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Tam Dao in Vietnamese means three islands even though it is not located in the middle of the sea but in the mountainous area between Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen, and Tuyen Quang. The reason behind is that Tam Dao includes three peaks which are high above the cloud, make it like three islands flow in the sky. Names of the peaks are Ban Thach (1,388 m high), Thien Nhi (1,375 m high) and Phu Nghia (1,400 m high).

Tam Dao is a favorite destination of Vietnamese because of the unique weather, unspoiled views and high, crooked journey to get there. Tam Dao tourist region is located in Tam Dao town, Vinh Phuc province. When Frances found this town, they immediately built here around 200 mansions, villas, resorts and playgrounds. At present, the old constructions are not left much.

I. WHEN TO TRAVEL TO TAM DAO, VIETNAM

1. Weather in Tam Dao, Vietnam

Lying at the height of more than 1,000 m compares with the sea level, Tam Dao owns a cool weather around the year likes in Da Lat. The average temperature is 18 ⁰C, high humidity. Mist appears every time in the year makes it a beautiful unique view in Tam Dao.Tam Dao climate

2. Best time to visit Tam Dao, Vietnam

This is a wonderful place to hide from the baking hot of summer in Northern Vietnam (from April to September). Therefore, the main tourist season in Tam Dao is summer.

Furthermore, because tourists are usually not chosen Tam Dao to visit in winter, you might find Tam Dao in another form: peaceful. simple and quiet. But be prepared because of the cold weather with the chance of snow and ices. Visiting Tam Dao in later January and early February is also an interesting option to experience new year holiday of ethnic groups in Tam Dao.

II. HOW TO GET TO TAM DAO

Tam Dao is 80 km far from Hanoi to Northwest. You can easily arrive in Tam Dao from Hanoi after about 2 hours. Below are some options that you can consider.

1. Getting to Tam Dao from Hanoi by private vehicle 

From center of Hanoi, you will move forward to Noi Bai airport through Thang Long bridge. You will meet the cross with Highway 2 after moved 25 km. Turn left onto Highway 2 for 500 m and continue to turn onto Hanoi – Lao Cai Highway for 25 km more. Then turn right onto Highway 2B. Keep moving until you meet Road 302, then turn left for 9.1 km. You arrived in Tam Dao.

If you choose motorbike, the route is similar to travel by car. But you need to notice that the last 1,3 km is very high uphill with many tight turns and very dangerous. Make sure you have abilities to handle that before considering to drive yourself to Tam Dao.

  • Travel tip: Never pick a scooter for this trip.

2. Getting to Tam Dao by Shuttle bus

Seattle bus is the safest option and also the cheapest. From Long Bien transshipment point, you catch the bus 58 or bus 07 and get down at Me Linh Plaza. Here is where you catch bus 01 (Vinh Phuc bus). You will get down at Vinh Yen station and then continue to catch bus 07 to Tay Thien. Remember to ask bus’s staff where you can get down to go to Tam Dao. After you get down, ask for hiring a motor taxi (xe om) or taxi to carry you to Tam Dao (about 20 km). Hail a cab to Tam Dao cost around VND 350,000/trip (~US$ 15.4) and the price of the motor taxi will depend on your bargaining ability.

You can also catch the Shuttle bus from My Dinh station. The bus arrives in Vinh Yen station from My Dinh station in 1 hour.

Brand name Departure time Price (VND) Contact
Ngan Ha 18:00 100,000 (+84) 1645 262 626
Hai Van 20:30 80,000 (+84) 243 871 7171
Thien Truong 6:35 40,000 (+84) 982 168 121
Kien 14:30 45,000 (+84) 1665 425 677
Newway 6:30 180,000

(a round-trip ticket)

(+84) 243 565 4898

Click here for booking

Hai Van and Ngan Ha are higher in services quality. But because getting to Tam Dao during the night is potentially dangerous, you might want to prefer day trips.

Newway will start at No. 32, Nguyen Cong Tru, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi and will carry you right into the center of Tam Dao town.

