Bich Dong Pagoda is a popular Instagram photo spot for those visiting Tam Coc or Ninh Binh. It’s known for its concrete bridge which leads you under an old Vietnamese structure. The lake around the bridge is also full with tall green lily pads. This place may look magical and may seem hard to find, however it’s just located beside a road.
How to get to Bich Dong Pagoda
To get to Ninh Binh, we used 12Go to book a bus from Hanoi. 12Go is a super cheap and reliable way to get around Vietnam and other popular Southeast Asian countries.
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From our accommodation in Tam Coc, Bich Dong Pagoda is a 5 minute drive along a straight road. We drove ourselves on our scooter which we rented for 100,000 VND ($6 AUD) per day. Since it’s so close, another popular and cheaper option is to rent a bicycle. You can rent one for 50,000 VND ($3 AUD).
Where to stay
The are two main areas you can stay in when visiting Ninh Binh. You can either stay in Ninh Binh Town or Tam Coc which aren’t too far from each other. We personally preferred to stay in Tam Coc. There are plenty of accommodation options as well as restaurants. We stayed at the King Kong Hostel in Tam Coc and definitely recommend it. The owner was super lovely and made us breakfast everyday! If you’re after a nicer hotel in Tam Coc, the Tam Coc Boutique Garden has gorgeous rooms surrounded by a beautiful garden.
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Bich Dong Pagoda Opening hours
There are no set opening hours for the pagoda. There is no fence stopping you from going and taking photos, so you can visit anytime.
This is where we got scammed! As we approached on our scooter, an older lady pointed us in the direction of the carpark. Once we parked she told us entry and parking cost 50,000VND ($3 AUD) per person. Later we found out that entrance is free and that parking shouldn’t cost anymore than 10,000VND. Additionally, you don’t have to pay for parking and can instead park beside the road just before reaching the pagoda. Try to avoid this scam if she forces you to park in her area.
What to expect
As we took 2 steps out of the carpark, we realised we had already reached the bridge surrounded by lily pads. The popular photo spot is actually the entrance to a complex of 3 pagodas. The scenery and structures surrounding the area are all incredibly unique and beautiful. We visited at 10am and had the complex all to ourselves, although throughout the day it can get much busier with tourists.
Once you’ve finished taking photos at the entrance, you can continue through to explore the complex and view the 3 different pagodas. Walk up roughly 100 steps to reach the pagodas nestled into a cave. The three pagodas all have beautiful traditional architecture and are great to admire. Be sure to keep quiet and also dress respectfully around the pagodas.
If you’re looking to explore some more pagodas, be sure to also check out the giant Bai Dinh Pagoda!