Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh: All You Need To Know For 2019

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a spiritual tourist attraction in the Bai Dinh – Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex with more than 1000 years of the history. It has been inherent in Ninh Binh, the land of 3 feudal dynasties in Vietnamese history, namely Dinh, Tien Le and Ly.

Now, together with Focus Asia Travel, let’s discover everything you need to know before going to this place.

Bai Dinh Pagodo

Bai Dinh Pagoda

1. Bai Dinh Pagoda 

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a Buddhist complex located on Bai Dinh mountain in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district. Bai Dinh Pagoda is 5 kilometers to the Northwest from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and 12 kilometers from Ninh Binh city. It has a large campus with 539 hectares including 27 hectares of the old and the newly built areas. Bai Dinh Pagoda welcomes thousands of travellers each year.

Bai Dinh Temple

The highest Buddhist tower in Southeast Asia – a must see when visit Bai Dinh pagoda

The most appropriate time to travel to Bai Dinh Ninh Binh 

The most suitable time for Bai Dinh Pagoda trips is in spring (from January to March of the Lunar Year) when the weather is warm. Visitors can combine spring travelling, sightseeing, praying for luck in the temple and participating in big festivals in both Trang An and Bai Dinh. However, this time is a peak of festival tourist season, so there are a huge number of visitors, which leads to overload and overcrowding. Therefore, if any visitors do not like the situations, they can travel to Bai Dinh at another time in the year.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Entrance Fee

As the Bai Dinh Pagoda’s campus is so large, visitors can use electric cars to up to the pagoda if they do not have much time. The fee for one turn of using electric cars is 30,000 dong per captita (about $1.3 for each person) in the area of Bai Dinh Pagoda.

Bai Dinh Pagoda opening hours are from 7a.m to 6p.m everyday. Visitors can come anytime during these hours.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Electric car

A Look Inside Bai Dinh Pagoda

From the overall view, Bai Dinh Pagoda is a standard of the ancient-pagoda architecture in Vietnam, typically massive constructions in the new pagoda area. The roofs of the central pagoda are really stunning including 3 layers with 12 curvy roofs in the shape of Vietnamese blades. They are covered by tile roofs which have the shape of Vietnamese traditional shoes. The steps are decorated with stone dragons of Ly dynasty style. Standing on the large yard, visitors can see a well named ‘Ngoc’.

Around corridors are La Han Buddha statues put to surround the campus of the pagoda. There are many small green gardens where mock Bodhi trees, marcotted directly from the trees in Idian pagodas, are the most popular trees. The atmosphere of Bai Dinh Pagoda is really peaceful, cool and fresh. This is an ideal place for Buddhists to worship and gather.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda map

2. Tourist Attractions Inside Bai Dinh Pagoda

To Bai Dinh Pagoda, visitors can give priority to some typical tourist spots with many mysterious legends

  • Destinations in Ninh Binh together with Bai Dinh Pagoda: Tam Coc and Mua Cave

Hang Sang (the light cave) and Dong Toi (the dark cave)

After passing 300 stone steps up to the Triple Gate and not entering the gate, visitors will look at a slope and next to it is a fork which is the way to Hang Sang and Dong Toi. Hang Sang is the place to worship Gods and Buddha. Hang Sang means a light cave in Vietnamese and as its name, it has lots of natural light. At the gate of the cave are the statues of 2 grave Gods with fierce faces. Deep inside the cave are the Buddha put. Hang Sang is about 25 meters in depth, 15 meters in width and 2 meters in height. At the end of the cave, visitors can turn to the temple of the sacred God named Cao Son.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Dong Toi (the dark cave)

In Dong Toi (the dark cave), a system of lights is designed to make the scene mysterious. Above the cave are stalactite arrays which were formed by groundwater. The steps of the path are decorated with winding dragons. At the centre of the dark cave is a natural well to modify the air, which makes visitors feel cool when they enter the cave. The statues of Mother and fairies are placed in the dark cave, and many of them are placed in stones and they have separate worship things.

