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Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral is Vietnam’s most distinctive Catholic church with strong traditional Vietnamese design elements and a rich history. This region has been a stronghold of Catholicism in Vietnam for centuries and continues to host dozens of active churches.
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Kim Son District of Ninh Binh Province. It has oriental architecture. This cathedral is far about 120 kilometers from Hanoi to the south, built in 1875s to 1898s. 'Phat Diem' means generating beauty, named by Nguyen Cong Tru. The church was built during the 24 consecutive years.

With the technical level and traffic conditions of the late 19th century, the method to transfer thousands of tons of stone, hundreds of ironwood trees to Phat Diem in order to build the cathedral is very difficult. Kim Son is the new land, before, it is very muddy. So as to solve subsidence of this area before building, people moved a small mountain to Phat Diem. Visitors can see So Mountain; it is a part of the mountain which had been moved to Phat Diem.

Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral is a complex comprising of a lake, a cathedral, a stone church, Phuong Dinh (bell house) and three artificial grottoes. At first sight, visitors are easily attracted to square lake on the main road to the cathedral. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island with statue of Jesus Christ. Phuong Dinh easily becomes the next eye-catching monument, with stone carvings on both sides of the walls. It is 25 m high, 17m wide and 24m long with three stories. The first floor is covered by large green flagstones.

Phat Diem Stone Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

The middle and upper floors house a large drum and a big bell respectively. As visitors leave Phuong Dinh, they will see a great cathedral which was built in 1891with the official name “Nha tho Duc Me Man Coi”. The cathedral is 74 meters long, 21 meters wide and 15 meters high with four roofs. It was built of 6 rows of monolithic ironwood. Within the cathedral are four small churches of different styles. Next to the grand cathedral is a stone church with initial name “Nha Tho Trai tim Vo Nhiem Nguyen Toi Duc Me” but now people usually refer to it as” Stone church” because from its walls, pillars, ground, bars to tie beams are made of stone. The inside of the church has many sophisticatedly carved reliefs, with chrysanthemum, bamboo, fir tree and apricot tree that symbolize four seasons in a year. Around Phat Diem Cathedral, there are a lot of beautiful stone caves and artificial mountains.
With artistic design and skillful technique, Phat Diem Cathedral is a pride of many local Ninh Binh people.

Bai Dinh Pagoda - The largest pagoda in Southeast Asia

Bai Dinh Pagoda is famous for its great size and imposingness. The pagoda will be also set more record for the owner of the most Arhat Statues in ASEAN with 500 Arhat statues made of stone and stand higher than human’s head.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda from up high

Located behind a range of limestone mountains in Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, the site with construction lying about in disorder and in the way, so it is difficult to imagine its beauty as well as its solemn to a pagoda in the true sense of the word as the tradition. However, its great size and imposingness can be felt by anybody when visiting it one time. Its back leans against the Bai Dinh Mountain with the height of 200m. The area for constructing Ba Dinh Pagoda is 80ha, which is located on the mass of “Bai Dinh Pagoda hallowed culture” belonging to Trang An Tourism Area. Currently, this mass is executing many items of Pagoda including Tam The (Past, Present and Future) Temple, Sanctuary and Bodhisatva Kwan Yin statue, Dharma Temple, Bell-tower, Three-door temple gate, and dormitory area for Buddhist monks, etc. In front of Pagoda valley, a hundred of excavators, bulldozers and power-shovels are digging land and build up a dike to make a huge semicircular lake, which will be taken water from the river crossing to create a landscape of “on shore and under boat” like the Yen Stream flowing under the foot of Huong Tich Pagoda.

Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The most important emphasizing point of these great religion works are Tam The Temple and Phap Chu Temple. Two temples cover a total area of 1,000 square meters . The height of Phap Chu Temple is up to 22m and it contains five partitions . In the centre of this temple is a bronze Buddha Sykamuni statue with 10 meters high and 100 tons heavy which is certificated as the biggest statue in Vietnam. This statue is casted by the pure bronze bought from Russian, casted and installed by the famous artisans of casting bronze statue in Y Yen, Nam Dinh . Moreover, there are several national records in this temple such as three largest horizontal lacquered boards(hoành phi) and three biggest “Cua Vong” ( a kind of door which is sophisticatedly sculpted and engraved ) .In Tam The Temple , there are three Tam The statues representing the past, the present and the future. Each statue is 12 m high and weighs 100 tons.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Another special feature in Bai Dinh pagoda is “Great Bell” with the weight of 36 tons was casted and located in Bell Tower. In addition, there is 70 -ton bronze drum on the floor of the Tower. What’s more, coming to Bai Dinh pagoda, visitors have a chance to see the biggest Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue in Bodhissattva Temple. This statue looks so marvellous with thousand hands and eyes to present the protection and universal salvation for common people.
Furthermore, visitors will be astonished at the collection of 500 Arahat statues on the hill on the right – hand side of Phap Chu Temple. The 500 Arhat statues with the height of 2.3m, carved by Ninh Binh stone have different positions and gestures that create magic space and lively atmosphere.
Without a doubt, Bai Dinh pagoda is masterpiece of both nature and men and it is the pride of Vietnamese people in terms of unique architecture, culture and historical value.

Halong Bay From Up High

Halong Bay From Up High

Halong From Up High

For one day tour to Halong, traveling by seaplane is considered as the most comfortable way. Instead of traveling 7 hours by car, the return flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes only 45 minutes and brings you the awesome panoramic view of Halong Bay.

