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Hoa Lu Ninh Binh | 2019 Opening Hours, Entrance Fee and Detailed Guide

best thing to do in Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu Citadel

Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is known as the ancient capital of Vietnam, which attracts a variety of tourists visiting this citadel every day. Hoa Lu is considered as the symbol of history and culture of Vietnam through different periods of time. Coming to this ancient capital, visitors will have a chance to gain a thorough understanding of Vietnam history during King Dinh and Le Dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries.

>>> Explore more Best Things To Do in Ninh Binh <<<

best thing to do in Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu Citadel

An overview of Hoa Lu Ancient capital

The establishment of Hoa Lu Vietnam 

For the convenient geography of the surrounding nature of limestone mountains, Hoa Lu used to be chosen to be capital which can hide from neighbor invaders. To the northwest of Hoa Lu capital is surrounded by Hoang Long river, flowing across the citadel and creating amazing scenery. Besides, this river also used to be a convenient place for trade and lots of different business.

Private Tam Coc Mua Cave Tour (7)

The great walls with considerable thickness in Hoa Lu Citadel

Surrounding Hoa Lu ancient capital is strong walls which were built by residents to protect and support for it. These walls have an impressive height of 15 meters and a thickness of some meters.

>>> Find out How to get from Hanoi to Hoa Lu?

The relation between Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel and Kings of Ancient Vietnam

In the past, Hoa Lu citadel was established by King Dinh Tien Hoang, also known as Dinh Bo Linh – the first king of Vietnam. King Dinh Tien Hoang had a great contribution to unifying the northern kingdom in 968 A.D after the time of separation by 12 warlords.

Hoa Lu maintained a period of prosperous development under the governance of Dinh and Le Dynasties until Ly dynasty in 1010, the ancient capital was left behind and moved to Thang Long, known as Hanoi nowadays.

best thing to do in Ninh Binh - Kinh Dinh

Temple of Kings in Hoa Lu Citadel

Since then, the citadel had to suffer the deterioration because of lack of care and protection. However, no longer after that, the citadel was unearthed and reconstructed in the 17th century according to the original one.

The ancient capital of Hoa Lu was rebuilt to commemorate the great contribution of Kings to Vietnamese development as well as remind the descendants of the next generations to be grateful to the merit of these respectable kings. More than that, this capital brings a value of Vietnamese history and culture that can’t deny.

Nowadays, Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is not only a place for worship and memorial but also an attractive destination for tourists as well as introduce the culture and history of Vietnam to friends from all over the world.

>>> Take a trip not only for sightseeing but learning Vietnamese culture as well!

What fascinating thing to experience in Hoa Lu Ninh Binh?

Getting knowledge about Vietnamese History and culture

If you join any tour to visit Hoa Lu ancient capital, there will be a tour guide who tells you the historical story about this citadel relating to Vietnamese history, therefore, you can learn more about different periods of development and fight against invaders of ancient Vietnam.

hoa lu ninh binh surrounding

The peaceful scenery surrounding Hoa Lu Ninh Binh

Additionally, you can be taken around Hoa Lu campus and observe the special architecture here, which is a typical style of Vietnamese architecture in the past that tells you not only our culture but also history development in the past.

Being told about an interesting legend of Princess Kim in Hoa Lu

If fortunate, you can hear about the ancient story about Kim Princess, the daughter of King Dinh Tien Hoang. When mature, the princess became a beautiful girl and was given to a favored court official of the king. After the marriage, the princess and the official left Hoa Lu and moved to the south of ancient Vietnam and established a new empire called the kingdom of Champa, which is currently Southern Vietnam.

The King was very angry at his daughter Phat Kim and only one year later when she came back, he decided to imprison the princess Kim for the crime of treason. A time later, the princess was sent to Nhat Tru Pagoda which was nearby Hoa Lu citadel and became a nun and had to suffer the pain of a traitor against family and nation.

nhat tru pagoda in hoa lu ninh binh-min

A part of Nhat Tru Pagoda in Hoa Lu complex nowadays

In 979 A.D, the king Dinh was mysteriously assassinated. Too painful for her father’s death, the princess Kim suicided herself by jumping into a well. Now if you happen to visit this well, you will be told this story and know that the well is especially for princess Kim.