The Temple of Nguyen God

From the fork (up to the Triple Gate) is the temple of Nguyen God. The temple is an architectural item belonging to Bai Dinh complex. It was designed and built as the style of “mountain leaning and river watching”. In the temple is the statue of a Buddhist monk named Nguyen Minh Khong placed. In the past, when finding herbal medicine on the mountain to cure the King, Nguyen Minh Khong unintentionally discovered a stunning and suitable cave to build a pagoda and worship the Buddha. He was not only a famous doctor who help dwellers but also a patriarch of brass foundry.  For a long time, he tried extremely hard to research and found the derivation of Dong Son civilization in Vietnamese ancient time, and collected antique bronze stuffs with view to reviving the faded traditional brass foundry.

To commemorate and remember what his had done for the people, they carved his statue and placed on Bai Dinh Pagoda. In addition, he is also worshiped in many places in Ninh Binh.

Ngoc Well

Ngoc well is rumored that the monk Nguyen Minh Khong took water from the well to slow cook medicine for the King and the people. Standing from the major temple, visitors can see Ngoc well stand out among trees on campus. Water of the well is jade green, which is a highlight of Bai Dinh Pagoda. Ngoc well is recorded as the biggest well in Vietnam.

The Biggest Bronze Bell in Vietnam

Bai Dinh pagoda is also famous for many works of tall statues in the Southeast Asian area. The biggest bronze bell in Vietnam has the height of 5.5 meters, the diameter of 3.5 meters and the weight of 30 tons. This bell was carved with many Chinese ancient words and decorated with vivid embossed dragon patterns.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The Biggest Bronze Bell in Vietnam

The biggest Gautama Buddha statue of Asia is placed gravely in Bai Dinh Pagoda. It is 100 tons in weight and 9.5 meters in height. Visitors may feel overwhelmed because of its gorgeous majesty when standing in front of the statue.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The biggest Gautama Buddha statue

3. Records of Bai Dinh Pagoda

With the unique architecture and long-lasting history, Bai Dinh pagoda has become a famous spot for ecotourism, spiritual tour in the North of Vietnam in general and Ninh Binh province in particular. 8 records of Vietnam and Asia as well are marked in Bai Dinh pagoda like Vietnam biggest bronze bell, Asian highest heaviest Gautama Buddha statue, Vietnam biggest group of three copper inlaid with gold statues, Southeast Asian biggest bronze Maitreya Buddha statue, Vietnam pagoda with biggest Arhat Buddha statue corridor, Vietnam pagoda with the most mock Bodhi trees.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The largest bodhisattva bronze statue in Vietnam

4. Suggested Itinerary To Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Trang An Tour 1 Day 

8 a.m in the morning, hop on car for the departure to Ninh Binh. You will reach Bai Dinh Pagoda which is the first destination at around 10:30 a.m. Then you start to explore all the place, go through each tourist attractions in Bai Dinh Pagoda. It’s better to have a tour guide to go with you as he or she will explain about the meaning of each place you go through.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda

After touring around Bai Dinh Pagoda, it’s time to have some lunch with Ninh Binh local dishes. You can choose a local restaurant to enjoy your meal.

The rest of the day will be spent in Trang An Tourism Complex which is 15 minutes from Bai Dinh Pagoda. Take a boat trip to explore and discover the nature and wild beauty of this area. This will be the highlight of your trip. At 4:30 p.m, hop on car and go back to Hanoi.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Trang An boat trip

5. Some Tips For Travelling To Bai Dinh Pagoda

  • It is advised to bring along some pairs of sport shoes instead of wearing high-heels or doll shoes to protect the feet and make it convenient for moving as well. Because the mountain, pagoda climbing will be included in the journey. Visitors may pack formal clothing when entering pagodas. Tourists should wear comfortable clothing, not the tight, sweat-proof ones.
  • At Bai Dinh pagoda, there are many shops selling interesting souvenirs and attractive specialities. However, the price in the mountains is often much higher than that outside. Therefore, to buy local specialities as presents, tourists should go down the foot of mountains to buy with a cheaper price.
  • At the beginning of spring time, it often has drizzle. In case of that, visitors may bring a small carefully-folded umbrella.
  • Remember to bring some pence when coming to pagodas and donating. Visitors should avoid putting money on Buddha statues. This behavior can damage the beauty of pagoda area. Instead tourists had better donate money into donation boxes.

Above are all the tips for traveling to Bai Dinh pagoda that Focus Asia Travel has collected. If you want further information, don’t hesitate to Contact Us for Free Itinerary Planning.