In Ninh Binh, there are 1,499 cultural and historical relics, 79 of which are classified at national level and 235 of them are provincial-level relics. Additionally, Ninh Binh has 75 traditional trade villages. Many trade villages has been being put into exploration to serve for tourism activities such as Van Lam embroidery trade village, Ninh Van stone carving village, Gia Thuy pottery village, Kim Son sedge handicraft village, Phuc Loc woodwork village and Binh Khang ornamental stonework work, etc.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong is a beautiful famous landscape in Ninh Binh, which is dubbed “Ha Long Bay on land” or “Nam Thiên Đệ Nhị Động (Second Southern Cave)”, located in the area of Hoa Lu district, Quan Nho district and Tam Diep town. This place have remained its nature-created primary beauty with numerous beautiful limestone caves and reputative cultural historical relics such as Tam Coc, Thai Vi temple, Bich Dong pagoda, Thung Nang valley (Sunshine Valley), Hang Tien cave and But cave, etc.
Bich Dong pagoda (meaning “green cave”) is located about 2 km from the boat port .It was named by Prime Minister Nguyen Nghiem, the father of great poet Nguyen Du, in 1773. In front of the cave, there is a small Ngo Dong river branch undulating near the mountain side, across the river is a rice field. In the early June to July, it is the lotus season blooming in Bich Dong pagoda area.
Thung Nham Bird Garden Eco-tourism Area (also known as Bird Valley) is located in Hoa Lu district, in the road from Tam Coc boat port to Bich dong pagoda. This is one of the destinations that convergecultural, spiritual, landscape and biodiversity elements.
Visiting Tham Nhung valley, tourists have a chance to watch the movable banyan tree, thousand-year streblus, Vai Gioi cave, But cave, Tien Ca cave and Thuy Cung cave, etc.; enjoying hick fruits or yachts crept in submerged forests, exploring the wild life of birds.
Mua Cave lies on the foot of Mua mountain in the ecotourism complex belonging to Khe Dau Ha hamlet, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh. Its location is only 3 km from Ninh Binh Hidden Charm hotel. A special feature of this tourist area is the road leading to the top of the Mua Mountain, which was built in accordance with the Great Wall of architecture with nearly 500 stone steps. From the peak of Mua Mountain, you can admire the whole beauty of Tam Coc famous tourist attraction with rocky mountains and winding rice fields. According to the legend, when returning to Hoa Lu, Tran King established Thai Vi hermitage, then often came here to listen to pretty girls dancing and singing. Therefore, this place was named the Mua Cave (Cave of Dance). This is one of the favorite places for tourists and the place where the young people “check-in” the most.
Trang An landscape always attracts tourists by its system of limestone mountains and natural caves. This complex consists of 50 water-flowing caves connecting 31 submerged valleys like a fantasy transforming labyrinthine battle array laid on the eight-sign figure's pattern. What sets the charm in the caves is the natural stalactite system with cool water, following deep trails on the cave walls, forming winding currents.
Trang An is also known as the place where the fauna and flora ecosystem is so diversified that it is compared to a “outdoor geological museum” with more than 310 high-class plant species, many types of algae and mushrooms; 30 species of mammals, more than 50 species of birds, dozens of reptile species, including some rare animals such as chamois and phoenix.
In addition to sitting on the boat to enjoy the beauty here, at every stop, the visitors can do sightseeing with unique historical and cultural relics such as Trinh temple (Dot palace) where people worship the two Generals under Dinh dynasty; Tran temple which was constructed with monolithic green stone, delicate patterned stone, worshiping God General Tran Quy Minh - the general of Oai Son Nam pass in the 18th Hung King period; Phu Khong - the place of worship of 7 loyal-subject mandarins of the Dinh dynasty, associated with the legend when King Dinh Tien Hoang passed away. One of the most attractive transitions is the film set of the movie Kong: Skull Island (Vietnamese title: Kong: Đảo Đầu Lâu).
Situated in the region of Gia Vien district, at the Western gateway of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bai Dinh pagoda owns a general harmony between the sacred and quiet atmosphere of Bai Dinh ancient pagoda and the splendor, magnificence of Bai Dinh new pagoda. This is the spiritual tourist area of most cross-country tourists.
