One day, when we were all bored out of our wits, Ms. Tea suggested that we all go on a short road trip around Bac Ninh. (Bac Ninh is the smallest city in Vietnam and is situated only 40 minutes from the capital city of Ha Noi.) Ms. Tea and her family live in Bac Ninh so she is quite familiar with the top spots in the area. So, of course, we said yes. We have never explored Bac Ninh City before and we were dying to see some of the city’s most celebrated spots.
Our first stop was the Lý Bát Đế Temple, or simply the Đền Đô Temple. Located in the Tu Son District, the temple, which was built in 1028, served as a place to worship the eight emperors of the Ly Dynasty. The main features of the temple include the impressive main and side halls as well as the water pavilion and lake where important traditions and practices are held to this day.
Before reaching the main hall, we saw this gorgeous stone sculpture with Chinese characters. We’re not exactly sure what this is but I guess this is like an info board which tells about the history of the place.
To get to the main hall, you will have to pass through The Five-Dragon Gate which has awesome dragon carvings on the steps.
The main hall is a very imposing structure with amazing architecture and lavish designs.
In various parts of the complex, you will see small structures where you can light incense sticks and pray.
Check out the details on one of the pillars at the altar inside the main hall.
Outside the main hall, visitors can explore other parts of the complex by passing through these very elaborate archways.
Yet another small ‘pagoda’ where you can light incense sticks and meditate.
The impressive pieces found at the top of the terra cotta roofing of most roofed structures are a sight to behold.
Posing for a quick photo outside the main hall.
Several meters away, we saw the Five Dragon Gate and Water Pavilion which sit near the edge of the Half Moon Lake.
A lot of important traditional practices are held at the pavilion. Two of them are water puppet plays and quan họ singing.
Here is a quick group shot before proceeding to our next spot!
Stay tuned for more of my Vietnam adventures!