Hoa Lu Ancient Capital gate

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital | Opening Hours, Entrance Fee and more

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is an inseparable piece of the great story of Vietnam stands silent as a divine heritage site. Millennia ago, return to a long time in past, Dinh Bo Linh reunified the country which had been divided into 12 parts in 968, he became a king and named the country Dai Co Viet.

For a country’s capital city, Ninh Binh Hoa Lu was a natural geographic choice because of the limestone mountains keeping the city well-hidden from potential invaders. Nearby lies Tam Coc, a flooded cave karst system whose majestic yet serene scenery can blow out your tired feeling.

>>> More places to visit nearby Hoa Lu in Top Things To Do in Ninh Binh <<<

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital from outside

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Ninh Binh was used as a substantial military stronghold of 3 dynasties in Vietnam history: Dinh Dynasty, Le Dynasty, and Ly Dynasty.

The ancient capital is a glittering and sumptuous palace which is surrounded by limestone mountains, magnificent scenery and numerous lakes. Together with Original Ninh Binh Tours, let’s discover this place!

First, we will give you some basic informations to spend a trip here!

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital opening hours

The ancient capital opens from 7.00 to 16:00 so make sure that you have set all the itinerary before unless you desire to miss the entrance time.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital entrance fee

The fee to get in is quite cheap with only 20.000 VND per adult & 10.000 VND per child.

Hoa Lu Ninh Binh historical relic

Visit ancient Hoa Lu Capital with zero cost!

Hoa Lu Temple Ninh Binh dress code

As a spiritual destination, you should pay attention to your clothes when you come to Hoa Lu Ninh Binh Vietnam . Highly recommend that you should wear T-Shirts or long-hand shirt with trousers (and shorts is accepted) and the clothes should be light in colour. Just be simple, we are in the pagoda for visiting and praying.

The glory of Hoa Lu Ninh Binh past

Built in the middle of the 10th century, the time that the country stays in trouble. Vietnam independently controlled their land apart from the Chinese dynasties. However, due to political separations, the country was divided into 12 parts led by 12 generals. These different kingdoms continuously fought one another in order to own the power.

After a long time in trouble, a talented man named Dinh Bo Linh who gathered an army to fight the 12 armies and reunified the country, became a king and named the country Dai Co Viet. The great country of the Viet people and the absolute monarchy history of Vietnam began.

Until 1010, the founder and the king of the Ly Dynasty – Ly Cong Uan moved the capital of the country from Hoa Lu to Dai La. And he changed the name of Dai La to Thang Long (meaning flying dragon), which is Hanoi capital city of present Vietnam.

>>> Take a deep look in Vietnamese history with Hoa Lu Ancient Capital tour!

Hoa Lu ancient capital corner

Nowadays, Hoa Lu still remain many ancient corners

Relics of Hoa Lu Citadel

In the past, Hoa Lu was a magnificent palace and a busy trading town. Geographically, the mountain hills range surround the capital like a huge shield and the Hoang Long River meandering and immense fields are natural trenches and very militarily favourable.

Hoa Lu ancient capital Vietnam stays in an approximately 3 square kilometers area, consist of 3 citadels: the outer citadel, inner citadel and south citadel, surrounded by variety of stone arches, majestic landscape. The outer citadel is covered in 1.4 square kilometers space situated in Yen Thanh village, Truong Yen commune. This palace stays like the main situation that now is Dinh and Le temple area and also the place where the Dinh dynasties were first set up by the King Dinh Tien Hoang.

  • King Dinh’s temple was built follow “nội công ngoại quốc” on the place situated the ancient palace. (internal shape of character “Cong” 工 and external shape of character “Quoc” 国, located in the center is character 工, in front is the interior altar hall and both sides are corridors)
Kinh Dinh Temple

The temple dedicates to Kinh Dinh

  • King Le’s temple worshipping King Le Dai Hanh is about 500 meters from King Dinh Temple . The scale of Le temple is smaller. The temple  retains many hints of antiquated architecture with detailed engravings. The museum room where keeps the palace relics and ancient ceramic stays in the left side of the temple. In Hoa Lu relics. there are also some temples that attracts visitors to offer incense.
kinh le temple

And the Kinh Le Temple worshipping King Le Dai Hanh

  • Nhat Tru Pagoda was built in the 10th century, which means it’s now more than 1.000 years old. This pagoda was used for meetings between the monks. The monks maintained a very high class in society at that time. In the Ly Dynasty, Buddhism was esteemed and the king usually invited the monks to discuss the country’s problems.

