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Saturday, 11.18.2017, 07:04pm (GMT+7)  
     What to see in Ninh Binh

 

Tam Coc and Bich Dong cave

Tam Coc and Bich dong is a complex of grottos in Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu dist.

During the harvest season, the Ngo Dong is as thin as a silk strip running in the middle of the rice field. In flood season, the river is vast. Literature, Martial Arts and Eagle Beak Mountains go up and down on the two sides of the river. They look like islands on the Ha Long Bay.

The Ngo Dong River passing through the limestone mountain ranges form three water caves, therefore it is called Tam Coc, including Ca (Biggest) Cave, Hai (Second Biggest) Cave and Ba (Third Biggest) Cave.

Inside the caves, stalactities and stalagmites are glistening and they look like a Buddhist statue, a fisherman catching fish or women’s breasts

 

Bich Dong, considered the second most beautiful cave in Vietnam behind Huong Tich cave ( in Perfume Pogoda, Ha Tay) , is about two kilometres from Tam Coc. 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 Mandarin scholar looking at the horizon in the 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 said that Bich Dong Pagoda was the second nicest pagoda in Vietnam, after the Huong Pagoda, also called Perfume Pagoda, in Ha Tay Province.

 

Hoa Lu

The Ancient capital of Hoa Lu, in Hoa Lu, dist

The ancient citadel in Truong Yen Commune captivates the interests of tourists near and far as Hoa Lu was the capital of Dai Co Viet – what Vietnam was called for a brief spell between 968 and 1010 – and holds historical, cultural and natural charm.

Visitors will discover more than they expect from the intact temple commemorating King Dinh, who defeated the Twelve Warlords’ rebellion to reunify the country and later re-named it Dai Co Viet. 500 meters away stand another temple built to honor his successor Le Dai Hanh.

Historians say the two 10th-century heroes chose Hoa Lu to build the citadel to take advantage of the marvelous mountains surrounding the area. However, the current temples were not the ones built by the heroes. They are said to be built on the old foundation of thei original citadel in the 11th-12th centuries and restored in 17th century.

It is said that when Ly Dynasty moved its capital to Thang Long - present Hanoi - in 1010, the villagers of Hoa Lu built the two temples on the same ground to worship Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh.

In the 17th century, duke Bui Thoi Cong re-erected them and re-oriented them from the north to the east. Since then, these structures have retained their ancient air and solemnity although they have been refurbished many times.

Though the temples are not maintained entirely, some precious antiques like the stone thrones and lacquered statues of King Dinh, Kinh Le and Queen Duong Van Nga who married both kings are well preserved.

Hoa Lu is also home to numerous ornamental and medicinal plants, as well as tortoises, monkeys, pangolins, pythons, snakes, chamois, geckos and birds.

With the passing of thousands of years, gone are the golden and silver-lined palaces of the dynasties; what is left to meditate are the vestiges of the old citadel.

Today, visitors to Hoa Lu will witness the grandeur of the two great dynasties but they will also catch a glimpse of the soul and longing of ancient Vietnam.

 

Kenh Ga floating village

Kenh Ga floating village is 21km from Ninh Binh on the road to Cuc Phuong National park.

Kenh Ga Floating Village, or "Chicken Canals" a fascinating example of riverine life, where life is conducted entirely along the Hoang Long River and the local people have developed an unique method of rowing with their feet. The boat ride offers a similar natural scenery to Tam Coc, with the chance to observe the daily life of a local fishing village built along the waterways. The difference is that the boats are larger and motorised, so clients will have shade in the heat. Visitors feel that it is unique, interesting and authentic.

 

Van Long Nature Reserve

The Van Long Eco tourist complex, in Gia Van commune, Gia Vien dist

Van Long is a good place for birdwatching and to see the rare Delacour Langur (late afternoon - 4-5 pm - best time for spotting these). The trip sounds like another alternative to Tam Coc - tourists can take a 20 minute buffalo cart ride, or drive for 5 minutes to a pier, from which they can take a 2-3 hour boat ride through the rice paddies and past karst mountains (not quite as many as at Tam Coc, but still beautiful). Rowboats only, so it is a peaceful experience. Located on the way from Hanoi to Ninh Binh. If clients are interested in spotting the langurs, it would be good to combine this with Cuc Phuong National Park and the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre as a FD excursion from Ninh Binh or enroute from Ninh Binh to Hanoi.

 

Thung Nang.

Thung Nang is located south of Tam Coc, this is a less touristed alternative to Tam Coc. The boat ride passes through one cave, though this cannot be passed if there are high water levels. On the other side of the cave is a field where visitors can stretch their legs. Climbing up to a hill, we will reach to Thung Nang, a valley that is very nice, calm and windy. You will have feelings like to be at another world, just sound of wind,birth and sky...

 

Phat Diem

The Cathedrals of Phat Diem, built with stones in Kim Son dist, Ninh Binh. It’s 121 km south of Hanoi and 29km southeast of Ninh Binh. Phat Diem( former name: Kim Son) is the site of cathedral remarkable for its vast dimensions and unique Sino-Vietnamese architecture. During the French era, the cathedral was an important centre of Catholicism in the north and there was a seminary here. Phat Diem has a high density of Catholics amounted to 120,000 live in this area.

 

Cuc Phuong National park

 

 





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