NINH BINH - ATTRACTIVE TOURIST DESTINATIONS
Ninh Binh with the advantage of cultural and natural, with a rich culture is becoming attractive tourist destinations and abroad. Ninh Binh has Hoa Lu - the capital of Vietnam Ly dynasty, Phat Diem stone church with unique architecture, Tam Coc beauty like Ha Long in land. Ninh Binh has Cuc Phuong National Park with a diverse ecosystem,ect.
With over 1,400 km2 of natural area, Ninh Binh has forests, sea and a diverse system of fauna and flora. Ninh Binh topography encompasses plains and the mountains of the Vietnam northwest mountain range.
Ninh Binh also keeps a strategic position for military security and social economic development. Here, troops were usually railed on their way to the north or south of Vietnam, creating famous victories in Vietnamese national history.
Ninh Binh is endowed with many beautiful tourist attractions which have been well-known inside and outside Vietnam such as Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Cuc Phuong National Park, Trang An Grottoes and Van Long Nature Reserves.
There are also many historical relics, for instances Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bich Dong Pagoda, Thai Vi Temple, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral, Tam Diep Defense Line… All of them are attractive to both Vietnamese and foreign tourists. Ninh Binh is the charming land of myth and impressive landscapes.
Furthermore, Ninh Binh is endowed with numerous historical relics dating back to the Dinh, Early Le, Ly and Tran dynasties from the 10th – 13th century. Annually, Ninh Binh has many traditional festivals reflecting the cultural identities of Red river delta villages.
With a deeply rooted history and cultural features, the people of Ninh Binh are traditional very industrious, hard working, studious, kind, patriotic and particularly hospitable.
Hoa Lu ancient capital:
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the stone-walled royal citadel, is located in Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu district. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital used to be the economic, political and cultural center of Dai Co Viet (Great Viet) – the first centralized feudal state of Vietnam, which existed from 968 to 1010 C.E.).
It is also the native land of 3 royal dynasties of Vietnam: the Dinh, the Pre – Le and Ly. The ancient capital covered an area of 300 ha, including the Inner Citadel and the Outer Citadel. It was surrounded by rock mountain ranges.
In the past, Hoa Lu Royal citadel was adorned with splendid palaces, magnificent temples and shrines. When King Ly Cong Uan transferred the capital to Thang Long (now known as Hanoi), it became the ancient capital.
Due to the ravages of time, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel no longer exists. Now, there are only some vestiges related to the Dinh, Le and Ly dynasties.
For example, there are Dinh temple for worshipping Kinh Dinh Tien Hoang and his sons, Le Temple dedicated to King Le Dai Hanh, Queen Duong Van Nga and their sons. These relics together with the mountains ranges have stood the test of time.
Bai Dinh Pagoda:
Bai Dinh Pagoda is the biggest pagoda in Vietnam built in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province with an area of 700 hectares. It possesses 12 national records written in Vietnam Record Books such as 36 tons bronze bell, 100 tons bronze statue of Buddha Sakyamuni, 500 stone statues of Arhat…
In addition, there are many other works which are also very mighty, meticulous and impressive such as Tam Quan (the Entrance), Temple of Goddess of Mercy Bodhisattva, Buddha temple (Shangharaja temple), Three Period temple (Buddhas of the Past-Kayapa, present – Sakyamuni and future – Maitreya), the bronze statue of Maitreya or the Buddhist Messian (80 tons), 13 storeys – Bodhi Tower…
Therefore, Bai Dinh Pagoda is known as one of the biggest spiritual tourism centre of Vietnam in general and Ninh Binh in particular.
Phat Diem Cathedral:
It lies 28 km East of Ninh Binh city, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral was designed and constructed from 1875 to 1899 by Father Pedro Tran Luc (Patriarch of Phat Diem Diocese).
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral is not only a harmonious combination between the architecture of Asian pagodas and European church but also shows skillful techniques of Vietnamese artisans since the XIX century (1875-1899).
Phuong Dinh church has grand stone architecture with stone carvings on both sides of the cliffs. In the middle and upper floors there is a large drum and a big bell.
Next to Phuong Dinh is the grand cathedral. The grand cathedral is 74 meters long, 21 meters wide and 15 meters high, with 4 roofs. It was built of 6 rows of monolithic ironwood.
The inside of cathedral is sophisticatedly decorated and carved. Parallel with the 2 grand cathedrals, there are 4 chapels of different styles.
Next to the grand cathedral is a church of “Respectfully Present to Mother Mary’s heart”. This is truly a church because its ground, walls, bars, pillars and tie beams all were made of living stone.
In the grounds of Phat Diem cathedral, there are stone caves, artificial mountains, an island with statue of Jesus Christ and more.
Phat Diem cathedral is not only the pride of Vietnamese Catholics, but also of its unique architectural style found in Ninh Binh only.
Cuc Phuong National Park:
Cuc Phuong National Park is located 120 km South-West of Hanoi, 45 km north west of Ninh Binh city on the Tam Diep mountain range bordering three provinces (Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa).
The National Park comprises an area of 22,200 ha and was established on the 7th July 1962. It was the first national park of the country and became the flagship of Vietnam’s national park and protected area system.
Located on spectacular limestone mountains Cuc Phuong still has some good rainforest and a fairly intact ecosystem. Fauna and flora are equally rich.
According to the updated list, there are 89 species of mammals, 307 species of birds, 110 species of reptiles and amphibians, 65 species of fish and nearly 2,000 species of insects in Cuc Phuong.
Many of them are classified as rare species for example the clouded leopard, the Asian golden cat, the Asiatic black bear and an endemic species of red-bellied squirrel.
A small group of the Delacour’s linger also still occur in the park. However observing mammals in Cuc Phuong is very difficult since the animals are very shy and the forest is very dense.
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