90 km south of Hanoi, along highway 1A, Ninh Binh is considered as
Halong Bay without water. Mountains and rivers stretch away endlessly
like a silk painting. The hands of God make arrangements for a smart
land longer than 100km of stone, with nearly 30 historic sites and
landmarks, from Cuc Phuong virgin forest to the sea to the "Gold
Mountain" Kim Son.
From Ninh Binh town, further down 10 km is Non Nuoc mountain, or Duc
Thuy Son, a famous sight with how much legends. It was 10 centuries ago
chosen by King Dinh Tien Hoang as front post in defence of the capital.
Coming to Ninh Binh, one must visit Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of
Vietnam under King Dinh Tien Hoang, located in Truong Yen ward, an area
surrounded by high mountains and deep rivers. In 968, after clearing the
war of 12 warlords, Dinh Bo Linh reunified the country, Dinh Bo Linh was
crowned as emperor, he named the nation as Dai Co Viet, and selected Hoa
Lu as the country's capital. This is the area of historical complex
under Dinh and Le Kings, there is a tomb of King Dinh, beside is King Le
Dai Hanh's temple.
Hoa Lu is also
famous for Bai Son historical site, with Bich Dong cave pagoda and
Tam Coc or Three caves. Nicknamed as Second best grotto in the
southern sky, the first is Huong Tich grotto in Perfume pagoda. In
the cave, a lot of relics still remain, many antiques and precious
stones like dragon two strange rocks, the rocks produce sounds as if
coming from a music instrument.
Tam Coc is also called Xuyen Thuy cave, with many caves winding
inside mountains just like in heaven. It was selected by King Tran
as a stronghold agains Mongolian invaders
Phat Diem cathedral is one of the wonders in south east asia, a
unique architecture combines the essence of Western culture and
nation. The church was built over a century ago. In architecture
from the floor to the cathedral bells carved sophisticated, it is
the quintessence of talent and intellectual creativity absolute peak
of the period.
Dich Long grotto, located in Gia Vien district is
the third best natural cave in Vietnam. Not too far from Dich Long
is Cuc Phuong national park with thousands of old trees and strange
species of animals and plants. From Cuc Phuong forest, one can visit
Kenh Ga floating village, famous for a hot spring which is said to
be able to cure people from many diseases.