• Hoa Lu Ancient Capital - Ninh Binh A to Z Travel Guide
  • Hoa Lu Ancient Capital - Ninh Binh A to Z Travel Guide

  • on Feb 18, 2019       By: LucyH
  • About 100 km away from Hanoi, Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh is not only known as the ancient capital with many valuable historical sites but also a destination with many attractive sights waiting for you to explore. Let's see what it has in the Hoa Lu, the most ancient capital city of Vietnam with Authentik Travel through the article below!

    1. About Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
    2. Best time to visit Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh?
    3. How to get to Hoa Lu?
    4. The architecture of the complex of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
    5. Explore the relics of Dinh and King Le temples
    6. Traditional festival in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
    7. What to eat when coming to Hoa Lu?
    8. Some notices when visiting Hoa Lu

    1. About Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

    Hoa Lu ancient capital is a unique architectural complex in Ninh Binh province, has been recognized by UNESCO as one of four core areas of Trang An World Heritage Complex. It is also ranked by the state as an architecturally important and particularly important national historical complex, which should be preserved.

    With a history of more than 1000 years, this place has experienced many ups and downs of the nation, which makes it a historical witness of the nation through the ages. However, despite many good and bad time, Hoa Lu still retains its historical traces. These are strong walls, two temples of Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh who were seriously built to simulate the old capital of Hoa Lu.

    2. Best time to visit Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh?

    You can go to Hoa Lu at any time of the year. However, spring is the best time as well as many festivals are organized, so this is the right time for you if you want to participate and experience the busy and crowded atmosphere of these festivals. If you are a quiet person who wants to enjoy the peaceful space here, you can choose to go on the remaining days.

     Hoa Lu Ancient Capital (photo: internet)

    3. Transportations to Hoa Lu

    From Hanoi to Ninh Binh, you can choose one of the following ways:
    Train: Hanoi - Ninh Binh train fare ranges from 90,000 VND to more than 200,000 VND (4$-9$) depending on the train and seat type.

    Bus: You can catch a bus from Giap Bat or My Dinh bus station to Ninh Binh with the price ranging from 70,000 VND - 90,000 VND (3$-4$) / person. The average time is about 1 hour 30 minutes.
    Motorbike: If you like the feeling of driving a motorbike, you can start at Phap Van - Cau Gie highway and continue to follow the direction of Cau Gie - Phu Ly - Ninh Binh with the travel time from 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    4. Architecture of the complex of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

    In its golden age, Hoa Lu was a magnificent capital with the mountains and hills sprout around the perimeter of the capital like a strong wall. The meandering Hoang Long River and the vast fields of Nho Quan and Gia Vien are extremely convenient natural moats.

    The entire historical area of Hoa Lu Ancient Cultural and Historical Site, including special protection area, buffer zone and monuments such as Thien Ton Cave and Bai Dinh Pagoda, are all located in the system of limestone mountains in the area.
    Hoa Lu ancient capital is an architectural complex, and each work has its own character, all of which make the ancient and magnificent looks of ancient historical relics. The historical vestiges still remain at a pretty good condition, including the walls, citadel, caves, temples, tombs and many other valuable architectural works.

    5. Explore the relics of King Dinh and King Le’s temples

    Most especially, there are still two relics: King Dinh temple and King Le temple. These are two monuments built in about the 17th century with the stone sculptures. The road to King Dinh temple leads visitors to go under the canopy of phoenix trees along the road.
    Hoa Lu is called the city of stone. When you step in the King Dinh and King Le’s temple, you will see a stone floor and two stone Nghê ( a mascot in Vietnamese folk beliefs) carved with monolithic stone. Entering the harem, visitors will see the statue of King Dinh being cast in bronze on a blue rock.


    King Le temple located 50m from King Dinh temple with the same structure. It is 200m from King Le temple, is the Nhat Tru pagoda, built from the reign of King Le Dai Hanh, in front of the pagoda which has stone pillars that’s  4.16 m high, eight-sided shape, engraved with the King's Sutra texts to make a Buddha's house. Next to it is the relic area associated with the story of the third princess of King Dinh Tien Hoang who commited suicide by jumping into a well so she didn’t have to follow her husband standing against her father. This temple worshiped the princess.

    6. Traditional festival in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

    On March 8th to March 10th each year is the time of the traditional festival of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu to honor the national kings and heroes who built and developed the capital of Hoa Lu, establishing a house. Dai Co Viet country in the 10th century. Hoa Lu Ancient Festival includes 2 parts: the ritual ceremony and the festival. In addition to the ritual ceremony, the festival with traditional games such as boat racing, wrestling, and Cheo singing etc taken place in an extremely jubilant and exciting atmosphere.


    7. What to eat when coming to Hoa Lu?

    In addition to the historical monuments, unique landscapes, delicious restaurants with the style of rustic cuisine from the Northern region are one of the attractions when visiting Hoa Lu Ninh Binh. Check out the dishes you must try when you come here:

    Burned rice: It is a famous specialty of Ninh Binh. The rice are fried to be crispy in a bright yellow colors, served with a special sauce that makes visitors eat without feeling fed up.
    Goat meat: Mountain goats in Ninh Binh are processed in many ways to make many attractive dishes that’s not only delicious but also extremely nutritious and healthy .
    Mountain snail: The snails are tough, crunchy, sweet, processed in a variety of ways: steamed with ginger, stir-fried with lemongrass etc
    In addition, there are still many other delicious dishes that you can try such as: Yen Mac Nem, eel vermicelli, Kim Son wine, Gia Vien shrimp sauce etc


    Specialties of Ninh Binh burnt rice (Photo: Internet)

    8. Notices when visiting

           - Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh is a spiritual tourist destination, so being polite and discreet is very important. Visiting the temple of King Dinh and King Le, you need to be gentle and orderly to preserve the sanctuary and burn incense to pay homage to the kings who have succeeded with the country.
           - Garbage must be disposed at the prescribed place, not littered indiscriminately.
    If you go on your own, you should preview the map to make it easier for you to explore your journey.
           - You can directly chat with the monuments management committee to learn more about the history, cultural values, architecture of the monument area.
           - If you want to see with your own eyes and admire the buildings with its historical values as well as architectural values, then quickly go to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu Ninh Binh. Come here to visit the ancient capital amd relive with heroic moments of Vietnamese history.
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    Tam Coc - Ninh Binh Travel Guide
    Kenh Ga Hot Springs - Ninh Binh Travel Guide
    Thung Nham Bird Gardens - Ninh Binh Travel Guide
    Van Long nature reserve - Ninh Binh

Feb 20, 2019
Spent my 4 days in Ninh Binh and it was amazing. We even got invited for lunch by a local family. Love the place and the people here. Highly recommend.
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