Bai Dinh Pagoda – The Holiest Site In Ninh Binh


Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the most prestigious religious destinations in Vietnam to this day. This location is well-known for its expansive, intricate, and distinctive architecture. Millions of domestic and foreign tourists visit Bai Dinh Pagoda each year.

Tam The Temple - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

To better understand the Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex in Ninh Binh, please follow the article below from Hanoi Locals. Interesting information about this temple is waiting for you to discover.

Where Is Bai Dinh Pagoda?

Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh is also known as the Bai Dinh Spiritual Cultural Complex. This pagoda was built at Bai Dinh Mountain, Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. Surrounding the large temple grounds are beautiful limestone mountains and lush green forests.

Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In addition, the spiritual-cultural tourist area of Bai Dinh Pagoda isn’t far from Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex. Therefore, they are considered the first and only dual-world heritage site in Southeast Asia.

If you are in Hanoi and want to visit many famous places in Ninh Binh during your trip, please refer to our tours below:

In addition to the Bai Dinh Pagoda tourist area, visitors can also explore some other places in Ninh Binh, such as:

How To Get To Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh?

The Bai Dinh Pagoda complex is roughly 95 kilometers from Hanoi and 15 kilometers from the city center of Ninh Binh. Additionally, if you are at Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, the travel will be substantially shorter—just 7 kilometers.

There are numerous ways to get to Bai Dinh Pagoda due to its easy access, including buses, motorbikes, taxis, and private cars. However, we advise you to book our private car service for your tour because we provide the most comfortable and private experience.

Bai Dinh Pagoda - The Holiest Site In Ninh Binh - Hanoi Locals

In addition, when using our private car service, visitors are asked to have the driver stop at some attractions not included in the schedule. In particular, accompanying you is a driver who is experienced in work and knows how to speak basic English. All that’s left to do is relish the journey most comfortably.

Furthermore, we also provide private car services to other tourist destinations in Vietnam after you finish your trip in Ninh Binh, such as:

The Best Time To Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda?

The best time to travel to Bai Dinh is in the spring, from January to March of the lunar calendar. At this time, the weather in Ninh Binh is extremely pleasant and cool. Additionally, events with striking features unique to Northern Vietnam are held during this period.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

Furthermore, this is the best season for visitors to Bai Dinh Pagoda for both sightseeing and religious purposes. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so there will be a lot of people. If you don’t like the noise and bustle, you can come here at another time.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Entrance Fee And Opening Hours

To serve the needs of tourists visiting, the temple is open from 6 am to 10 pm every day of the week.

There is no admission fee for visitors to come and take in the attractions at Bai Dinh Pagoda. As a result, you can come to offer incense to pray and freely visit the temple whenever you like.

However, there is one area in the temple that requires an entrance ticket: Bao Thien Tower.

  • Adults: 50,000 VND/ticket.
  • Children: Free.

Bao Thien Tower - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In addition, this place also provides on-site tour guide rental services and electric cars from the parking lot to Tam Quan Gate, with ticket prices as follows:

  • Tour guide ticket price:
  • 300,000 VND/tour (for the new Bai Dinh pagoda area only)
  • 500,000 VND/tour (applies to both new and old temple areas)
  • Tram ticket: 60,000 VND/round-trip ticket.

Bai Dinh Pagoda History

Under the Dinh, Early Le, and Ly dynasties, the region of Hoa Lu Ninh Binh was selected to serve as the nation’s capital. They all value Buddhism and consider it the national religion of the country. As a result, numerous pagodas were constructed during this time, the most well-known of which was the Bai Dinh Pagoda.

According to documents about the history of the pagoda, it is said that the ancient Bai Dinh was built during the Ly Dynasty to the west of Dinh Mountain. Therefore, it bears the architectural style of this time.

Furthermore, this ancient temple is associated with the story of a famous Zen master named Nguyen Minh Khong. He was the one who explored the land of Buddhism and laid the foundation for building this temple.

Bai Dinh Pagoda - The Holiest Site In Ninh Binh - Hanoi Locals

In addition, during the history of the resistance war against the French and Japanese, the Dinh Mountain area, including Bai Dinh Pagoda, belonged to the Quynh Luu war zone. This place became an important revolutionary base during the fierce resistance war at that time.

In 1997, the ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda was recognized by the state as A National Historical – Cultural – Revolutionary Relic. By 2003, Bai Dinh became more famous when it started construction on a new temple complex that is considered the largest Buddhist project in Southeast Asia.

What Is Special About Bai Dinh Pagoda Vietnam?

The Bai Dinh Pagoda complex was built on a large scale with many notable areas. The temple was painstakingly ornamented and constructed in an old-world architectural style. Notable among them are the 500 Arhats corridor and the bell tower. Besides, this place is also famous for its festival programs held every spring.

Ancient Bai Dinh Pagoda Area

The Light Cave And The Dark Cave

Bright Cave is a naturally occurring cave that receives sunshine. This location, which is roughly 25 meters long, 15 meters wide, and more than two meters tall, is dedicated to the worship of Gods and Buddhas.

Bright Cave - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

At the entrance of the cave are placed two Dharma Protector Gods, Khuyen Thien and the Wrath God. The main shrine of the Three Jewels, with three gilded bronze figures representing the Past, Present, and Future, is located in the center of the cave.

On the contrary, Dark Cave is equipped with a lighting system. Inside the cave, there are unique natural stalactites and walkways decorated with winding dragon shapes.

Dark Cave - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

Three Mother Goddesses are worshipped here: Mother Goddess (Mother Lieu Hanh), Mother Goddess of Mountains and Forests, Mother Goddess of Water and Fairies.