3. Getting to Tam Dao by train from Hanoi

You can catch Hanoi – Lao Cai train from Hanoi station or Gia Lam station. The price is around VND 150,000 (or US$ 7) You will get down at Vinh Yen station then hail a cab or a motor taxi to get to Tam Dao

III. HOW TO GET AROUND IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

Tam Dao town has taxi and motor taxi. The price of these services is pretty expensive. In fact, Tam Dao town is very small that you can walk around it so you might prefer trekking to enjoy the view and save your money too. If not, remember to ask for the price first.

private-vehicleSource: vntrip.vn

There is the contact list of some taxi services in Tam Dao

Brand name Contact
Mai Linh Vinh Phuc (+84) 2113 262 626
Thien Duc (+84) 2113 565 656
Vinh Yen (+84) 2113 656 565
Huy Hoang (+84) 2113 868 686
Thinh Hung (+84) 2116 292 929
Dong Tam (+84) 2113 696 969

IV. WHERE TO STAY IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

Tam Dao has many accommodations in all price segments.

1. Resorts in Tam Dao, Vietnam

a. Belvedere Tam Dao resort – The best wedding photography destination

Belvedere-Tam-Dao-resortSource: youtube.com

Located 2 km far from the center of Tam Dao town, Belvedere resort nestles in the mist and clouds. It has a beautiful outdoor swimming pool that views toward the misty forest, a stream and a playground in the forest. Therefore, this is a favorite location of wedding photography as well as tourist in every season in the year, even winter.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 3/5 6.1/10 6.7/10

Benefit:

  • Mountain view
  • Swimming pool
  • Free parking site
  • Babysitting service

Price: VND 2,000,000 (~US$ 88) per day for a twin bedroom
Address: National road 2B, Tam Dao town, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 985 992 487

b. Tam Dao golf and resort – The fanciest resort in Tam Dao

Tam-Dao-golf-resortSource: booking.com

The acreage of the resort is 7000 yd2 with the high-quality golf course. This is a favorite destination for golf players. Most of the customers of this resort are celebrities and high-profile businessmen.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 4/5 8/10 8/10

Benefit:

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Stream room
  • Free parking site
  • BBQ

Price: VND 3,200,000 (~US$ 140) per day
Address: Hop Chau, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 2113 896 554

2. Villas in Tam Dao, Vietnam

a. May villa – Convenient private villa

May-villaSource: booking.com

Sits on a land of 600 m2, this villa offers you a sweeping view of the whole town. Guests can enjoy the convenient equipment with flat TV, DVD player, air conditioner and private parking site. In addition, the villa offers a sun terrace and garden with a barbecue.

Sources Airbnb.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 5/5 star 6.7/10 6.7/10

Benefit:

  • View toward Tam Dao valley
  • Free parking site
  • Kitchenware

Price: VND 4,130,000 (~US$ 182) per night
Address: Village 2, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 2113 896 554

b. Golf view villa – The Full House of Tam Dao

Golf-view-villaSource: lozi.vn

Lying near the Tam Dao golf resort and it takes 1 hour from Hanoi, this destination is considered as Full House of Tam Dao with painted wall and pretty large yard. This apartment includes 3 bedrooms with different decoration, a swimming pool, a playground for kids and a place for a barbecue party. It is really suitable for family trips.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate N/a N/a N/a

Benefit:

  • 15 people maximum
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 4 bathrooms
  • Golf course view

Price: VND 4,900,000 (~US$ 215) per night
Address: Tam Dao golf and resort, Hop Chau, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 969 774 088

3. Homestays in Tam Dao, Vietnam

a. La Nha homestay Tam Dao – Cozy apartment for friends

La-Nha-homestaySource: booking.com

La Nha is an apartment boasting a garden with 3 bedrooms and one kitchen. There are 3 sides look toward the mountain, a balcony and a terrace. You can hold a BBQ party in the garden with friends and family.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate N/a N/a 8.9/10

Benefit:

  • Mountain view
  • Kitchenware
  • Free parking site
  • BBQ

Price: VND 2,300,000 (~US$ 100) per day
Address: Group 2, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 969 774 088

b. Le Bleu Floating Clouds – A big change of La Bleu

Le-Bleu-Floating-cloudSource: we25.vn

A modern style homestay with amazing views looking toward the valley will offer you an extraordinary experience. There are 4 bedrooms, a living room with a big sofa that make it very suitable for stay with friends. In addition, you can enjoy a garden with barbecue party below a sky full of star.

Sources Airbnb.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 4.5/5 N/a N/a

Benefit:

  • Beautiful view
  • Free parking site
  • Kitchenware
  • Pets allowed

Price: VND 2,700,000 (~US$ 118) per day
Address: National road 2B, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 963 182 909

c. Tam Dao hill Homestay – An ideal place to escape the heat of summer

Tam-Dao-hill-HomestaySource: facebook.com

Located right in the center of Tam Dao town, near the Old Church, TV tower, silver stream. You will feel convenient in moving around and explore Tam Dao. In addition, you can hire motorbike right in homestay if you want to.

