Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Overview of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is capital of Dai Co Viet, an ancient Vietnamese kingdom from the 10th to 11th century. It was only 300 hectares during the Dinh and Le dynasties. A citadel and limestone hills protected the area from Chinese. Trang An limestone mountains surrounded the ancient city and the Hoang Long River bordered the northwest side and provided convenient waterways.

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Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Ninh Binh

Hoa Lu has a wide range of landmarks because it is the first capital of the country. There are various ancient temples and relics in the city. It served as the site to protect and educate children. This area has a very important role in historical and architectural formation of Vietnam.

Things to do at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

There are a lot of things to do in this amazing area. You can enjoy a lot of activities such as:

Participate in Annual Festivals

Many traditional cultural festivals are organized in Hoa Lu. Visitors can participate in the festival activities. Most popular and largest festival is Truong Yen Festival that is celebrated on the 10th of third lunar month. It is celebrated in the memory of Kings of reigning dynasties. This festival has two rituals. First is to worship at Truong water station and other is to worship at the temple of kings.

This festival is celebrated for three days in which visitors can participate in various activities such as competition of Han script writing, performing dragon dance, playing chess and other traditional games.


Truong-Yen-Festival-Hoa-Lu-Ancient-CapitalExploring Temples and tombs

There are various temples and tombs that you can explore such as Dinh Tien Hoang Temple and Le Hoan Temple. They can be reached after climbing 200 steps. The city remained capital of Vietnam for over 41 years so it has many pagodas, palaces, tombs and pavilions built by various dynasties. One of the most popular palaces is the Bao Thien Tue palace that was built with gold and silver plating.

Dinh King Temple

Visiting One pillar pagoda

Hua Lu complex is the home to this amazing pagoda known as One Pillar Pagoda. It was constructed in the 10th century by Emperor Le Dai Hanh and Ly Thai Tong. Most prominent part of the architecture is the stone pillar in front of the pagoda. There is an octagonal body with a stone lotus that is used as a prayer book.  It is a very beautiful attraction to visit. Entire exterior of the pagoda has different types of carvings such as the entrance has spiritual words and main lobby has different leaves and clouds images. It is still a fully functioning worshipping place for locals and tourists.


Tam Coc – Bich Dong (Halong on land)

It is a very stunning landscape with harmonious architecture, mountain views, charming waterways, caves and rice paddies along the river. Tam Coc Bich Dong has a unique beauty in each of its four seasons. Summer is the most beautiful season that welcomes many tourists from all over the world. It is the best area to enjoy panoramic views of the area.

Beautiful sunset from the top of Mua Cave - Tam coc


Ma Yen Mountain

Locals call it Ma Yen and it is considered as a legend of a king. It is believed that the mountain looks like a saddle from the lower part and two heads from the upper part. These mountains are associated with the reign of Dinh Bo Linh as he wanted to build his kingdom’s capital in this area during 968. King was buried on the top of mountain after he passed away. You can visit his tomb to burn an incense.


Accommodation (budget, moderate and luxury) near Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Green Mountain Homestay

It is a wonderful place to stay in affordable price. Free Wi-Fi is available in the entire hotel. There is free parking, complimentary breakfast and access to swimming pool.


Trang An Mountain House

Accommodation is located on a very beautiful area. Free Wi-Fi, parking and breakfast is offered by the hotel. 24-hour front desk and full service laundry is also available in the hotel.


Trang An Lamia Bungalow

This is an upscale accommodation with outdoor swimming pool, spa, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and many other facilities. Hotel also has a bar and a restaurant.


Places to eat

 Ha Tu Goat restaurant

This family restaurant is offering delicious goat meat foods since 1996. You can try traditional cuisines in ha Tu Goat restaurant.

Nha Hang Chay Hoa Lu Vegan restaurant

It is best place for vegan and vegetarian food lovers. They can try authentic Vietnamese foods made from fresh organic vegetables.

Airport info

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital has no domestic airport. Noi Bai airport Hanoi is used for flights for the city. You can take a taxi or a bus to go to Hoa Lu ancient Capital.



Different types of transportation are available to reach the area such as bus, car, motorbike and train. Train stops at Ninh Binh Railway station from there you can take a taxi.

Hoa Lu ancient capital is a very beautiful area to learn about the historic roots of the Vietnamese dynasty.

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