Hi everyone ! I’m back with this week trip. Last time we’ve already discovered Halong Bay which is one of the world heritage in a beautiful country – Vietnam. Beside Halong Bay, there is a really famous place known as “Halong Bay on land” which is highly recommended. There are two place: Southeast Asia's largest "Bai Dinh Temple" and Trang An Eco tourism area.
It is located in Ninh Binh Province which is 2.5 hours by car away from Hanoi.
Because it is not too far, so to do sightseeing on a day trip is perfect schedule !
In addition, beside Bai Dinh Temple and Trang An, Ninh Binh is also famous for Hoa Lu ancient temple, which is an old capital of Vietnam thousand year ago, Tam Coc which has 3 caves on a long river with rice fields on both sides.
As usual, the beginning of the tour trip is always from the bus.This time, a mixed tour of Vietnamese and English, about 10 people in our group. After picked everyone up from different hotels in old quarter, the water was brought to everyone for free ofcourse because it is included,the guide started to explain the schedule of today's tour and told us about thestory of Baidinh Temple and Trang an in both Vietnamese and English.
This explanation was mostly written in the guide book. So before booking, you should ready the guideness carefully and if you forgot what you read, it will be repeated by the tourguide along the trip, don’t worry just stay focus on some important information.
After the guide's explanation, the rest is up to the site .... Where we stopped and took a rest was the same with our trip last time. So I decided to stay on the bus for while.
There is a toilet break & souvenir shop time. Because the price was twice or three times higher than in the city, so I do not feel like buying anything...
The largest Bai Dinh temple in Southeast Asia
The first place to visit in the tour is the Bai Dinh temple.
When I got off the bus, I took the electric car from the big gate to the main temple. There was a ticket card to get on the electric car, everyone was received it from the guide. Because the car was included in the tour already so 2 ways ticket was brought to everyone in our group, just make sure you keep the other card to go back. (If you come by an individual, you can walk to the temple without taking the electric car but it was 7 km to go, so just carefully considered be for making decision).
Then I took an electric car and arrived there in less than five minutes! What a speedy car! It seemed like a gateway of an amusement park. So big!
Let's go inside the temple. There are 500 Buddha statues which is placed in the temple. What an amazing scenery! There was a board which said you must not put your hand on the statues, but there were some people still do it regardless of the warning.
This is a statue of Thich Quang Duc( TikKuanDok) – a very famous monk for loving peace and sacrified himself for Vietnam’s Buddhism during the war with American. In 1963, he committed suicide by burning in front of the American Embassy in order to lecture on high-pressure policies for Buddhists in South Vietnam. (If you want to know more about him, on the internet there are so many journals about him).
Looking at this, a funny Buddha statue after a long momentum. Of course, this is person is also a wonderful person ... But I do not know who it is to tell you guys.
This is a big bell. It is said that it will be used for special occasions such as New Year's Eve (Chinese New Year).
There were 5 main temples from the gate up to the top of this temple. And here is one of those small temple inside. This statue seemed to have one thousand eyes and hands.
And this one seemed to be the largest gold statue in Asia, Buddha.
Baidinh Temple, including this Buddha, was really big anyway! This temple, according to our tourguide, was built by Vietnamese private business and individual donations. How rich is Vietnamese people haha !
After visiting the Baidinh temple, our group got together and headed to a restaurant in Ninhbinh to have lunch. This time our lunch was buffet served with speciality of Ninhbinh – Goat meat.
Several kinds of goat meat dishes were prepared. Have you had a chance to try goat meat before? I bet that in our country or yours it would be pricy, so why not try it here where the goats were raised.
Also in Ninhbinh, there is another famous food which is “Com Chay” - the rice was burnt at the bottom of the pot. Then the fried it with a big pan, served with a soup made from chicken,mushroom and some vegetable. Very tasty !
About Vietnamese cuisine, the populpar food that everybody know are PHO and Spring roll , but in reality every province or city in Vietnam have their local products that you should try whenever you are there !!!
After finishedour lunch,we moved a little by bus to Halong Bay “on land” – Trang An.
The tourguide bought us a ticket and went to the pier.
A bamboo boat cruising about 2 hours started for 4 or 5 people on each. An aunt laden will row it. (Sometimes she was just too tired with her arms so she used her barefeet to row the boat.Very interesting and skillful.Lots of plants and floras along the river side.
Water lotus is a signature of Vietnam. And the point of Chang An cruise is caves!!
I wan through many caves here. I wonder if it was 9 times. It was so interesting because the cave was passedover my head and the air in when we got through those caves was so fresh.
I came back to the dock. And because the lady she was rowing so hard to get through all this area so I decided to tip her a bit. She was always smiling at us and talk to us with a little bit English.
Then we got off the boat, took the bus again comeback to Hanoi around 6 p.m. The trip today was very chilling and relaxing because the schedule was not too tight and we all had enough time to went over all the place slowly dicover its story and culture.
If this is the first time you are in Vietnam, it will be better to go to Halong Bay on a cruise. But if thisis the second trip to Vietnam, I still recommended Baidinh temple and Trang An to any traveller. This maybe will be a new name for those who didn’t know much about Vietnam, but the scenery and atmostphere there is very good to have a day out of the busy city. It’s time to loose yourself a bit for a peaceful place like this.
Why do not you travel a little Vietnam?