After more than 2-hour-drive from Hanoi, you can reach the Bai Dinh pagoda, which is a popular sacred pilgrimage destination for a one day trip from Hanoi.
Bai Dinh pagoda belongs to the northern province of Ninh Binh and has been famous for being home to the biggest bronze Buddha statue in Asia, sporting the longest Arhat Corridor in Asia, and having hosted the United Nations’ Vesak 2014. Covering the total area of 539 hectares, the pagoda is a sacred place to organize numerous religious events of worship, which attracts vast numbers of Buddhist visitors. In addition, visitors to Bai Dinh are also impressed by the sophisticated and awe-inspiring architecture.
Annually, the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival opens on the 6th of January and closes at the end of lunar March. Since the majority of people flock to the pagoda on the first day of the celebration, you are recommended to plan your visit in mid-February. It is the best time for you to enjoy the tranquility and space during your stay.
Leaving Bai Dinh Pagoda, you should not miss the chance to stop-over at Trang An, which is located only 7km away. Dubbed as the “Halong-bay-on-land”, this complex was acknowledged by UNESCO as a cultural and natural World Heritage Site in 2014. At Trang An, nothing is more romantic than sitting on boat gliding gently along the river past majestic mountains and admiring the great works of nature with beautiful islands of high and fertile rock formations. The lakes and caves there form a loop rendering a return boat trip along the same route unnecessary.
For those staying in Hanoi, you can easily book a Hanoi – Bai Dinh – Trang An Trip for one day. Or else, you can take a bus to the city of Ninh Binh and then take a motorbike taxi, taxi, or rent a motorbike to get to Bai Dinh pagoda by morning and then stroll to Trang An in the afternoon before catching a bus back to Hanoi.
In addition, if you have much time, you can even spend 2 days 1night on Ninh Binh tour from Hanoi to discover the unique historic and cultural tourist sites of Ninh Binh, including Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Phat Diem Cathedral or Cuc Phuong National Park. Also, remember that a perfect trip in Ninh Binh cannot miss a chance to taste the culinary specialty of the region: famous mountain goat dishes and slow cooked rice.
(Source: Wanderlust – Edited by Cityinsight.vn)