Hidden away in the peaceful countryside just outside Ninh Binh city center lies a gem of ancient architecture and spiritual significance - Thai Vi Temple. With its ornate carvings, tranquil gardens, and rich history, this temple is an unmissable off-beaten-the-track destination. Join us as we explore the secrets and beauty of Thai Vi Temple, and uncover the fascinating stories that have made it a beloved landmark for centuries.
1. Explore the history of Thai Vi Temple Ninh Binh
- Location: Van Lam village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province
Built in the 13th century, Thai Vi Temple is a famous historical tourist destination in Vietnam. Unlike other grand temples, Thai Vi Temple has a simpler and gentler appearance. It is known as the place where King Tran Thai Tong retired and began his spiritual practice after years of ruling the country.
Thai Vi Temple marks one of the prosperous periods of Buddhism in Vietnam under the Tran Dynasty, especially during the reign of King Tran Thai Tong. In addition to this king, many other kings of the Tran Dynasty also practiced spirituality at this temple.
2. What to experience on your visit to Thai Vi Temple Tam Coc?
2.1. Take a boat ride along Tam Coc - Bich Dong
Taking a boat ride along Tam Coc - Bich Dong is a popular way to reach Thai Vi Temple, and it offers a scenic and peaceful journey. The boat ride takes visitors along Ngo Dong River, passing through breathtaking caves, stunning limestone cliffs, and lush green fields.
The route is often referred to as the “Ha Long Bay on land”. The view from the boat is simply mesmerizing, and it allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Ninh Binh.
2.2. Admire the unique architecture of the temple
Thai Vi Temple features an architectural style that blends Eastern and Western elements. All the pillars inside and outside the temple are made of solid green stones, intricately carved with elegant and graceful floral patterns.
Upon entering the temple, visitors are immediately greeted by a large courtyard, measuring approximately 40 square meters. The main walkway and courtyard are both paved with green stones, adding to the temple's distinctiveness.
One of the most notable features of the temple is the Five Great Gates, which are intricately carved with traditional Chinese letters. These letters are displayed prominently on the stone columns outside the gates and on the wooden beams of the gate's roof.
2.3. Ride a bike to explore the surroundings
Exploring the surroundings of Thai Vi Temple by bike is an excellent way to experience the peaceful and beautiful landscape of Ninh Binh. The area surrounding the temple is filled with limestone mountains, green fields, and peaceful rivers, making it a perfect destination for a bike ride.
Cycling around the nearby villages will give you a glimpse into the daily life of the locals, where you can observe how they live, work, and interact with each other. The serene beauty of the countryside and the hospitality of the people will make your trip even more memorable.
2.4. Participate in the annual festival held at Thai Vi Temple
Every year, Thai Vi Temple holds a festival for three days on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of the third lunar month. The festival is organized to celebrate the king's victory and to express gratitude to the brave soldiers who sacrificed themselves for the nation during the Mongol invasions.
In the afternoon of the 14th day of the third lunar month, the villagers open the temple gate and bring incense to the shrine. Then, on the morning of the 15th day, they will bring a holy sedan chair to the shrine to perform rituals.
In addition, the festival includes a variety of popular folk games and activities like human chess, wrestling, lion and dragon dances, and boat racing.
3. Things to keep in mind when visiting Thai Vi Temple
Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Thai Vi Temple:
- Dress appropriately: Thai Vi Temple is a religious site, so it is important to dress modestly. Avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, or anything too revealing.
- Be mindful of your behavior: As with any religious site, it is important to be respectful of the customs and traditions. Refrain from making loud noises, and avoid touching any of the artifacts or statues.
- Be prepared for the weather: Ninh Binh can be quite hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
- Watch your belongings: As with any tourist attraction, you should keep an eye on your belongings and avoid leaving them unattended.
In addition to Ninh Binh, Vietnam boasts a plethora of other remarkable tourist destinations that never fail to captivate visitors with their breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and exhilarating experiences.
From the crystal-clear beaches of Phu Quoc and Nha Trang to the charming ancient town of Hoi An, from the modern metropolis of Da Nang to the mystical wonder of Ha Long Bay, these places have become the darlings of both locals and global travelers, luring hordes of explorers from all corners of the world every year.
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As one of the oldest temples in Ninh Binh, Thai Vi Temple has stood the test of time and continues to attract visitors from all over the world. Its tranquil and serene atmosphere, combined with great spiritual and cultural significance, makes it a truly special place. Whether you are interested in exploring the temple's stunning architecture, taking a boat ride along the picturesque Tam Coc - Bich Dong, or simply enjoying the peaceful surroundings, Thai Vi Temple is sure to leave a lasting impression.