Sources Airbnb.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate N/a N/a N/a

Benefit:

  • Kitchenware
  • Breakfast
  • Beautiful views

Price: VND 700,000 (~US$ 30) per day
Address: Group 1, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 915 921 915
d. Anh Duong homestay Tam Dao – A cozy place for family and friends

anh-duong-homestaySource: vntrip.vn

This homestay offers you quite large room, quiet, convenient and you can choose the size of the room to suitable for the scale of the team. They also offer the meal at their restaurant.

Sources Airbnb.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate N/a N/a N/a

Benefit:

  • Restaurant
  • Large rooms
  • Near the attractions

Price: VND 500,000 (~US$ 22) per day
Address: Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 2113 824 225

4. Hotels in Tam Dao, Vietnam

a. Hanvet hotel – The ideal destination

Hanvet-HotelSource: booking.com

Located at the best position in Tam Dao town, lean on the mountain and view toward Tam Dao valley. From here, you can easily move to other attractions in the town.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 5/5 5.8/10 6.2/10

Benefit:

  • Breakfast included
  • Free parking site
  • Family size room
  • Free cancellation

Price: VND 429,000 per day
Address: No. 1, Tam Dao street, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 2113 8685 996

b. Tam Dao Star hotel – The best quality in middle price segment

Tam-Dao-Star-hotelSource: agoda.com

This is a convenient location that you can easily enjoy the regular life of locals, visit must-see destination. The hotel owns an outdoor swimming pool and a big restaurant so you don’t have to move far for the meal.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 3/5 5.2/10 N/a

Benefit:

  • Restaurant
  • Cancellation policy
  • Babysitting service

Price: VND 1,700,000 (~US$ 75) per day
Address: Center Tam Dao town, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 2113 824 246

c. Nam A hotel – One of the best feedback accommodation

Nam-A-hotelSource: khachsannama.com

This hotel receives good feedback from customers due to the good location, staffs are enthusiasm and thoughtful and convenient room. Couples love this place the most.

Sources Tripadvisor.com Agoda.com Booking.com
Rate 4/5 7.5/10 8.4/10

Benefit:

  • Free parking site
  • Mountain view
  • Bar

Price: VND 630,000 per day
Address: Center Tam Dao town, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Contact: (+84) 98 300 98 60

V. THINGS TO DO IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

1. Strolling around the town

Tam-DaoThe mist in Tam Dao appears in both night and day. Source: Vntrip.vn

Tam Dao is famous due to the mystery, dreamy spectaculars when everything in the town was engulfed in the mist. The best time is from 6 P.M. Remember to carry warm clothes because of the cold.

2. Visiting night market in Tam Dao

You can enjoy the cool atmosphere, the mist, the crowd and taste the wonderful food right on the market. You must try Lam rice, grilled chicken in clay, grilled sweet potato, etc. Grilled dishes in here are marinated with special ingredients that make it tasty in a unique way.

Tam-Dao-night-marketSource: vietnammoi.vn

Night market in Tam Dao is not just food but you can find here many colorful handmade clothes, scarves, handbag, silver and ivory bracelets made by local ethnic groups. There are meaningful gifts that you can send to your friends and family.

Because of the cool weather, prepare warm clothes and maybe a pair gauntlets.

3. Outdoor swimming pool

swimming-in-tam-daoSource: booking.com

You can experience the outdoor swimming pool view toward the majestic mountains of Belvedere Tam Dao resort. This is popular as the most attractive wedding photography destination of Tam Dao. Even in winter, when we can no longer swim, this location still attracts people who want a perfect check-in pose.

The Belvedere Tam Dao resort is located at National road 2B, Tam Dao town.

4. Playing golf at the fancy, high-quality golf course

You can try out this fancy sport at Tam Dao Golf and Resort. With 7,200 yards of the golf course, modern design according to international standards, it will offer you a wonderful experience.

Golf-in-Tam-DaoSource: hanoidiscovery.com

Address: Tam Dao golf and resort, Hop Chau, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam

5. Trekking through Tam Dao and Rung Rinh peak

Outside Tam Dao tourist region is another Tam Dao which is much more pristine: successive mountains stretching to the horizon, the paths that were paved by leave and covered by the shade of trees. Trekking through Tam Dao national park is what adventure lovers can’t miss. This journey is 50 km long on the mountain so you should try it if you are healthy and have enough time.

