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Best Things To Do And See In Ninh Binh, Vietnam - Visit Bich Dong Pagoda

Ninh Binh, a province in Vietnam, is a treasure trove of stunning natural beauty and captivating ancient temples. Among these gems, Bich Dong Pagoda shines as a historical and cultural destination for travelers in Ninh Binh. Here, there are many things to do in Bich Dong Pagoda during your trip: the opportunity to worship, to offer heartfelt offerings, to bask in the tranquil ambiance, and to learn deeper into the richesse of Vietnamese Buddhism.

1. About Bich Dong Pagoda - The ancient temple on the slopes of the limestone Truong Yen

Bich Dong - Nam Thiên Đệ Nhị Động of Vietnam
Bich Dong Pagoda Vietnam is located in the complex of Trang An Heritage, dubbed as “Nam Thien De Nhi Dong – located on Ngu Nhac Son mountain range. About 2 km from Tam Coc wharf is the Bich Dong Pagoda destination hidden at the foot of limestone mountains.
According to history, Bich Dong Pagoda was established in 1428 and was initially just a small temple atop the mountain. However, in 1705, two venerable monks named Tri Kien and Tri The met and formed a brotherly bond. Both monks were devout and dedicated to spreading the teachings of Buddhism and building temples. Recognizing the beautiful location and existing temple of Bich Dong, the two monks decided to settle there, renovating and enhancing the old temple.
"Bạch Ngọc Thạch Sơn Đồng” was its original name, meaning the beauty and purity akin to jade within the deep mountains and caves. In 1774, during a visit by Lord Trinh Sam, he was impressed by the panoramic view of lush mountains, caves, flowing rivers, expansive fields, and vibrant greenery. Lord Trinh Sam then named this temple Bich Dong, symbolizing the convergence of natural beauty and tranquility, with the cave resembling a shade of green. It was during this visit that the pagoda was renamed to its current name, "Bich Dong". This is also one of the beautiful spiritual caves in Ninh Binh Vietnam.
The beauty in harmony with nature
Bich Dong pagoda is surrounded by the harmony of nature. It can be said that the landscape is a harmonious combination of many charming things to see in Bich Dong Pagoda, like the strangely beautiful cave and the rugged rocky mountains, surrounded by swamps along with many typical tree and flower species, which have formed a unity and an impressive nostalgic beauty.

2. The charming architecture of Bich Dong Pagoda

Bich Dong Pagoda is built in the style of the Chinese character "Tam" with three separate towers not contiguous, along the mountainside, based on the mountain's position from low to high forming three distinct temples: Lower (Hạ), Middle (Trung), and Upper (Thượng). The uniqueness of Bich Dong Pagoda lies in the mountain, cave, and temple complementing each other, hidden amidst the lush green ancient trees, blending the temple seamlessly with the surrounding natural scenery. The panoramic view resembles a majestic mountainous painting, adorned with a relief sculpture consisting of three ancient temples, and moss-covered tiled roofs, featuring all eight beautiful scenes that ancient people called "Bích Sơn Bát Cảnh". Coming to admire the wonderful landscape inherited from Mother Nature is one of many things to do in Bich Dong Pagoda that should not be missed.
Ha Pagoda
The first pagoda, known as Ha, stands on the left side. Serving as a sanctuary for Buddha, Ha Pagoda has five rooms adorned with incense and statues, crowned by a two-story roof. The stone pillars in Ha Pagoda, each carved from a single block of stone, tower over 4 meters tall—a testament to exquisite craftsmanship.
Trung Pagoda
Ascending a few steps, you will encounter the second pagoda, Trung. This temple spans both outside and inside a cave. Trung Pagoda features a two-story roof, a spacious forecourt, and an upper temple comprising three rooms. Trung is a unique pagoda, with one half attached to a cave and the other half exposed to the open sky.
Thuong Pagoda
The journey continues to the final pagoda, Thuong, accessible through the Dark Cave or Blue Cave, requiring ascent up 40 stone steps. Along the way, you will be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of quaint villages nestled amidst limestone formations and invigorating fresh air. Inside Thuong Pagoda, two vertical rooms resembling a traditional house, housing a stone altar in the outer room and a Bodhisattva statue in the inner sanctum.

3. The best time to visit Bich Dong Pagoda

 The season of lotus blooming makes the landscape surrounding Bich Dong Pagoda truly picturesque
For an immersive experience, you can visit Bich Dong Pagoda Vietnam during these celebrations of Vietnamese New Year (Lunar January) and Western New Year (end of December) offers a glimpse into the rich cultural traditions of Vietnam, when both locals and tourists flock to Bich Dong Pagoda for festivities and events.
Additionally, during the Vietnamese New Year in February, locals visit the pagoda to pray for luck and prosperity for themselves and their families, creating a joyful and meaningful atmosphere.
Moreover, during the ripe rice season in late May and early June, golden sunshine illuminated the green and yellow rice fields and fragrant lotus ponds is another good choice. On misty days, the pagoda's surroundings take on a mysterious allure, while the serene river flowing through the mountains adds a touch of romance to the scenery.

4. How to visit Bich Dong Pagoda?

How to get to Bich Dong Pagoda ? Bich Dong Pagoda is situated within the complex of historical relics alongside Tam Coc, so you can combine visits to these two sites in your trip. To get to this place, you first need to travel to Ninh Binh from Hanoi. Here are various transportation options:
  • By Bus
Travelling to Ninh Binh by Bus
You can easily find the Ha Noi - Ninh Binh bus route from multiple operators at the Giap Bat or My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi. Ticket prices are affordable, ranging from 120,000 VND to 150,000 VND per person. Buses run every 30 minutes from 5 AM to 11 PM daily.
  • By Car or Motorbike
Travelling to Ninh Binh by Motorbike
Starting from Giai Phong Street, head towards Phap Van - Cau Gie Highway and proceed straight. Follow the signposts along the roads until you reach Ninh Binh Province. Once in Ninh Binh, it's a quick journey to Tam Coc-Bich Dong.
  • By Train
Travelling to Ninh Binh by Train
Train ticket prices from Ha Noi to Ninh Binh vary from 120,000 VND to 200,000 VND, depending on the train type and seat. Ensure you purchase your train tickets before the departure time. The train stops at Ninh Binh Train Station, where you can either pick up a taxi or rent a motorbike to reach Tam Coc-Bich Dong.
From Tam Coc, you have the option to rent bicycles to reach Bich Dong. It is the optimal choice, allowing you to leisurely enjoy the scenery of Ninh Binh Vietnam.

5. Helpful tips

  • When visiting pagodas, it's important to choose attire that is modest and respectful. Additionally, when exploring Bich Dong Pagoda Vietnam, be prepared to walk and climb numerous stairs. Opt for comfortable sneakers or flat shoes to ensure ease of movement.
  • When you visit the pagoda, it's a good idea to prepare some cash to contribute to Bich Dong Pagoda's charity box, which supports the restoration and preservation of the historical site.
  • It is advisable to maintain discipline and protect the property of Bich Dong Pagoda while visiting.

Bich Dong Pagoda is an ancient temple exuding a solemn and mysterious beauty. The harmonious blend of mountains, caves, and temples creates a unique and captivating landscape. There are plenty of things to do in Bich Dong Pagoda during your trip to Ninh Binh, especially coming here to wish for prosperity and health in the new year. If you're someone who enjoys exploring the history and culture of Vietnam, don't miss the opportunity to visit Bich Dong Pagoda. To ensure a satisfying experience far beyond your expectations, please CONTACT AUTOUR ASIA - TRAVEL AGENCY VIETNAM now.



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