Bai Dinh tourist area is a large pagoda complex located on a 700-hectare area, including an ancient pagoda and a new pagoda known for many Asian and Vietnamese records: the Asia's largest Sakyamuni Buddha gold-inlaid bronze statue, the longest 500-Arhant corridors in Asia, the largest bronze statue of Maitreya in Vietnam, the biggest “đại hồng chung (a giant bell)” in Vietnam ... Particularly, this is also the place to store relics of jade, security Precious objects of Buddha.
Hoa Lu ancient capital is the political, economic and cultural center of Đại Cồ Việt (the old Vietnamese kingdom), the first capital in Dai Viet civilization of the nation, of Vietnamese feudal period. The capital Hoa Lu belongs to Hoa Lu district, existed for 42 years through three successive dynasties: Dinh - Tien Le - Ly (968 - 1010). In 1010, Ly Thai To King moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Thang Long (Hanoi). Since then, Hoa Lu became the ancient capital.
In spite of time, the ups and downs of the history, Hoa Hu capital still remains heroic historical records. For instance, these are walls created by nature and humans; the ancient and majestic temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh. This will forever be the bright and historic milestones for the Vietnamese in general and the people of Ninh Binh in particular to respect and be proud of.
Getting out of the Northern gate of the relic, about 200 m, it is the place known as Nhat Tru pagoda. It is the ancient pagoda constructed from the 10th century, where many old things associated with Hoa Lu capital have been stored, in which the most outstanding point is the stone pillar of Sutra in front of the temple yard, recognized as a national treasure.
About 50m from the pagoda gate is temple where people worship Princess Phat Kim, one of the daughters of King Dinh Tien Hoang. It has been said for a long time that this place previously was the foundation of Vong Nguyet palace where Princess Phat Kim lived. In the front of the yard, there is a great well, saying that Princess Phat Kim suicided there.
Just a distance of 300 m from Hoa Lu ancient capital, Am Tien Cave – Tuyet Tinh Coc has become an attractive spot thanks to its beauty as the “Tuyet Tinh Coc” in the in the famous swordplay movie “The Legend of the Condor Heroes”. The largest area in Am Tien cave is the submerged valley, surrounded by rocky cliffs. The space hear is so quiet that it creates a separate world. The landscape of mountains and rivers here is majestic and untouched. At the foot of the mountain is a lake of fresh water, people can obviously look at the algae that folk called “Ao Giai”. The species of algae and water creatures strongly flourish, making the scenery more mysterious and romantic. In the cave, many stalactites bear the shape of nature mother with the paddy, money tree, buddha fruit, lotus buds hanging down with water drops.
As told by legend, in the 10th century, understanding the rugged terrain which lies halfway up the mountain, surrounded by deep lagoons and abysms, King Dinh Tien Hoang selected this area to serve as execution grounds, the cave is the place used for raising and capturing tigers. At the foot of the mountain is Ao Giai, where the King ordered to raising crocodiles. Crime offenders would be put into action or thrown into a pond to deter others. Additionally, in this place, Queen Mother Duong Van Nga did her renunciation of the last years of life. By the time of Ly dynasty, Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong once passed by the cave and found that the miasmatic atmosphere was too heavy, then he kept chanting Sutra and Dharma Talks throughout days and nights; renaming Am Tien cave day and night. The sound of the Dharma had gradually sensed the animals, and at the same time disintegrated for the souls of prisoners under death penalty, from which the place became pure.
Thien Ha cave is located in the Tuong mountain ranges with its height of nearly 200 m, being a part of natural strong city wall that surrounding and protecting the southwest of Hoa Lu capital in the 10th century, associated with many historical and cultural place names such as Le Dynasty boat station, “Phật Đầu Sơn” Mountain and “Thửa Ruộng Đấu Lính”.
