Table of Content
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital | Introduction
Hoa Lu (Hoa Lu Ancient Capital) stands as the inaugural capital of ancient Vietnam, marking the commencement of a rich tapestry of dynastic rule. The ancient capital witnessed the reigns of three dynasties – the Dinh Dynasty, the Early Le Dynasty, and the Ly Dynasty. Its status as the capital endured from 968 until 1010 when the Ly Dynasty relocated to Thang Long (present-day Hanoi).
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital | Transportation
If you're planning a multi-day trip in Ninh Binh, accommodations can be arranged in the Ninh Binh city center or Tam Coc. Regardless of your choice, getting to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is convenient. Whether you opt for Grab or ride a scooter, it's easily accessible. Hoa Lu is approximately 12 kilometers from Ninh Binh city center, and even if you're starting from the slightly southern Tam Coc, it's just about a 20-minute drive. We recommend to plan your visit to Hoa Lu together with the nearby Trang An as they are only about a seven-minute drive apart.
If you plan to ride a scooter, do double-check your navigation route to ensure you're heading towards the main entrance. We unexpectedly took a detour through a smaller road since Google Map led us to enter through a side gate from the west. For more information on renting vehicles or transportation within Ninh Binh city center, you can refer to my Ninh Binh travel guide.
Find a stay in Tam Coc:
Find a stay in Ninh Binh:
A day trip from Hanoi to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is also an excellent option. The following are a few recommendations.
Ninh Binh Day Trip: Hua Lü / Trang An / Mua Cave
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital | Attractions
The primary attractions at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital are the temples of the founding monarchs of two dynasties: Đinh Tiên Hoàng - the first emperor of the Dinh Dynasty, and Lê Đại Hành - the first emperor of the Early Le Dynasty.As you enter the ancient capital, the limestone mountain terrain that once made Hoa Lu strategically defendable is a breathtaking landscape. There are many visitors cycling around these picturesque hills. You can also take the hiking trail on the left side of the entrance. There's an observation deck that provides a panoramic view of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.
Ding Tien Hoang Temple
Dinh Tien Hoang, also known as Dinh Bo Linh, was Vietnam's first emperor and the founder of the Dinh Dynasty. He rose to power during the Tang Dynasty in China when Northern Vietnam was under Chinese occupation. Dinh established his capital in Hoa Lu in the south, successfully driving out Chinese forces around modern-day Hanoi.Dinh secured recognition from the Song Dynasty, which succeeded the Tang Dynasty in China. This recognition signified a momentous milestone as it solidified the Dinh Dynasty's status as Vietnam's first independent ruling dynasty, setting the stage for the Vietnamese history that followed.
The restoration of Dinh Tien Hoang Temple began in the 17th century. The main building is adorned with an exterior dragon bed, which is where the Emperor is interred. Inside the temple, there are bronze bells and statues of Dinh Tien Hoang and his three sons.
Le Dai Hanh Temple
Le Dai Hanh, whose given name is Le Hoan, was the founding emperor of the early Le Dynasty. It was customary in Vietnam not to directly address the emperor by his given name. Hence, he is referred to as Emperor Dai Hanh based on his reign title. The architectural design of Le Dai Hanh's temple closely resembles the style of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang. Next to the emperor's temple, there is also a smaller temple dedicated to his wife Dương Vân Nga.
The story of Dương Vân Nga is an intriguing one. She was first married to Ding Tien Hoang during the short-lived Dinh Dynasty. After a series of internal conflicts and external threats, her son ascended the throne. Le Tai Hanh was originally a general of Dinh Dynasty, and defended Vietnam against the Song Dynasty's aggression. When Le Tai Hanh eventually usurped the throne, founding the early Le Dynasty, which replaced the Dinh Dynasty, she married him and became the empress of the early Le Dynasty. She is a unique figure in Vietnamese history, honored as dual empress of both dynasties.
The Dinh and early Le Dynasties both date back to the 10th and 11th centuries. The temples have been restored since the 17th century. The original bricks and tiles from the 10th century are now showcased in the archaeological exhibition hall.
Thank you for visiting our website.
All the content on this site is original and shared with the purpose of providing valuable information. We sustain the operation of this site through a small amount of advertising and sponsored links. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission. If you click on links to third-party merchants on our site and make purchases, we may receive a portion of the sales as a commission.
Find more posts on a map Here.
My recommended resources for hotel bookings.
Buy me a coffee and support my contents!
If you are interested in quoting this article or using any part of its content and images on your website or publication, please contact us via email to request permission.