bicycle ride. The bicycles were in really bad condition. The saddles dropped, gears do not work and the the bicycle chain came off in some bicycles. Really had a hard time riding those rickety old bicycles.
Then it was time for the buffet lunch which was rather rushed. Food was OK but drinks was not included. So we had to buy our own drinks which were quite pricey: Tiger beer was VND45000, water was VND20000.
After lunch, we gathered at the harbour for our Tam Coc boat ride. Each boat had 2 people rowing the boat. The oarswoman and boatman were friendly initially... The views were really beautiful. So peaceful too. And we passed boats heading back in the opposite direction and saw the glum faces of the tourists and we were wondering why....
There were people with cameras in other boats hassling us to look their direction for them to take a picture: USD10 for 6 pictures. We politely declined. Our oarswoman kindly informed them where we were from and they spoke in our language to hassle us even more. We just ignored them and enjoyed the scenery. Saw ducks, mountain goats and villagers looking for shellfish & harvesting vegetables. Then, at the turning point, we were attacked. Yes, literally attacked by our oarswoman and the peddlar in another boat. Kept pushing us to buy 4 drinks and 2 oreos for USD8! Talk about daylight robbery! And
the oarswoman kept smacking me on the back and shoulders, asking us to buy them drinks and food. We ignored and put all the items back in the peddlar's boat and we got more smacking and scolding. Finally, we bought 2 drinks for USD2 and gave to the oarswoman, who didn't even drink, by the way.
Then, the 2nd round of smacking started. She wanted us to buy t-shirts from her. Despite us declining, she kept smacking us and scolding us. So, we were forced to buy one bad quality ugly t-shirt for USD2.50 to shut her up. Our faces were glum by then, exactly like those tourists who were heading back to the harbour.
With the harbour approaching, the 3rd round of smacking and scolding occurred. The oarswoman wanted USD3 in tips! So we told her that we would pay her later. And, when the boat approached the harbour, we wanted to make a run for it. But the oarswoman held on to me and refused to let me go! Truly unbelieveable. So, despite such bad service and getting smacked and scolded, we had to tip them!! Truly awful! How can they let such people spoil such a beautiful place! We were so pissed off. And, would I visit again? No, because do not fancy getting smacked and scolded again!

Visited November 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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