Trang An Boat Tour: Beautiful Scenery in Ninh Binh

Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by Sam

The Trang An boat tour leads you through some of Vietnam’s most stunning scenery, including towering limestone karst peaks, impressive caves, and magnificent temples. Located in Ninh Binh province, the Trang An Landscape Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its spectacular landscape. The scenery is so amazing that we’ve listed it as a must do in our Ninh Binh itinerary, as well as our 2 week Vietnam itinerary! There are three routes to choose from on the Trang An boat tour, with some offering the chance to visit the King Kong film site, as well as a variety of different caves and temples. Kayak tours are now also available at the Trang An Ecotourism Site, offering a different way to see the area’s natural beauty. Find out all you need to know with this guide to the Trang An boat tour in Ninh Binh!

How to get to the Trang An Landscape Complex

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get from Tam Coc or Ninh Binh to the Trang An Landscape Complex is to rent a scooter/motorbike.

It should cost around 100,000-150,000 VND per day to rent a scooter or motorbike, and the drive from Tam Coc should take around 20 minutes.

The other cheap option for getting from Tam Coc or Ninh Binh to the Trang An Boat Tour is to rent a bicycle. Some hotels and guesthouses offer them for free if you’re staying there, but it’s also possible to rent a bike easily in Tam Coc.

It’s possible to cycle from Tam Coc to Trang An in around 45 minutes if you go at a reasonable pace.

Alternatively you can take a taxi to the Trang An Landscape Complex. There are a few different taxi operators in Ninh Binh town as well as Tam Coc, so ask around to get the best price for a taxi to Trang An.

If you do opt to take a taxi then we also recommend visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda as part of a day trip from Tam Coc or Ninh Binh.

Lovely limestone karsts and green water on the Trang An boat tour

Best time to do the Trang An Boat Tour

The best time of day to take a boat trip tour in Trang An is either early morning or mid-to-late afternoon, as that way you can avoid the intense midday heat. By taking a tour at one of these times you will also avoid the crowds of day trippers from Hanoi that usually arrive around midday or early afternoon.

If possible you will want to take the Trang An boat tour on a relatively clear day for the best views of the amazing scenery.

When we visited it was quite misty at first so we went elsewhere and came back an hour later by which time it had cleared up, so we suggest doing the same if it’s misty when you arrive.

There is no definitive best time to visit the Trang An Landscape Complex, but you may want to take into account the area’s rainy and dry season. Rainy season in Ninh Binh runs from May to October, with dry season running from November through to April.

If you don’t mind the rain then May, June, September and October can be good months for the Trang An boat tour as you should get a combination of lush green scenery and yellow rice fields.

Whenever you visit though, you’re sure to enjoy the amazing scenery on offer here.

Beautiful limestone karst scenery on the Trang An boat tour in Ninh Binh

Entrance fee for Trang An Boat tour

As of 2022 the ticket price for the Trang An boat tour is 250,000 VND per person, as long as there are 4 people in the boat. Once you have purchased your tickets from the counter you will need to queue before taking your boat trip.

You will need to wait until you have a group of 4 people wanting to take the same route before your boat will depart, but thankfully this shouldn’t take long as it’s normally fairly busy.

If you don’t want to wait then it’s possible to take a private boat trip in Trang An but you will have to pay an extra 250,000 VND for each empty seat.

Tickets for the Trang An boat tour cost 250,000 VND per person regardless of whether you take route 1, route 2 or route 3. Find out all you need to know about the different routes below!

Man in boat waiting for tourists in the Trang An landscape complex

Trang An Boat Trip Routes

There are 3 routes for the Trang An boat tour, each of which visit different spots within this UNESCO World Heritage Site. All of the routes provide amazing views of the landscape and scenery, with the main difference being the number of caves and temples you visit.

The Trang An boat trip routes also vary in duration, with route 1 lasting around 3 hours, route 2 taking around 2½ hours, and route 3 being around 2 hours.

Despite the difference in duration, ticket prices are the same for all 3 routes.

One of the most famous locations on the Trang An boat tour is the King Kong film site. Routes 2 and 3 include a stop at the film site, so make sure to pick one of those routes if you’d like to visit there.

You will also have chance to get off the boat to explore the temples at various stops throughout your visit. Your boat will wait for you to have a look round before continuing on to the next stop.

Whichever route you choose it is mandatory to wear a life jacket on the boat trip through Trang An. It’s also worth noting that the routes may vary depending on the water levels in the caves, particularly during rainy season.

Find out more about the different Trang An boat tour routes and what they have to offer below.

Boats going through the water next to limestone karsts on the Trang An boat tour

Trang An Boat Tour Route 1

If you want to see as much of the Trang An Landscape Complex as you possibly can then route 1 is a good option. It’s the longest route and visits 9 different caves and 3 temples over the course of around 3 hours.

Unfortunately this route doesn’t visit the famous King Kong film site, but the beautiful nature more than makes up for that!

Stops on Trang An Route 1: Trinh Temple – Toi Cave– Sang Cave – Nau Ruou Cave – Tran Temple – Ba Giot Cave – Seo Cave – Son Duong Cave – Khong Palace – Bao Hieu Temple– Khong Cave – Tran Cave – Quy Hau Cave

Caves: 9

Temples: 3

Duration: Approximately 3 hours.

Trang An Boat Tour Route 2

Route 2 of the Trang An boat tour takes you through 4 caves and visits 2 temples, whilst leading you through some spectacular scenery.

It’s probably the best option for anyone with claustrophobia as there are fewer caves than route 1, and route 3 visits the longest cave in Trang An.

This route is one of the two routes that offers the chance to visit the famous King Kong film site. On top of that, you will also get a view of the wonderful Vu Lam Royal Step, which is an extremely picturesque spot.

Stops on Trang An Route 2: Lam Cave – Tranh Cao Son Temple – Vang Cave – Thanh Truot Cave – Suoi Tien Temple – Dai Cave – Vu Lam Palace – King Kong film site

Caves: 4

Temples: 2

Duration: Approximately 2½ hours.

Trang An Boat Tour Route 3

Although route 3 is the shortest option, it still has plenty to offer in terms of caves, temples and the famous King Kong film site. It takes you through the impressive Dot Cave, which stretches for 1,000 metres and is the longest cave in the Trang An Landscape Complex.

Another highlight of route 3 is the chance to see the impressive Vu Lam Royal Step – one of the most beautiful spots in the complex. The scenery throughout the route is stunning as you’re treated to brilliant views of limestone karst mountains throughout the trip.

Having opted for this route ourselves we can safely say it does not disappoint. If you’re claustrophobic though you may prefer route 2 to avoid visiting the longest cave in the complex.

Stops on Trang An Route 3: Trinh Temple – Dot Cave – May Cave – Suoi Tien Temple – Dia Linh Mountain – Dai Cave –  Vu Lam Palace – King Kong film site

Caves: 3

Temples: 3

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

Click here to look at tours from Hanoi that include a visit to Trang An!

Dot cave in Trang An Landscape Complex which can only be visited on route 3 of the Trang An boat tour

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