From Muong - Tho Ha mountain village, Son Ha commune, visitors can go by boat to travel in a small canal with a length of about 1 km, lying between the countryside. Tourists continue to walk on the 500m long stone road along the foot of Tuong Mountain to reach the cave door. The cave has a length of 700m including a 200m long dry cave and 500m long water cave. The shapes created by the mountain rock are called as follows: this is the Cáo Lỗ (fox) eating, that is “Voi phục”, the Tiger preying, the monkey climbing to the tree. The higher place is edicule with the image of Buddha, Tang Monk chanting prayers for his disciples. All these things suggest curiosity and discovery of visitors
See more: Ticket price and experience for traveling to Thien Ha cave
Dong Giao farm, also known as pineapple farm, is at the distance of about 20 driving minutes from Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel. This place has the reputation of pineapple growth in Tam Diep, Ninh Binh province. The green fresh pineapple trees cover the red basalt soil areas, creating an extremely unique space like the context of love in Korean films. If you are looking for a place full of green color amongst the countless mountains, this is the perfect choice for you to take shoots of photo for virtual life with thousands of likes. In April or July and August, there are fruit harvests and it is considered as a great time to experience here. Not only is the place to produce delicious pineapples, but it is also a place for wedding photography that couples are extremely keen on. It is free sightseeing.
At the distance of 45km from Ninh Binh city to the Northwest, Cuc Phuong National Park is the first national park and the first nature reserve in Vietnam. This park comprises about diversified flora and fauna with characteristics of tropical rainforests. Many highly endangered plants and animals are discovered and preserved here. In particular, around April, Cuc Phuong National Park attracts tourists by the colorful butterfly season.
Van Long Nature Reserve is the largest submerged conservation area in the Northern delta. It is located in northeastern Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. Van Long has been put into exploration since 1998 and until now, it has become one of the important tourist destinations of Vietnam, which was granted two records by the Vietnam record book center in 2010: “The place with the largest number of Delacour's Langur” and “The place of the biggest natural picture”. In 1999, it became a nature reserve, listed in the list of protected submerged areas and a list of systems of special-use forests in Vietnam. In 2019, Van Long was honored to be recognized as the ninth world Ramsar area of Vietnam.
Not only being a nature reserve, Van Long submerged area is also famous for its attractive view. Van Long is known as “non-wave bay” as sailing in the lagoon, tourist will realize that the water surface is calm as a giant mirror. A water-colour painting reflects in details every single strong sculptures of the limestone massifs with the right shape, for example, Meo Cao mountain, Mam Xoi mountain, Hom Sach mountain, Da Ban mountain, Nghien mountain, Mo Coi mountain and Co Tien mountain. However, the water here does not have the blue of the sea, but it clearly shows the layers of moss on the bottom.
Phat Diem Cathedral (often known as Phat Diem Stone Cathedral) is a complex of Catholic church with an area of 22 ha, located in Phat Diem town, Kim Son district. This is a huge construction work, a cathedral of Phat Diem episcopate built up in 1875 and in 1898, it was basically completed. The unique feature of this work is that although it is a Catholic church, it was modeled on the traditional architectural features of Vietnamese temples and pagodas. This architectural complex was presided over gradually by Father Peter Tran Luc (also known as great-grandfather Sau) - priest in Phat Diem diocese since 1865) and Catholics for over 30 years.
This is an abbey of the Cistercians, located in Phu Son commune, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh. Together with Phat Diem stone cathedral, tourists evaluate that he Monastery of Chau Son is one of the destinations that people should visit when travelling to Ninh Binh. The abbey was built in 1939 in a quiet are surrounded by mountains and forests, far away from Phat Diem stone cathedral about 65 km and from Ninh Binh Hidden Charm about 25 km.
The church in the abbey was constructed with the structure designed in the Gothic architectural style, with the material of un-plastered red bricks, a white dome with the height of 21 m, which is praised as the pinnacle of this architectural art. The abbey’s campus is huge and decorated with “tiểu cảnh non bộ” (rockery), sculpture and giant egg made from stone, etc.
Kenh Ga Hot Spring is in Kenh Ga hamlet, Gia Thinh commune, Gia Vien district, 25km from Ninh Binh city to the Northwest. This is a source of mineral water containing a lot of salt such as Natriclorua, Calcium, Magnesium Chloride and Bicarbonate, with a stable temperature of 530C, helping healing, recuperation, stimulating digestion by bathing with combination of physiotherapy.
Kenh Ga Hot Spring is nearby a good-natured Vietnamese village, along the romantic Hoang Long River, which has created a unique country tourist destination, an interesting weekend resort for tourists.
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