Hoa Lu- Ninh Binh
How to get there
Hoa Lu is 12km northwest of Ninh Binh; turn left 6km north of town on Hwy 1A. There is no public transport, so most travellers get there by bicycle, motorbike or car. Ask your hotel about the blissful back roads linking Hoa Lu to Tam Coc.
Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh (968–80) and early Le (980–1009) dynasties. The site was a smart choice for a capital city because of the natural protection afforded by the region’s bizarre landscape, with rocky outcrops as spectacular as Tam Coc’s. The ancient citadel of Hoa Lu (admission 10, 000d), most of which has been destroyed, covered an area of about 3 sq km. The outer ramparts encompassed temples, shrines and the king’s palace. The royal family lived in the inner citadel.
Yen Ngua Mountain provides a scenic backdrop for Hoa Lu’s two remaining temples. The first, Dinh Tien Hoang, was restored in the 17th century and is dedicated to the Dinh dynasty. At the front of the main temple building is the stone pedestal of a royal throne; inside are bronze bells and a statue of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang with his three sons. In a building to the right a display features photos and some artefacts, while to the left are three Buddhist prayer stones – one supported by a turtle, another with a crab and two rats at the base.
Sights in Ninh Binh
Hoa Lu- Ninh Binh | Tam Coc- Ninh Binh | Cuc Phuong National Park | Van Long Natural Reserve | Kenh Ga (Chicken Canal) Ninh Binh | Phat Diem | Bai Dinh Pagoda