Bac Ninh Guide

Bac Ninh is adjacent to Hanoi, the provincial capital is 30km northeast of Hanoi. Most of the terrain of Bac Ninh is flat, a larger part of the province is a part of the Red River Delta. But there are mountains across the province.

 Bac Ninh was the land the forefather of the Vietnamese – Kinh Duong Vuong settled down and his tomb is in the province.

The Luy Lau Citadel in Thuan Thanh District of Bac Ninh was the political, cultural, religious center of Giao Chi (a part of Vietnam now) from the 2nd century to the 9th century after C.E. After that the capital city was moved to the Tong Binh – Dai La Citadel (Hanoi nowadays). Visiting the province, you can find the legacy of the old days left in the architectures and pagodas in Bac Ninh, most other monuments have been destroyed by wars and ravage of time.

Bac Ninh was the homeland of one of the most visionary kings of Vietnam – Ly Thai To who moved the capital city from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Thang Long (Hanoi) and who established a long independence period of the Vietnamese history.

Tourist attractions in Bac Ninh
Bac Ninh is the smallest province in Vietnam in area and there are no great natural attractions. But this is a land of culture and history and you can find amazing monuments of these types in the province. The below list of attractions are per the relative order that each was built or came into existence in the history and culture of Vietnam.

1/ Tomb of Kinh Duong Vuong
This is a quiet place by the Duong River (a branch of the Red River) in Thuan Thanh District. Kinh Duong Vuong is considered the foremost forefather of the Vietnamese who is believed to have started the history of the country back over four thousand years ago.

2/ The Dau Pagoda
This is the oldest pagoda in Vietnam which was built in the 2nd century C.E in Thuan Thanh District. It was the first place where Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam by Indian Buddhist monks. The architecture and the deities worshiped at the pagoda reflect combination of the Vietnamese local cults and Indian religions.

3/ Tieu Son Pagoda
The 10th century Buddhist Pagoda was where King Ly Cong Uan spent his childhood and where he was trained to be a great king later. The pagoda is small built on the slope of the Tieu Son Mountain in Tien Du District.

4/ Do Temple
The Do Temple is dedicated to the eight Kings of the Ly Family who started a new chapter in the Vietnamese history, a period of long-lived independence and prosperity. The complex is a lovely place to visit with amazing old architectures and lakes,…

Do Temple in Bac Ninh Vietnam
Do Temple in Bac Ninh Vietnam

5/ Dinh Bang Communal House
Dinh Bang Communal House is in the same village as the Do Temple. The architecture was from the 17th century and considered among the most beautiful in Vietnam. There are amazing woodcarvings in the interior decorations of the Communal House.

6/ Phat Tich Pagoda
The 11th century pagoda is located on a mountain which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the Duong River. The pagoda is in Phat Tich Commune, Tien Du District. The site around the pagoda offers lovely biking experience.

Phat Tich Pagoda7/ But Thap Pagoda
This is a 13th century pagoda but the current architecture is from the 17th century. But Thap is among the most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam given the whole architecture and the arrangement of the different elements inside the complex. Visiting the pagoda, you’ll learn a great deal of Vietnamese Buddhist philosophy, too. The pagoda is in Thuan Thanh District, close to the tomb of Kinh Duong Vuong and Dau Pagoda.

8/ Quan Ho Folk Songs
The folk songs of Bac Ninh have been listed to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The best sites of sampling these songs are at the Do Temple and Tam Tao Communal House.

9/ Tam Tao Communal House
This is another great 17th century architecture. The atmosphere is great for sampling Quan Ho Folk Songs. The Communal House is in Tam Tao Village, Tien Du District.

10/ Dong Ky Wooden Furniture
If you are interested in handicrafts and wooden furniture, you may like to visit this village. The villagers specialized in making old-styled wooden furniture and carvings.

11/ Xuan Lai Bamboo Furniture
This is an old village in Bac Ninh specializing in making bamboo furniture for both indoors and outdoors. Their furniture has been part of interior decorations on many luxury cruise boats on Halong Bay and in many luxury ecological resorts. The village is in Gia Binh District.

12/ Dai Bai Bronze wares villager
This is another village in Gia Binh District making bronze wares ranging from those for worshiping to those for decorations.

How to get there
Bac Ninh is a short drive from Hanoi and you can travel between these two places by bus. Alternatively Paradissa, a Vietnamese local tour company, offers daily bicycle tours and cultural tours by private car to Bac Ninh from Hanoi.