Truong Yen Festival in Hoa Lu Ninh Binh

Truong Yen Festival is a typical festival of Hoa Lu Ninh Binh which is celebrated yearly to commemorate its prosperous period between 968 and 1010 under the reign of King Dinh and King Le Dynasties. In Truong Yen Festival, there is a special parade with many people wearing traditional costumes which starts from Hoang Long river and ends up at the temples of King Dinh and King Le.

During this festival, you can participate in many traditional games of Vietnam, see locals joining contests such as chess, or even you can take part in, and also there is a fair where you can buy some traditional products and souvenir.

Hoa Lu Ninh Binh - Truong Yen festival

Fascinating Truong Yen Festival with traditional plays

If you are keen on this festival, you can choose to visit Hoa Lu in the third month according to the Lunar Calendar, which is about April in Solar Calendar. Definitely, this festival will make a great impression and bring you an extraordinary experience on your trip to Vietnam.

Tips for visiting Hoa Lu Ninh Binh

Since Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is a sacred place that maintains the value of Vietnamese culture and history, belonging to Asian culture, when visiting this citadel, you need to remember some things as below.

  • Make sure to wear your costumes politely and formally.
  • When visiting king Dinh- Le temple, you should be gentle to show your respect to this solemn temple and Kings.
  • Remember to keep clean and not to litter in this respectful destination.
  • If you join a tour, you need to follow your tour guide since there may be some taboo you don’t know in this temple.
  • If you travel on your own and there is no tour guide, you should find out carefully the map of Hoa Lu ancient capital for tourists at first to avoid being confused and get lost.

Besides getting knowledge about Vietnamese history and culture, you can spend time to visit other nearby destination since it will not take you lots of time to visit all of Hoa Lu. Here are some suggestions if you want to explore other tourist attractions in Ninh Binh.

In Hoa Lu ancient capital, you don’t just spend your time on learning about the historical site of Ninh Binh. Should you come and visit nearby attractions like Tam Coc, Mua Cave, Trang An, Thung Nham bird garden, Cuc Phuong national park…they are all must – to do things in Ninh Binh.

Other destination should explore when visiting Hoa Lu Ancient Capital 

Tam Coc

Tam Coc is an attractive destination that you cannot miss in Ninh Binh trip. A boat ride in the romantic river with local to explore Tam Coc and observe the majestic limestone mountains and breathtaking scenery surrounding will be an unforgettable experience for everyone.

>>> Hoa Lu – Tam Coc is the most favorite trip in Ninh Binh. Take a look now!

best thing to do in Ninh Binh - Tam Coc

Tam Coc with breathtaking landscapes

Mua Cave

Visiting this amazing cave, also known as Hang Mua or Mua Cave in Vietnamese, you can pass through about 500 stone steps to climb up to the peak of Mua cave. From here, you can have a stunning overview of Tam Coc valley which will definitely have a great impression on you.

>>> Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave is also a good choice for you!

best thing to do in Ninh Binh - Mua Cave (2)

500 steps to this amazing scenery

Thung Nham Bird Garden

Thung Nham Bird Park is also a must-see destination whenever you come to Ninh Binh. This is a great home to various types of rare or endangered birds. Different from other parks, when visiting Thung Nham Bird Garden, you will explore this place on a boat and observe the flying birds.

thung nham ninh binh

Flock of birds flying to the nest in Thung Nham can be seen around late afternoon every day

Actually, Hoa Lu Ninh Binh is an attractive destination that you should visit when traveling in Vietnam. It is not only a place of history but also keeping a huge value of Vietnamese culture that you will never regret to explore.

If you have any questions or if you want further information and advice, please feel free to contact us, the Original Hoa Lu – Tam Coc team. It is our pleasure to help you plan your perfect trip to Ninh Binh province!

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