Tam-Dao-national-parkCre: Quang Huy Bui

If not, you might choose to just conquer Rung Rinh peak. It is 20 km from Tam Dao town to the mountain base. The mountain is 1,200 m high which is quite challenging and requires a really good health. The views in the top of the mountain are extraordinary beautiful will remain in your mind forever. Sunset is the best time in Rung Rinh peak when the sky turns red behind the mountain. If you dare to stay overnight, the view from the top will pay off because it is incredibly amazing.

VI. WHAT TO EAT IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

1. The famous specialty of Tam Dao – Chayote tops

Chayote is such a common food that you can find anywhere in Vietnam but nowhere else you can find it so special like the one in Tam Dao. The weather, the soil, the water, non-fertilizer method and everything else that make it so unique. Chayote can be cooked into many dishes like boiled chayote fruit, fried chayote stirs with beef or garlic, and boiled chayote tops and eaten with sesame or fish sauce.

Chayote-topSource: tripnow.vn

You can find chayote in mountainsides, houses front or even on both sides of the road. Otherwise, Chayote is available on every restaurant’s menu or you can buy it right in the garden, it is very cheap.

2. Hill chicken – Like wild chicken but not quite

Hill chicken is chicken which doesn’t be fed but has to find food for themselves. They are not kept in cages but are freed for feeding in the forest. Due to highly active and natural food, their meat becomes thick, tough and sweeter than the chicken that you’ve known.

Hill-chickenSource: vnphoto.net

You can find hill chicken in the menu of most of the restaurants in Tam Dao. They are also available in the local market (alive one) and night market (cooked one). The price for a grilled hill chicken in clay is VND 250,000.

3. Man pig – Specialty of Northern mountainous in Vietnam

A special kind of pigs that was crossed by normal pigs and wild pigs. They are small, freed for feeding in the forest. Their meat is less fat, flavorful and soft, and can be used for many different dishes. You can order the whole pig (6 – 8 kg) if you have 8 – 10 members in your team. The restaurant will prepare for you a party with dishes cooked from the pig. The price is around VND 300,000 per kilogram of meat.

Man-pigSource: vietliketravel.vn

You might try Man pig at Pho Nui restaurant
Address: Near the Commune People’s Committee, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc
Phone: (+84) 2113 539 555

4. Red beef which was bitten by ants

The name sounds weird but it describes how this dish was cooked: Hot meats from a just slaughtered calf was hanged in the tree near ant’s nest and left for the ants bite the meat. The meats after being washed will be grilled on coal into red beef. The special of this dish is that each kind of ants will offer a different flavor and taste. How this dish is served is very fussy with green bananas, herbs and a special sauce.

red-beef-ant-bitedSource: dichoi.com.vn

You can try this dish in Pho Nui restaurant
Address: Near the Commune People’s Committee, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc
Phone: (+84) 2113 539 555  

5. Goby in Tam Dao stream

Locals built agriculture dams to ranch wild sand gobies in the forest. There are not so many places that you can find them so this dish is what you shouldn’t miss. Sand goby sizes of a finger, thick and flavorful.

GobySource: diemdentre.vn

You can try this dish in Hai Dang restaurant
Address: Center of Tam Dao town, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc
Phone: (+84) 2113 824 295  

6. Cakes from San Diu’s cuisine

San Diu is an ethnic group that mostly live in mountainous of Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc. Their cuisine is very special because of natural materials and ingredients from Tam Dao sierra. Chung cakes, Troi cakes, Dam cakes and Tro cakes are some interesting dishes.

You will find these dishes in local markets and night market.

San-diu-cuisineSource: vietnamarchitecture-nguyentienquang.blogspot.com

VII. WHERE TO GO IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

1. Tam Dao Telecommunication tower

TV tower-tam-daoSource: youtube.com

A 94m high tower located in the top of Thien Nhi peak, which is 1,375 m high. To get to the tower, you have to climb 1,394 steps upward. The journey is hard but beautiful that you can enjoy during the stroll. There are many flowers on both sides of the path like Orchid, Cuc quy, and many other wildflowers.

2. Thuong Ngan princess temple – One of the most sacred temples in Tam Dao

Thuong-Ngan-princess-templeSource: tuphuthanhmau.blogspot.com

It is the most famous place in Tam Dao town. The temple was built in XX century and is the place to worship Thuong Ngan princess. The way to the temple is slightly sloped upward and has good views. On the first day and the fifteenth day of the month, there are festivals in the temple which are very interesting.

