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Exploring Bai Dinh Ninh Binh: What Visitors Don't Typically Discover

Exploring Bai Dinh Ninh Binh: What Visitors Don't Typically Discover


Talking about famous tourist destinations in Ninh Binh, it is impossible not to mention Bai Dinh Pagoda. A lot of tourists come to Bai Dinh to see the harmony between natural beauty and cultural value. However, because Bai Dinh is large with complex structures, many people didn’t visit all its unique features. It’s a regret if you spend time and money but can’t experience all the highlights of Bai Dinh Pagoda. If you are planning to travel to Bai Dinh, you definitely cannot miss this article. It will show you things visitors commonly ignore in Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh.

Things should be learned about Bai Dinh Pagoda 

Why do tourists usually miss some parts of the experience when travelling to Bai Dinh Pagoda? At first, to have a full experience in Bai Dinh, there are some features you need to know. 

Where is Bai Dinh Pagoda? 

Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in the area of Bai Dinh Mountain, Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, about 97 km from Hanoi and 12 km from Ninh Binh city.

See the map: Hanoi to Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda has 2 separate area

Bai Dinh covers a large area. The temple has an area of up to 539 hectares. It includes 27 hectares of the old Bai Dinh Pagoda area and 80 hectares of the new Bai Dinh Pagoda area. Tourists normally visit the new one and miss the old temple. 

The old Bai Dinh Pagoda

The old Bai Dinh Pagoda was built in the 12th century by the famous Vietnamese monk, Ly Quoc Su.

In contrast to its modern counterpart, the New Bai Dinh Pagoda, the Old Bai Dinh Pagoda bring an atmosphere of tranquillity and simplicity. Its modest structures, crafted from stones and wood, harmonize with the surrounding natural beauty. 

The reason why Old Bai Dinh Pagoda is missed is because of its location. Nested in the jungle, there is a small path to go to this ancient temple. If you travel in a big group or don’t pay attention to small signs, you can easily pass through this temple. Besides, to reach the temple, you have to go upstairs. It might be a challenge for kids or the older. Some tourists skip this temple because they feel tired after discovering the new area. 

Visit Bai Dinh Old Temple is worth it because you will see the religion of Vietnamese presenting in this area. If you have time, don't forget to explore this area.

The new Bai Dinh Pagoda

The new Bai Dinh Pagoda was built in the 21st century and is the largest Buddhist temple complex in Southeast Asia. This is the first thing you see in Bai Dinh. Although you follow the map provided or follow your tour guide, you can still miss some special places. Therefore, make sure you know all about the main places below, including: 

  • Tam The Hall: The largest structure in the pagoda complex, with a height of 34 meters and a length of over 59 meters. The hall houses three bronze statues of Buddha, each representing different stages of his life.
  • The largest gilded bronze Buddha in Asia: This massive statue, measuring 10 meters tall and weighing 70 tons, is the largest gilded bronze Buddha in Asia. It is located in the courtyard of the pagoda complex.
  • The Great Hall houses - a 36-meter-tall bronze statue of Buddha Amitabha, the tallest bronze statue in Southeast Asia.
  • The Bell Tower - the largest bell tower in Southeast Asia.
  • The Drum Tower - the largest drum tower in Southeast Asia.
  • The longest Arhat corridor in Asia: This long corridor, lined with 500 statues of Arhats (Buddhist saints), is the longest Arhat corridor in Asia. It measures over 120 meters in length.
  • The tallest stupa in Asia: This tall stupa, measuring 30 meters in height, is the tallest stupa in Asia. It is located in the stupa area of the pagoda complex.

Please note: the entrance ticket in Bai Dinh Pagoda doesn’t cover the Stupa. Many tour packages exclude this stupa, too. If you want to go inside, buy a ticket at the entrance of the stupa (Pay directly for the gatekeeper). This stupa is a unique simple of Bai Dinh Pagoda, so don’t miss it. 

Religious Tourism in Ninh Binh: Must-Visit Temples and Vietnamese Beliefs

How to get around Bai Dinh Pagoda 

You can travel to Bai Dinh Pagoda by car, bus, or motorbike. If you are travelling from Hanoi, you can take a taxi or small van to Bai Dinh Pagoda. The journey takes about 2 hours.

When reach Bai Dinh, don’t try to discover it on foot. It would be a mistake to think that walking is the simplest and most economical way to explore Bai Dinh Pagoda. It is important to note that Bai Dinh Pagoda is very large, so walking will take your time and energy. Electric cars are the most popular mode of transportation in Bai Dinh Pagoda. Electric cars run continuously from the parking lot to the Tam Quan gate, then go around the main attractions in the pagoda. The price of an electric car ticket is 30,000 VND per trip. Of course, you should choose a round-trip electric car with a price of 60,000 VND/person. Children under 1 meter have a free ticket. 

Additionally, the opening hours of Bai Dinh Pagoda are from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily. The ideal time to spend on Bai Dinh is at least a half day. Therefore, don’t start your journey so late. If you have just one day in Ninh Binh, Bai Dinh in the morning and a boat trip in the afternoon is enough. More than 3 attractions in a day can be rushed. 

Bai Dinh Travel Tips 

Although Bai Dinh Pagoda is an attractive tourist destination, you also need to keep in mind the following issues to have a complete travel experience:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot during your visit, so it is important to wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to move easily. Avoid wearing high heels, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous.
  • Buy souvenirs outside the temple. Souvenirs sold inside the temple are often overpriced. You can find better deals outside the temple. Bargain the price if can. 
  • Bring a little cash to donate. Donating money to the temple is a way to show your respect and wish for good luck for yourself and your family. 
  • Bring an umbrella if you are travelling during the spring. The spring season in Vietnam is often rainy, so it is important to be prepared for rain.
  • Arrive early. The pagoda can get crowded, especially during peak season. Arriving early will help you avoid the crowds and have a more enjoyable experience.
  • Dress appropriately. Bai Dinh Pagoda is a religious site, so it is important to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing revealing clothing.
  • Be respectful. Bai Dinh Pagoda is a sacred place, so it is important to be respectful of the Buddhist tradition. Avoid talking loudly or making noise.

Hope these tips help you plan your trip to Bai Dinh Pagoda. When travelling to the north of Vietnam or in Hanoi, take time to go there. While the most popular places are presented on the map, there are still many things that can be missed. By spending more time and going off the beaten path, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the rich culture and history of Bai Dinh. 

Tour package to Bai Dinh - Ninh Binh From Hanoi: 

Bai Dinh -Trang An - Mua Cave 

  • Visit Bai Dinh pagoda- the biggest pagoda in the Southeast Asia
  • Have a buffet lunch with Vietnamese cuisine
  • Enjoy the boat trip to visit Trang An Eco-Tourism Complex
  • Discover majestic caves, especially 1000 meters long-cave
  • Visit Mua Cave - Climb up to the top of Lying Dragon Mountain to express the breathtaking mountainous picturesque

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