Bai Dinh Pagoda is a spiritual tourist attraction in the Bai Dinh – Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex with more than 1000 years of the history. It has been inherent in Ninh Binh, the land of 3 feudal dynasties in Vietnamese history, namely Dinh, Tien Le, and Ly.
Now, together with AZ Local Trip, let’s discover everything you need to know before going to this place. From the entrance fee, opening hours to dress code, electric car and other detail guides.
"Pháp Chủ" Hall - devoted to the veneration of Gautama Buddha
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a Buddhist complex located on Bai Dinh mountain in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district. Bai Dinh Pagoda is 5 kilometers to the Northwest from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and 12 kilometers from Ninh Binh city. It has a large campus with 539 hectares including 27 hectares of the old and the newly built areas. Bai Dinh Pagoda welcomes thousands of travelers each year.
The highest Buddhist tower in Southeast Asia - a must see when visiting Bai Dinh pagoda
The most suitable time for Bai Dinh Pagoda trips is in spring (from January to March of the Lunar Year) when the weather is warm. Visitors can combine spring traveling, sightseeing, praying for luck in the temple and participating in big festivals in both Trang An and Bai Dinh. However, this time is the peak of festival tourist season, so there are a huge number of visitors, which leads to overload and overcrowding. Therefore, if any visitors do not like the situations, they can travel to Bai Dinh at another time in the year.
Tourists are no need to pay the entrance fee but as the Bai Dinh Pagoda’s campus is so large, visitors can use electric cars to up to the pagoda if they do not have much time. The fee for one turn of using electric cars is 30,000 dong per capita (about $1.3 for each person) in the area of Bai Dinh Pagoda.
Electric car in Bai Dinh Pagoda
Bai Dinh Pagoda opening hours are from 7 a.m to 6 p.m everyday. Visitors can come anytime during these hours.
Visiting Bai Dinh, you must avoid wearing skirts, short and leggings. Moreover, wearing running shoes and sneakers instead of high heels as you will walk and climb a lot.
From the overall view, Bai Dinh Pagoda is a standard of the ancient-pagoda architecture in Vietnam, typically massive constructions in the new pagoda area. The roofs of the central pagoda are really stunning including 3 layers with 12 curvy roofs in the shape of Vietnamese blades. They are covered by tile roofs which have the shape of Vietnamese traditional shoes. The steps are decorated with stone dragons of Ly dynasty style. Standing on the large yard, visitors can see a well named ‘Ngoc’.
Around corridors are La Han Buddha statues put to surround the campus of the pagoda. There are many small green gardens where mock Bodhi trees, marcotted directly from the trees in Indian pagodas, are the most popular trees. The atmosphere of Bai Dinh Pagoda is really peaceful, cool and fresh. This is an ideal place for Buddhists to worship and gather.
Bai Dinh Pagoda guide map
To Bai Dinh, visitors can give priority to some typical tourist spots with many mysterious legends
Hang Sang (the light cave) and Dong Toi (the dark cave)
After passing 300 stone steps up to the Triple Gate and not entering the gate, visitors will look at a slope and next to it is a fork which is the way to Hang Sang and Dong Toi. Hang Sang is the place to worship Gods and Buddha. Hang Sang means a light cave in Vietnamese and like its name, it has lots of natural light. At the gate of the cave are the statues of 2 grave Gods with fierce faces. Deep inside the cave are the Buddha put. Hang Sang is about 25 meters in depth, 15 meters in width and 2 meters in height. At the end of the cave, visitors can turn to the temple of the sacred God named Cao Son.
Statutes inside Dong Toi
In Dong Toi (the dark cave), a system of lights is designed to make the scene mysterious. Above the cave are stalactite arrays which were formed by groundwater. The steps of the path are decorated with winding dragons. At the center of the dark cave is a natural well to modify the air, which makes visitors feel cool when they enter the cave. The statues of Mother and fairies are placed in the dark cave, and many of them are placed in stones and they have separate worship things.
The Temple of Nguyen God
From the fork (up to the Triple Gate) is the temple of Nguyen God. The temple is an architectural item belonging to Bai Dinh complex. It was designed and built as the style of “mountain leaning and river watching”. In the temple is the statue of a Buddhist monk named Nguyen Minh Khong placed. In the past, when finding herbal medicine on the mountain to cure the King, Nguyen Minh Khong unintentionally discovered a stunning and suitable cave to build a pagoda and worship the Buddha. He was not only a famous doctor who help dwellers but also a patriarch of a brass foundry. For a long time, he tried extremely hard to research and found the derivation of Dong Son civilization in Vietnamese ancient time, and collected antique bronze stuff with a view to reviving the faded traditional brass foundry.
To commemorate and remember what he had done for the people, they carved his statue and placed on Bai Dinh Pagoda. In addition, he is also worshiped in many places in Ninh Binh.
Ngoc well is rumored that the monk Nguyen Minh Khong took water from the well to slow cook medicine for the King and the people. Standing from the major temple, visitors can see Ngoc well stand out among trees on campus. The water of the well is jade green, which is a highlight of Bai Dinh Pagoda. Ngoc well is recorded as the biggest well in Vietnam.
The Biggest Bronze Bell in Vietnam
Bai Dinh pagoda is also famous for many works of tall statues in the Southeast Asian area. The biggest bronze bell in Vietnam has a height of 5.5 meters, a diameter of 3.5 meters and a weight of 30 tons. This bell was carved with many Chinese ancient words and decorated with vivid embossed dragon patterns.
The biggest Gautama Buddha statue of Asia is placed gravely in Bai Dinh Pagoda. It is 100 tons in weight and 9.5 meters in height. Visitors may feel overwhelmed because of its gorgeous majesty when standing in front of the statue.
The biggest Gautama Buddha statue of Asia
With the unique architecture and long-lasting history, Bai Dinh pagoda has become a famous spot for ecotourism, spiritual tour in the North of Vietnam in general and Ninh Binh province in particular. 8 records of Vietnam and Asia as well are marked in Bai Dinh pagoda like Vietnam biggest bronze bell, Asian highest heaviest Gautama Buddha statue, Vietnam biggest group of three copper inlaid with gold statues, Southeast Asian biggest bronze Maitreya Buddha statue, Vietnam pagoda with biggest Arhat Buddha statue corridor, Vietnam pagoda with the most mock Bodhi trees.
The largest bodhisattva bronze statue in Vietnam
Bai Dinh Trang An Tour 1 Day
8 a.m in the morning, hop on a car for the departure to Ninh Binh. You will reach Bai Dinh Pagoda which is the first destination at around 10:30 a.m. Then you start to explore all the place, go through each tourist attractions in Bai Dinh Pagoda. It's better to have a tour guide to go with you as he or she will explain the meaning of each place you go through.
Charming view at Bai Dinh Ninh Binh
After touring around Bai Dinh Pagoda, it's time to have some lunch with Ninh Binh local dishes. You can choose a local restaurant to enjoy your meal.
The rest of the day will be spent in Trang An Tourism Complex which is 15 minutes from Bai Dinh Pagoda. Take a boat trip to explore and discover the nature and wild beauty of this area. This will be the highlight of your trip. At 4:30 p.m, hop on the car and go back to Hanoi.
Exciting boat ride in Trang An complex
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