Dark Cave - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In particular, this place has a naturally occurring lake formed by water droplets falling from the ceiling, which aids in regulating the cavern’s interior air quality.

Cao Son Deity Temple

At the end of Light Cave is the path leading to Cao Son Temple, where the god who rules the Vu Lam Mountains is worshiped. Local people established this temple to remember his gratitude for teaching and helping people make a living.

Cao Son Deity Temple - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In addition, there is also a garden specializing in growing natural medicines called Sinh Duoc. With an area of up to 4 hectares, this place contains many precious medicinal herbs of important medical value.

Nguyen Saint Temple

This temple was established to worship Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong. He is a famous physician who specializes in treating diseases and helping people.

Statue of Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

He is also honored for being the creator of bronze casting. To rebuild this traditional craft village, the Zen master devoted a great deal of time and energy to studying the Dong Son civilization and gathering numerous ancient bronze objects.

Gia Sinh Pearl Well

According to legend, Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong used water from Pearl Well to create medicine for the King and the people. Around the well mouth is a railing made of Dinh mountain stone, creating a closed circle.

Pearl Well - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

Pearl Well is acknowledged as the largest temple well in Vietnam, with a diameter of around 30 meters and a depth of roughly 6 meters. This area’s well water is year-round chilly and clean, making it often used as water for offerings at the temple.

New Bai Dinh Pagoda Area

Bell – Tower

The Bell Tower is a typical building of the new Bai Dinh Pagoda. The tower has an octagonal shape consisting of 3 different parts built with reinforced concrete.

Bell Tower - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In particular, in the middle of the tower is a large bronze bell weighing up to 36 tons. This bell is decorated with dragon-shaped patterns, and it is also engraved with many ancient characters in Chinese characters. In addition, this bell is considered the largest bell in Vietnam today.

Statues Of 500 Arhats In The Corridor

The Arhat Corridor is a place not to be missed when visiting this Bai Dinh pagoda. The two corridors are connected by 234 compartments with a length of up to 1700m. Along the corridor are placed 500 statues of Arhats made from monolithic green stone by 100 artisans and 700 workers.

The Arhat Corridor - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

This corridor is recognized as the longest Arhat corridor in Asia to date. Coming here, you will admire the countless expressions and diverse shapes of these statues, which symbolize human emotions in everyday life.

Buddha Dharma Lord Temple

The Buddha Dharma Lord Temple is a site of Gautama Buddha worship. This construction has a distinctive architecture and is 47.7 meters long, 45.5 meters broad, and 30 meters high.

Buddha Statues - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In addition, there is a large statue of Gautama Buddha here for people to come and offer incense. At ten meters in height and roughly one hundred tons in weight, it is regarded as the largest and heaviest Buddha statue in Vietnam.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival

The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is held to commemorate the merits of heroes who have contributed to the country. The show takes place for a long time; it begins on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year and ends at the end of the third lunar month.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival - Hanoi Locals

The festival is divided into two parts: the ceremony and the festival.

  • The ceremony takes place with four main rituals: burning incense to worship Buddha, commemorating the merits of Saint Nguyen Minh Khong, worshiping God Cao Son, and worshiping Saint Mother Thuong Ngan.
  • The festival includes folk games and some folk art music programs such as Cheo, Xam, and Ca Tru. In particular, the re-enactment of the flag-offering ceremony of King Quang Trung and the coronation ceremony of King Dinh Tien Hoang performed by Ninh Binh Cheo Theater is extremely attractive.

Other Attractions Near Bai Dinh Pagoda Ninh Binh

Since the Bai Dinh Pagoda Complex is close to the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, tourists may easily explore other locations nearby, like the Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Mua Cave, and Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is a famous tourist destination for its landscape and heritage culture. Moreover, this location also holds significant historical significance for a heroic era that passed.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

In addition, when visiting this monument, visitors can expand their knowledge and see ancient architectural works of feudal dynasties in Vietnam. Don’t miss this exciting and attractive place.

Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve

Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve is one of the largest conservation areas in the country and is recognized as a Ramsar Site in Vietnam. This place has an area of up to 3000 hectares with a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

Not only that, but this place is like a hidden gem that attracts tourists to explore its wild beauty. Coming here, visitors can not only explore beautiful nature but also participate in many other attractive activities.

Mua Cave Ninh Binh

Mua Cave is one of the most attractive places in the Trang An scenic complex. This place is about 800 square meters wide and shaped like an extremely unique upside-down bell. This location has 486 interconnected steps, likened to a miniature Great Wall.

Mua Cave - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals

Coming here, visitors will admire the majestic natural landscape and vast rice fields stretching in the Tam Coc region. This location promises to bring you great experiences on your journey.

Travel Tips

  • The pagoda is a sacred place, so visitors should wear polite and discreet clothing when visiting.
  • Remember to bring an umbrella, hat, and sunscreen.
  • The pagoda has a large area and you have to walk most of the time to visit, so you should wear comfortable shoes to facilitate movement.
  • In addition, visitors can bring water and snacks to replenish their energy during their trip.
  • To preserve the environment, please dispose of trash properly.
  • You are not allowed to draw or engrave on any structures at the temple.

Maitreya Buddha Statue - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi Locals


Bai Dinh Pagoda is a place tourists cannot miss when they have the opportunity to visit Ninh Binh, Vietnam. This is the most magnificent Buddhist building in Vietnam, attracting millions of tourists every year.

Hopefully, the information provided by Hanoi Locals about Bai Dinh Pagoda will improve your understanding of this temple. We wish you a meaningful vacation in Vietnam.