3 hours South to Hanoi, Tam Coc is definitely one of my favorites places and views in Vietnam.
I spent 2 nights in a great homestay by the river. Getting there at 12pm, checked in, rented a bicycle and headed to explore the beautiful and greenish surroundings.
The first place i stopped at was the most amazing view point of the famous Tam Coc river at Mua cave. Climbing up for 500 ancient steps each step will take you closer to a magnificent view of the area, green skyscraping mountains, rivers and boats exploring the landscape. Every step keeps the secrets of the people who placed it under the sun or pouring rain, so you could climb to the summit of all wonders with the statue dragons gaurding your steps. At the top there is a lovely pagoda where you can sit, enjoy the view, relax and have a lunch break. Be sure to go on a sunny day otherwise you will be in for clouds and fog. The view point was about 1 hour from the homestay and the ride was through local villages and rice fields. It is quite easy to get lost, but no worries! The local girls would be happy to show you the way as they showed me the way back and road to my next destination, the Tam Coc boat ride.
So the day started sunny and warm, but when i got to the boat ride site in Tam Coc it started raining a bit. I decided to go anyway and it resulted in me on a boat with a local lady under pouring rain amoung stunning mountains. Closer to the end i asked her to return since the rain was to heavy for me. Still it was quite beautiful!
The following morning there was heavy rain until noon so a few great friends i met at the homestay and I decided to go on foot to the next great boat ride in Trang An. Just an hour from the homestay Trang An offers a great trip through 3 rivers surrounded with amazing landscape, pagodas, temples and famous film site where King Kong was filmed. For 3 hours you will enjoy beautiful scenery that will astound you.
We were extremely happy we decided to check a chance and go on this adventure since we had an amazing time and the following day it was pouring rain and everything was floded! I had to be taken on a motorbike through 1 meter of water to the highway where a taxi would take me Ninh binh for my bus to the next destination.
Traveling in October is wonderful, but can be very risky weather wise. I did it and would do it again. It is up to you if you wish to travel in low season with small chances of rain or wait for the dry season, but it will get extremely hpt and humid. Either way stunning Tam Coc must be on your list of amazing places to visit in Vietnam.