Situated about 95km south of Hanoi along National Road
1, Ninh Binh is the gateway to Hoa Lu, site of Vietnamese capital from
968 to 1010 AD. Although much of the city has been destroyed, the temple
complex of Kings Dinh and Le remains as an important historical
Tam Coc Cave are know as Ha Long on land with huge
limestone mountains on both sides of the Hoang Luong River.
Bich Dong is a cavern situated in the Ngu Nhac range of Hoa Lu District.
Bich Dong, which means the Cavern of Jade is considered as the second
cavern in the southern sky with its three pagodas: the upper, the
middle and the lower ones ranging from the top to the foot of the
Cuc Phuong National Park, 100km west of Hanoi, covers an area of 25,000
hectare of which three quarters are limestone rocky mountains ranging
from 300m to 600m in altitude. This national park was discovered in
Phat Diem Cathedral was built from 1875 to 1898 in Kim Son district,
120km from Hanoi. The cathedral complex reflects a mixture of original
architecture in western and eastern styles.
Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam from 968 to 1010 with two
remaining temples dedicated to kings Dinh and Le, the founders of the
Dinh and the Former Le Dynasties. The two temples were built with a 17th
century Vietnamese architecture in characteristic style. It is an
original architecture of wood and stone carving in the 17th and 18th
century. Both temples lie on the site of the ancient royal citadel. Next
to the temple is the saddle-shaped mountain called Ma yen where the two
kings were buried.