3. Silver waterfall – Tam Dao most beautiful waterfall

It is the most beautiful waterfall in the town. It is so fresh due to the source of water comes from deep underground. The way down to the waterfall is quite long, leads you deep into the valley through stone paved stairs. Sometime, you might meet a squirrel or a cute little animal, it’s like you are on the way to return to the mother nature.

  • Travel tip: You should visit the waterfall during raining season (from February to March or from July to August) when the waterfall is in the best period.

 

4. The Ancient Church of Tam Dao

Ancient-churchSource: vietwaystravel.com.vn

This church was built by France and was finished in 1912. It lies in a very nice, high place right in the center of the town where you can view all the town. The church was built by rocks, followed Gothic style. There is a quite large yard with curved arches around where you can take amazing poses

5. Sky gate – The way to heaven right in Tam Dao, Vietnam

Sky-gateSource: lavender.com.vn

These only words you can speak out when you get here are just “Wow” and “Wah” because it is truly the gate of paradise. It is the bottom of a cliff made from two mountains, look toward the valley. The mist in the peak of the mountains is never disappeared, makes it’s like a real gate to heaven. In a moment, you feel like everything turn around you: the earth, the sky, the trees, the animals. It is an unforgettable experience.

6. Rung Rinh peak – A little surprise on top

Tam-Dao-national-parkSource: xonefm.com

Lies in the trekking route through Tam Dao national park, Rung Rinh peak is a destination that requires you to have good health. In Vietnamese, Rung Rinh means soft, flexible. The lore of this weird name came from that on the top of this 1,200 m high mountain, a thick layer of moss spreads on the ground, under the tree’s shadows. That moss layer is so thick and soft that it makes the ground is like a pillow. Despite the cold weather, you can choose to stay on top through the night to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of sunset and sunrise. Believe me, your effort will pay off.

7. Tam Dao national park – Explore the majestic Tam Dao sierra

Tam Dao national park is located in Tam Dao sierra, lies between Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen and Tuyen Quang. This national park is 34,995 ha large with about 1,300 kinds of plants and more than 160 animal species.

At present, there are some tour for travelers in Tam Dao national
  • Bird watching tour in Tam Dao national park
  • Tam Dao national park – Dragon’s navel – Pine forest – Mom Cay stones – Xa Huong lake
  • Tam Dao national park – Truong forest – Dragon’s navel – the Bear rescue center
  • Tam Dao national park – Tam Dao town – The three peaks

The price for one person is VND 40,000 (exclude the fee for the tour guide). They offer meal too. The price is VND 100,000/person

8. Wind café – Above the cliffs in Tam Dao, Vietnam

Wind-cafeSource: vnnewsworld.com

An outdoor small coffeeshop juts out right on the cliffs. The views are airy and beautiful. The high noon will strike right on your head but the wind will make it more comfortable. One more, notice that the café is small and less staff but crowded customers so if you want to enjoy the view completely, just arrive early.

VIII. SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME FROM TAM DAO, VIETNAM

1. Chayote – The specialty dish of Tam Dao

Chayote-topSource: vntrip.vn

There are nowhere else you can find the delicious chayote like it is in Tam Dao. Because this vegetable can keep the freshness for days so it is a good choice for the gift. Besides, it is really cheap (around VND 7,000 – 15,000 per kilogram)

2. Handicrafts – “Tho cam” is always a good gift in Tam Dao

handicraftSource: vntrip.vn

You can find many handicrafts made by the local ethnic group. They are colorful and are decorated beautifully. Just remember to ask for the price carefully.

IX. TIPS FOR TRAVELING IN TAM DAO, VIETNAM

  • Motor taxi is usually exaggerating the distance to get the higher price, be careful.
  • Remember Tam Dao town is really small, you can walk around easily
  • Because of walking and trekking a lot, you should remember to prepare a suitable outfit
  • Doesn’t matter which season when you visit Tam Dao, always carry warm clothes to protect your health.
  • Always ask for the price carefully before buying anything or using services
  • If you want to buy chayote, moving deep in the market where the price is better
  • Prepare snacks, some foods and medicine because the price in Tam Dao is most expensive. Furthermore, it is hard to find grocery and medicine shop in this town so you better carry all the necessary.


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