Ninh Binh

After two nights in Hanoi and two nights in Ha Long Bay, we were up early again for a trip to Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh is a lot of things: another amazing geographical area (considered the land version of Halong), a land of beautiful mountains above enchanting caves below, and site of the ancient first capital of Vietnam for 42 years when the first Vietnamese ruling dynasty won independence from China in the 10th century. Here’s the first cluster of pix…

After our drive from Hanoi we arrived at the Trang An cave complex and boarded a little boat which was rowed by a nice lady who pointed a few things out, but mostly paddled the whole two hours…

Trang An is an ecotourist tourist destination because it is pristine. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The beauty is amazing, but the network of caves is truly amazing. A couple have been expanded, but more are natural…

This area is also a popular place for weddings and we saw at least four couples in their marriage regalia. Here is another set of photos…

After our boat tour, we had lunch then went to two Buddhist temples honoring the two first dynasties of Vietnam. This area, in the middle of Ninh Binh because the mountains provided protection, is call Hoa Lu and is the ancient capital of Vietnam. The wife of the first ruler of the first dynasty interestingly became the wife of the second ruler of the second dynasty. There is a lurid tale of fratricide and weirdness here worthy of further investigation. Also, they were setting up for a festival here and I was interviewed by local TV. In case you are interested, here’s a link to the history of Vietnam. Are here are some pix of the area and the temples…

 

I took several clips of our visit to Ninh Binh. Enjoy! They’re all pretty short…

 

Pix on the way back to Hanoi…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Check the links about Ninh Binh and discuss the geology, biology, and natural history of the area.
  2. Check the links and discuss the history of Vietnam – give an outline.
  3. Focus on the first capital of Vietnam. What, where, who, how, why?

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