What can you experience in Hoa Lu Viet Nam beside historical relics?

Slow down in the Ngo Dong River with Tam Coc boat ride

Do you know the beautiful Ngo Dong River that connects the two destinations is a travel wonder in its own right? The river is very special for having no riverside. It is actually a water channel lying among endless paddy fields and rugged limestone mountains.

Boarding a native boat and sailing calmly down the idle river, you will have a chance to observe the surreal beauty of a countryside landscape, the verdant paddy fields stretching seemingly beyond the horizon.

If you are lucky enough to be here during harvest time (in May, June and September) the colour golden covers all-over the fields. Alternatively, you should hire a bike and discover the region by land, which is definitely enjoyable. However, don’t forget sunglasses, umbrellas or native Vietnamese conical hats to shade yourselves from the sun and avoid the sunburnt.

>>> More than 5/10 travelers coming to Ninh Binh choose Hoa Lu Tam Coc day trip since they are really close to each other and can bring out the best of Ninh Binh!

Tam Coc ripen rice season

Rowing in Ngo Dong river in its best season to witness the yellow rice fields

Truong Yen Festival

In the third month of the Lunar New Year, a festival named Truong Yen is organised commemorating its reign from 968-1010 A.D. A large procession which begins at Hoang Long river crossing the citadel and ends at the Dinh and Le temples. The festival also includes many traditional plays (usually about Kinh Dinh), contests (mostly chess), games and a fair.

Truong Yen festival

Join Truong Yen Festival to experience the locals’ culture

Other tourist attractions near Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel

You should visit Hoa Lu along with some place nearby to make the best of your time in Ninh Bing. Here are some suggestions.

>>> See Best Ninh Binh Tours that combine Hoa Lu with many other destinations!

Tam Coc – Bich Dong

Called by the name “Ha Long Bay on Land” cause of the attractive structure karst-limestone mountain. The three caves were created by Ngo Dong river flowing through a mountain. The best way to observe this attraction is by picking a rowboat trip. The limestone mountains and the golden paddy field match so perfect that you will be left in awe with the majestic landscape formed by nature.

Your lungs will be full with the fresh, cool air, then look at the innumerable fantastic stalactites hanging from the cave roof. I willw explain why Tam Coc has been nicknamed “the inland Ha Long Bay”. The boat ride are operated by locals who are very friendly and knowledgeable. They will tell you more interesting things about the place!

Things to Do In Ninh Binh - bich dong pagoda

Come to Bich Dong Pagoda to get lost in the fairy land!

Trang An Ecotourism

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trang An plays an important role in the wonderful tourist attractions in Ninh Binh. The landscape of the ecological area is a sumptuous mountainous region, created by the multi-dimensional mountains of the shadow down the small streams winding, meandering the cave, the valley of wilderness. The boat tour absolutely is a healthy dose for yourself before discovering all the spots in Ninh Binh.

Once you sit in your boat, all your daily stresses will be blown away as your guide paddles you through the river and around the karst-limestone mountains. It’s extremely tranquil; you will only hear the sound of the oars as they enter and leave the river surface, and some soft tweet of birds, closing your eyes and immerse in the sound, you won’t desire to open ever.

Things to Do In Ninh Binh - trang an 2

Trang An looks like a picture from the above

There is a note that you should pay attention. When the boat comes in the caves, don’t forget to bow your head or lie down on your back on the boat if you don’t want to be hurt because the ceilings can be very low. During these moments, the peddlers lie on their back and carry on peddling with their feet. It’s an interesting sight.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Not so far from Trang An, Bai Dinh Temple Spiritual and Cultural Complex is a great choice to explore. The biggest Buddhist center in South East Asia is the house of hundreds of statues in different sizes which stands around the complex, it is worth your surprising reaction “Wow”.

There are electric cars service that will take you to the gate for just 30.000 VND; it helps you to avoid the unwoken-up leg situation in next day. The old Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in the foothill, 800 meters from the new one, smaller and stayed into a series of small caves on the mountainside.

Bai Dinh pagoda hidden corner

Bai Dinh Pagoda offers a chance to sightsee and learn about Vietnamese culture

On the sixth day of the first lunar month, a large festival that draws huge crowds usually hosted in Bai Dinh Pagoda. There are Buddhist ceremonies being in the New Pagoda and traditional rituals from the Old pagoda.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is really a worthy place for any visitor coming to Ninh Binh. Hope these details can help you plan a trip to this wonderful place. If you have any question, please contact Original Ninh Binh Tours’ local experts. We are more than happy to help!

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