The province of Ninh Binh is well-known for its stunning scenery of imposing limestone, 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. Yet it is in the surrounding countryside with its small villages and hamlets where the real charm of Ninh Binh is to be found. The rural communities are linked by single lane roads and tracks often accessible only by two-wheeled transport, and indeed the best and most rewarding way to explore this area is by bicycle. The roads are quiet and free of large vehicles and, therefore, safe for the curious cyclist. The villagers are some of the friendliest one will meet in all of Vietnam and the views are simply captivating.
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.
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).
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 honor of the beautiful pagoda and landscape.
This was built to commemorate King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh ( in 10th century).
They are said to be built on the old foundation of their original citadel in the 11th-12th centuries and restored in the 17th century.
The literal translation of Tam Coc is “three caves”. Visitors glide silently through the series of caves by rowboat on the Ngo Dong Rivers. This trip takes approximately 3 hours.
Tam Coc, boasts dramatic scenery, with huge limestone formations rising out of the rice paddies.
The pagoda will set the record for the most Arhat Statues in ASEAN with 500 Arhat statues made of stone that stand higher than a human’s head.
Bai Dinh Pagoda is famous for its great size and imposingness.
Phat Diem church architecture is a cross between Vietnam and Europe. Although a church, it was built in traditional Vietnamese temple architecture. It was built of stone and wood in 24 years.
Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Kim Son District of Ninh Binh Province.
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