Pick up at your hotel about 8 oclock then return abput 5 PM
Lunch and sampan boat included
Ninh Binh Province - Travel Guide
Area: 1,383.7 sq. km. Population: 554,700 habitants (2004) Capital: Ninh Binh Town Administrative divisions:
- Town: Tam Diep.
- Districts: Nho Quan, Gia Vien, Hoa Lu, Yen Mo, Yen Khanh, Kim Son. Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Muong, Thai, Tay
Hoa Lu Temple
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is 13km from Ninh Binh Town, Ninh Binh Province.
In 968, Dinh Bo Linh ascended to the throne and took the name of King Dinh Tien Hoang and reunified the country under the name of Dai Co Viet and Hoa Lu was its capital for 41 years (968-1009).
The mountains and sea combined to make Hoa Lu's picturesque landscape. Hoa Lu lays in a flat valley surrounded by the Trang An lime stone mountains, which form a natural wall protecting the old citadel. The city's northwest is bordered by the Hoang Long River, the tributaries of which run through the capital, cooling the weather within the city and serving as convenient waterways.
The Royal Court was built in an area of 150 hectares in the eastern part of the capital while the western part served as a site to educate and protect children
As the capital of the country for 41 years, Hoa Lu has many palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions that were built by different dynasties. One of the most popular pieces of architecture is the Bao Thien Tue Palace, which was plated with gold and silver. However many vestiges have been destroyed due to time and weather.
When King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long (now Hanoi) in 1010, two temples were built to dedicate to King Dinh Tien Hoang and his successor Le Dai Hanh. These two temples were first built in the 11th century and reconstructed in 1696.
Coming to Hoa Lu visitors can attend traditional cultural festivals here, and the most important and largest of them is the Truong Yen Festival, which is held on the 10th day of the third lunar month. The festival is in memory of the Kings of the Dinh and Le dynasties. The festival lasts for three days with many traditional games and martial arts, reflecting local residents' legend.
Tam Coc - Bich Dong grottoes
Located in the Ngu Nhac Son Mountains, in Dam Khe Village, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province. King Le Canh Hung said that Bich Dong was the second nicest grotto in Vietnam, after the Huong Tich Grotto in Ha Tay Province.
In 1773, Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the great writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. After viewing the whole scenery of the mountains, waterways, fields, and sky covered in green mist, he gave the cave a very beautiful and romantic name, Bich Dong (which literally means "Green Pearl Grotto"). Bich Grotto is said to be the second most beautiful cave in Vietnam. The Bich Dong Pagoda was built near the cave in the Le Dynasty.
Bich Dong Pagoda, built on Ngu Nhac Mountain, is divided into three levels: Ha Pagoda (lower pagoda), Trung Pagoda (middle pagoda), and Thuong Pagoda (upper pagoda). On the mountain peak stands the statue of a scholar Mandarin looking at the horizon in hope of viewing the spectacular landscapes of Hoa Lu.
From the upper pagoda, one has the most magnificent view of Bich Dong, which is romantically charming in terms of architecture and history. The location for this pagoda was chosen in 1428 after two monks were charmed by the view of the river and the mountains. Later, King Le Canh Hung wrote a poem in honour of the beautiful pagoda and landscape. He was the one who said that Bich Dong Pagoda was the second nicest pagoda in Vietnam, after the Huong Pagoda (also called Perfume Pagoda) in Ha Tay Province.
One cannot visit Bich Dong Pagoda without visiting Tam Coc Grotto, located approximately 2km from the pagoda. Tam Coc is 3km from Van Lam Wharf.
Take a boat from Van Lam Wharf to reach the Tam Coc Grotto, consisting of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba grottoes. These caves are adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colours that sparkle like gemstones.
For Vietnam Travel Guide, Ninh Binh Travel Guide - you can visit the website: www.howtotravelvietnam.net