Bich Dong Pagoda is located in Ninh Binh which regarded as miniature northern Vietnam and only 90 kilometers to the south of Hanoi capital. This province is well-known for abundant historical sites and natural scenery that attracts a huge number of travelers from Vietnam and all over the world.
Among famous destinations in Ninh Binh, Bich Dong is considered as a must-see attraction for tourists where you can explore not only the natural cave but also a unique pagoda built inside it. Let’s find out an interesting fact about Bich Dong Ninh Binh!
>>> Explore more Best Things To Do in Ninh Binh <<<
The name of Bich Dong means Emerald Grotto. It is located in Truong Yen range of mountains. It is a natural cave that is wide inside and has a high roof. It is noticeable that there is a pagoda built right in the Emerald Grotto and this pagoda is also named as the name of the grotto – Bich Dong pagoda.
It is said that once upon a time, there were some monks came here and discovered this cave which was hidden by dense and strong vine and plants. Due to the light and color of limestone in the cave, it was called Bich Dong (Emerald Grotto). After that, they built a pagoda right here and named it Bich Dong pagoda.
Bich Dong Pagoda is just 3 kilometers far from Tam Coc boat pier, therefore, you can walk to this pagoda or hire a bicycle to get near this pagoda from Tam Coc. The pagoda has a view to a valley of beautiful rice fields, crossed by the Truong Giang River and situated right on Bich Dong Mountain of Ngu Nhac Son Mountains.
To come into Bich Dong pagoda, there is only one way of steep stone steps. Nevertheless, it deserves to explore and you will never feel regret to take these steps.
The pagoda was constructed by two monks called Tri Kien and Tri The in early 18th century. Actually, this pagoda consists of three pagodas which are typical of traditional construction style, made from wood and stone at that time when the Nguyen Dynasty began and developed prosperously.
Since this pagoda was located in Bich Dong Mountain, it was named as Bich Dong Pagoda, based on its location. The first pagoda of Bich Dong is Ha Pagoda (Lower Pagoda), located at the foot of the mountain. The second is Trung Pagoda (Middle Pagoda), lying on the mountainside and Thuong Pagoda (Upper Pagoda) is situated on the top of the mountain.
>>> Witness this amazing complex with Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong tour!
The pagoda you will see first is Ha pagoda. On the eaves of this pagoda, a Chinese sentence was carved with the sentence “Gia lam than hoang bao dien Nam thien to”.
The pagoda also keeps four rows of ancient Buddhist statues such as the statues of Tam The (Past, Present, and Future Buddha), the one of Di Da Tam Ton, Bodhisattva Kwan Yin statue with a thousand eyes and hands, and the statue of Thich Ca So Sinh (Baby Buddha). Moreover, there are also a number of other priceless statues and worshipping objects such as candles, incense burners and lamps creating a solemn ambiance.
When coming to Trung Pagoda, you will be attracted by lots of beautiful features, especially the Chinese letters “Third beautiful grotto under the Southern sky” carved by Lord Trinh Sam from the 18th century in the front yard. These letters were carved by Nguyen Nghiem, father of the famous Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du when he was assigned to do it on the cliff of this pagoda.
Besides, there are three other impressive statues made of stone in the pagoda: Buddha Di Da in the middle, the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva on the left and the Bodhisattva Vajrayana on the right.
The last pagoda is Thuong pagoda which has two special temples – the left one for the local earth god and the right one for the mountain god. From the pagoda, tourist can have a view of Ngu Mon field (Five gates) and the spectacular Tam Coc, Bich Dong.
What makes Bich Dong pagoda attractive and distinctive from other pagoda is the beauty of ancient architecture and surrounding scenery of natural cave, mountains and river. All of these create a wonderful pagoda with an impressive view.
Bich Dong Pagoda Vietnam is open all day so you can visit the place any time. However, the recommended time is from 9:00 to 18:00 when you can clearly see the full view of Ninh Binh from the top of Bich Dong.
There is no compulsory entrance fee to get into Bich Dong Pagoda and it is completely free for everyone to visit this pagoda. It is noteworthy that you may be asked to pay some money from some locals, therefore, you should be careful because they want to cheat you.
These are transportations to Bich Dong from Ninh Binh. To get to Ninh Binh, more specific is Tam Coc, you can check Getting to Tam Coc!
If you are staying near Bich Dong, You can go there by bicycle which you can hire from your homestay or hotel and it can cost you about 80.000 – 100.000 VND per day.
If your accommodation is a little bit further, you can hire a motorbike which is around 150.000 VND per day. The road from Tam Coc to Bich Dong Pagoda has an extremely appealing beauty. Therefore, you can stop to admire the rice fields or surrounding scenery here and take some pictures to bring home.
Taxi is convenient transportation for first-time visitors because the driver will take you to the right place you want. It is not difficult to find a taxi in Tam Coc or Ninh Binh. The price depends on your starting point but should not be higher than 15.000 VND/ kilometers. You can take a taxi from reliable brands such as Taxi Group, Mai Linh or use Grab.
Tam Coc is one of the most popular destinations in Ninh Binh which becomes a symbol of tourism here. This place becomes more well-known when the scene filmed in Tam Coc was revealed in cinema. If you have a chance to travel in Tam Coc, you can contemplate the pristine beauty of nature with marvelous mountains, emerald rivers and rice fields with attractive color arrays.
>>> Take a look at Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Bich Dong tour to explore the most of Ninh Binh
Especially, it is more wonderful with experience on a boat and admires the breathtaking landscape. In addition, you can also take pictures with locals disguising like aborigines in “King Kong” film.
Known as the largest pagoda in Asia, Bai Dinh pagoda has an impressive architecture and scale. Different from the simple beauty of Bich Dong pagoda, Bai Dinh pagoda has a magnificent beauty with sparkling design and valuable materials of stone and wooden.
When coming to this pagoda, you will understand how Buddhism is and how it impacts on lifestyle in Vietnam. This trip will never make you disappointed so that don’t miss it.
Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is known as the first ancient capital of Vietnam under the dynasties of Kings Dinh and Kings Le. This citadel was mainly made from stone and had a typical style of Vietnamese architecture. When visiting temples of kings, you will be likely to hear of Vietnamese history and historical events related to King Dinh and King Le.
Hence, you can gain a deep understanding of Vietnamese history as well as Vietnamese culture.
>>> Check Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave trip for more exploration
If you come here in the time of March (lunar calendar), you will have a chance to take part in Truong Yen festival – a famous one celebrated in Hoa Lu to memorize the contribution of the kings.
If you have a chance to travel in anywhere in Ninh Binh, you must try the tasty dishes here. Ninh Binh is really well-known for Scorched Rice, with main ingredients of rice and ham, which brings you a fascinating taste.
Besides, you can also enjoy cuisine made from goat meat. Since there are many mountains in Ninh Binh, locals grow lots of goats and goat meat becomes a typical specialty here. You can easily find this dish in many restaurants in Ninh Binh.
Bich Dong deserves to be a famous relic of Vietnamese history and culture. If you have any question about this destination, please feel free to contact us and get your answer.