A few of the most impressive and important temples in Vietnam can be found in Ninh Binh. Some of these temples in Ninh Binh can be very old, while others are newly built. It is also called the land of religion and spirituality.
Tips for visiting temples in Ninh Binh
- The Pagoda and temple are a religious places, so you should follow the dress code strictly to show your respect to the locals. This means don’t wear anything too revealing, like skirts, shorts and leggings. It is best to cover your knees and shoulders.
- The temples in Ninh Binh are located in huge complexes or deep within the nature. Either way, you are going to walk quiet a lot, so make sure you bring comfortable clothes and walking shoes. It is also wise to protect you from the weather, like sunglasses, sun cream a hat or a umbrella.
- Make sure you eat before visiting these pagodas and temples, as eating inside is not allowed.
1. Bai Dinh Pagoda
The Bai Dinh Pagoda is not only the biggest complex of Buddhist temples in Ninh Binh, but for the whole of Southeast Asia. It consists of several temples and more than 500 Buddha statues. It is a fairly new temple, built in 2003. It is beautifully situated between the mountains and especially a popular place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese. it is impressive to walk over this huge complex and make sure to climb to the top of the Bai Dinh Pagoda for a panoramic view of the complete complex with the magnificent landscape on the background.
2. Trang An
At Trang An you will find the most magical temples in Ninh Binh. They are hidden between huge steep mountains that provide an impressive landscape. You can only visit them with a boat. From the port in Trang An you can choose 3 routes that will take you to the different places in Trang An. A rowboat with rower will guide you through the karst mountain landscape with small stops on the way, including at a number of temples, depending on which route you have chosen. It is one of the best things to do in Ninh Binh.
3. Hoa Lu
Hoa Lu used to be the ancient capital of Vietnam, during the tenth century. There is not much left of the citadel, but there are a number of temples you can visit. These are not the most spectacular temples in Ninh Binh, but the location between the mountains and jungle with the combination of ancient history makes it a great place to visit. TheK ing Dinh Temple and King Le Temple are the two of the most important temples in Ninh Binh, dedicated to worship the ancient kings of Vietnam.
4. Bich Dong Pagoda
The caves and temples of Bich Dong are definitely worth a visit. Bich Dong Pagoda is a cluster of majestic mountain cave temples. These ancient shrines and historic pagodas are scattered in intervals along the hill and mountains. The road to the caves, mountains and – again – the beautiful nature make this a nice trip. The gate and the entrance with the bridge over the lily pond is a great spot for photographers.
5. Thai Vi Temple
The Thai Vi Temple is another temple located in Tam Coc, well hidden inside the mountains. It was built by King Tran Thai Tong in 1258, after his victory against the Chinese armies. The main part of the temple is from stone, here you can find carving of Ninh Binh’s sculptors and an altar with worshiping items. The temple is small, but worth the visit when you are in the area. If you happen to visit the temple in March, you may have a chance to take part in That Vi Temple festival, dedicated to commemorate the kings of Tran Dynasty.
6. Mua Cave
At Mua Cave you can obviously find a cave, but it is more known for the stunning viewpoint on top of the mountain. Climb the stairs to enjoy the best panoramic viewpoint of the region. On top you will also find some small pagodas were people put food and burn incense. It is a very small place for worship, but because of the stunning view, it made it to the list of best temples in Ninh Binh.