Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Ninh Binh. If you are planning for a trip to Northern Vietnam, Bai Dinh may come up to you as a potential name for sightseeing and exploring Vietnamese religious culture.
However, many travelers are unfamiliar with this destination and feel unsure about it – they just don’t have enough information needed to make a great trip to Bai Dinh Pagoda. Therefore, this will be a life-saver guide just for you to make a memorable trip to this heavenly pagoda of Ninh Binh.
>>> Explore more Things To Do in Ninh Binh for the best trip <<<
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a Buddhist complex in Ninh Binh and is one of the most famous names of tourism of this province – along with Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Trang An Complex and Tam Coc – Bich Dong. It is located on a mountain shared the same name in Gia Sinh Commune and 12 kilometers away from the city center of Ninh Binh.
Annually thousands of tourists come to visit Bai Dinh and admire its beauty. Built from local materials such as Bat Trang ceramic tiles, Y Yen bronze casts, and embroidery from Ninh Hai Village. Bai Dinh Pagoda is the masterpieces of skillful craftsmen.
Standing at the top of Bai Dinh, you will be offered a panoramic view of the impressive landscape and have a chance to admire the delicate architecture and decoration in traditional Asian Buddhist style. If you are lucky enough, you can also participate in Bai Dinh Pagoda festival and other activities there.
Many tourists coming to Bai Dinh Pagoda stay in Hanoi first, so how to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and Bai Dinh Pagoda? Here are some of the most reasonable way for you to consider:
First, you can choose to take the train with around 100.000 VND (5 US$) to 200.000 VND (10 US$) and approximately 2,5 hours journey. The train is quite comfortable and you can enjoy the constantly changing view from the windows, which can be a great way for sightseeing. You can either buy the ticket offline at the stations or online at the railway website.
Secondly, you can choose the bus. Bus to Ninh Binh includes public bus (the cheapest, and can be the most cramming), open-tour bus (the most popular choice) and limousine (a high-class bus that is convenient but will cost you a little bit more). You can buy a bus ticket at the bus stations, bus agency or even by making a phone call.
Notice that: train and bus will only take you to Ninh Binh center. From Ninh Ninh city center, you can travel to Bai Dinh by taxi. The distance is approximately 12 kilometer, so it should cost you roughly 200.000 VND (10 US$) for a 4-seat cab.
The most convenient choice to get to Bai Dinh Pagoda can be renting a private car if you go in a large group. This is flexible, more private and enjoyable because you will have all the space for yourselves. The only drawback may be the cost.
>>> Or consider the Bai Dinh Trang An tour that covers all the transportation. Also, this trip will take you to 2 of the best destinations in Ninh Binh
The great news is that you don’t have to pay for the entrance fee! However, there are still some costs that you need to add in your budget if you want to have a complete visit to Bai Dinh Pagoda.
If you need to park your car, remember that there is a carpark at the entrance of the pagoda. You will have to pay 15.000 VND (under 1 US$) for a slot, of course. And because that the Bai Dinh Pagoda complex is huge, basically you can’t walk through all of it on foot. The recommendation is paying for the electric car. Bai Dinh Pagoda electric car will cost you 30.000 VND ( 1.5 US$) for one turn to get around.
The electric car will drop you at the main entrance hall of the pagoda, and from there, you can explore Bai Dinh yourself.
The opening hours of Bai Dinh Pagoda are from 7:00 to 18:00 every day. You should note this down to avoid coming to early or too late in the day and have little time to visit Bai Dinh.
Also, the advice is that you should avoid going at noon when the sunlight is strong and could wear you out easily.
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a religious place, so there is some dress code you need to follow strictly. No skirts, shorts or leggings are allowed and too revealing outfit is a no, too.
What you wear will partly show your respect to the local people and their religion, so you should mind your clothes a bit. Avoiding sleeveless clothes as well as too-short skirt, dress or shorts. The appropriate length of your clothes should be below the knees.
Besides, you should wear running shoes or sneakers and avoid high heels because you will have to walk and climb a lot. Generally, casual and comfortable clothes are encouraged if you want to visit Bai Dinh as well as other places in Ninh Binh.
>>> See some Best Ninh Binh Tours for the ideal trip to Ninh Binh!
Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex is a giant tourism complex with the highlight is the three-tiered Bell Tower on the first level of the complex. Walking to the next level, a huge golden Buddha statue will impress you for sure.
On the third level, you will be able to spot the Bai Dinh Pagoda itself, standing charmingly in a garden on the mountain. And on the fourth level is another statue – the silver Budda and the magnificent panoramic view at the peak of the mountain.
To get a more visual description, you can see the below guide map and save it to your phone so you won’t get lost!
Vietnam is the country of beautiful natural caves, so it is not surprising that Bai Dinh Complex also possesses two appealing caves, which are The Light Cave and the Dark Cave.
To get to these caves, you need to climb 300 stone steps to the Triple Gate and then take the slope next to it, with the ways leading to The Light Cave and The Dark Cave. These two caves are exactly like their names: one brimming with light and one covered in mysterious dark.
While The Light Cave is used to worship Gods and Buddha, The Dark Cave is the place to see Mother and fairies statues. Both of them are well decorated with stone statues and ornaments, making them interesting places to visit.
There are 2 main area in Bai Dinh complex: the new complex and the old temple
The New Bai Đinh Temple is a huge complex including many structures built over several phases from 2003 to 2010. The architecture follows traditional lines which consist of large halls, enclosures and courtyards. This huge scale makes Bai Dinh become the largest pagoda in South East Asia.
Tam The Hall, the largest structure, is 34 meters in height and over 59 meters in length. The temple is designed aestheticly with curve finials and corner eaves that resembes a phoenix’s tail and adheres to traditional Vietnamese.
The old and original Bai Đinh pagoda is in the foothills that 800 meters far from the new one. Climbing over 300 stone steps, you can reach the entrance. The temple includes a series of small caves on the mountainside. Besides the temple, the natural spirits of the mountains are also worth a visit.
Bai Dinh Temple is not only popular with its beautiful architecture and decoration, it is also the heart of a lot of festivals and celebrations, especially in the spring.
During the Lunar New Year holiday (around February and March), the temple will host a vibrant festival which attracts local and foreign tourists alike. There will be a lot of interesting and religious events, including ritual processions, blessing ceremonies, traditional music, and dance festival.
The festival of Bai Dinh Temple starts on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year and can last until the third lunar month. The festival has two main parts: the ceremony part and the entertainment activities.
In the ceremony part, there are the incense offering for Buddha, the memorial ceremony of the holy Nguyen Minh Khong, the sacrificial ceremony of Cao Son and the worship of the Thanh Mau Thuong Ngan. Government delegates, monks, nuns, and tourists can all take part in the prayers for prosperity and happiness, which is one of the cultural beauty of Vietnam.
Apart from the ceremony, there will also be festive parts. Dozen of traditional folk games will be held such as tug-of-war and wrestling in the loud cheer of the crowd. Or else, you can dive in the diverse local dishes of main course and snacks. Vietnamese cuisine is something you should never miss out.
Above are all the tips for traveling to Bai Dinh pagoda that Original Ninh Binh Tours has collected. If you want further information, don’t hesitate to Contact Us for Free Itinerary Planning.
The Original Ninh Binh Tours was created to be the first Ninh Binh travel company in Vietnam offering unique original trips, eagerly taken up by the locals and introduced to the inner life of this place. If you want to have a uniquely original experience during your time in Ninh Binh, it is our pleasure to accompany!