Explore Halong Bay by seaplane

Explore Halong Bay by seaplane

Before taking a 15 minute scenic flight over Halong, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life as you board a seaplane and get immersed in the outstanding aerial views over Hanoi as you fly 45 minutes to Halong Bay.
Explore Halong Bay in a completely different way, why not?
In Vietnam, travelers can have so many new and unique experiences thanks to the seaplane service for visitors traveling from Hanoi to Halong of the private Hai Au airline.

Taking off from and landing on the Tuan Chau Island Marian, this 15 minute sightseeing flight takes in all the highlights of Halong Bay with amazing views over the magnificent landscape of limestone pillars reaching up from the green waters.
See the islands of Cong Do, Bo Hon with their pretty lagoons and fly out to Dau Be on the edge of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Halong Bay Tours by seaplane suit people who want to save time for business. On other ways, due to traffic jam and the bad condition of Vietnam’s road, explore Halong Bay by seaplane seems to be the best choice.

And this is also very important destination on Halong bay tours to visit Bai tu long bay.

Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong luxury 1 day tour will be a good choice.

See more:
Bai Tu Long Bay
Vung Vieng fishing village
halong bay-the natural world heritage of vietnam

 

 

Halong Thien Canh Son Cave

Thien Canh Son Cave is located in Bai Tu Long Bay. The travel route to Thien Canh Son Cave is going through thousands of limestone islands & islets & hundreds of small sandy beaches, so tourists have the feeling they are traveling in the paradise.

Thien Canh Son Cave

Thien Canh Son Cave

In the cave, is a wonderful beauty of stalagmites & stalactites – an image of a lotus, a picture of baby elephant.
The ceiling of the cave is covered with a layer of shiny ‘carpets’, numerous sparkling stalactites appear like “hanging lamps”.
Stone statues, stone elephants, seals, flowers – all seem to create an imaginary world as if in a dream.

Thien Canh Son Cave offers a wild and mysterious beauty. This is the reason why Cruises choose to bring guests here – to discover the geological value of the bay, and to enjoy a cozy dinner with family and friends in sparkling candlelight.
Thien Canh Son cave has a great scenery because combination between amazing stalagmites & stalactites and colorful light.
And this is also very important destination on Halong bay tours to visit Bai tu long bay.

Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong luxury 1 day tour will be a good choice.

See more:

Halong Bay from up high
Vung Vieng fishing village
Bai Tu Long Bay

VUNG VIENG FISHING VILLAGE

Vung Vieng is located in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, 24 km from the mainland.
You will not only be immersed in the quiet and peaceful location viewing the charming landscape, and discovering the cultural life of the fishermen but also will be instructed in the fine arts of sailing and casting fish nets.

Vung-Vieng-Fishing-Village

Vung Vieng Fishing Village

Halong Bay’s inhabitants
The inhabitants of the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay lived their lives in coexistence with the sea even before it was discovered as a destination.
Their lives have become so attached to the bay’s waves and winds that they live in floating houses and form floating village lasted for generations.
There are 04 fishing villages in Halong Bay: Hang Village, Cua Van Village, Vung Vieng Village and Cap La Village.

Less touristy
Out of the four, Vung Vieng is the one with less visitors. Nestled among the limestone peaks, the village is sheltered from the ocean waves or strong winds, especially in typhoon season.
There are about 50 families living in clusters of houses anchored within the natural protection of surrounding mountainous islands.
The population is between 200 and 300 residents with nearly 100 children.

The village’s traditionally income came solely from fishing in exchange for food they cannot cultivate and water they have to import from the mainland.
Visitors to Halong Bay now bring them another supplemental sum by providing rowing boat services.
However, the floating village still keeps its the traditional character and enchanting beauty of boats, nets, houses and simple yet hospitable people…

Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong luxury 1 day tour will be a good choice. 

Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay occupies three quarters of Halong Bay World Heritage site, as well as many islands in Van Don, Cam Pha District. 

Travelling to Bai Tu Long Bay is off the beaten track and promises to deliver many unique experiences, far from the heavily touristic sites.

Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay

According to legend, millions of years ago when Vietnam was conquered by invaders, the Jade Emperor sent the Mother Dragon and her child to help the people.
After winning, the dragons did not return to fairyland but decided to stay on earth.
The place where the Mother Dragon descended is now called Halong Bay, while Bai Tu Long Bay is where the Young Dragon descended.
These names are in Chinese and convey exactly the meanings mentioned above.

Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay

In this big area, visitors can find pristine natural landscapes. Even now, Bai Tu Long remains an extensive unexplored area.
In some ways it is actually more stunning than Halong Bay, since it is only in its initial stages as a destination for travelers.
Bai Tu Long has many attractions to visit: Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Da Xep Park, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave and Tra Gioi beach. There are also some populated islands; Quan Lan, Ngoc Vung, Cong Dong, and Cong Tay with many beautiful beaches.
In addition, Bai Tu Long Bay National Park is rich in biological diversity, home to many different flora and fauna.

Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong luxury 1 day tour will be a good choice.

Halong bay - The natural world heritage of Vietnam

With almost 2,000 limestone islets of all sizes and shapes dotted an area of over 1,500 km2 (larger than Hong Kong) Halong Bay is the only one of its kind.

wonder-bay-cruises-halong-1-day-tourHalong bay - VietNam

The significant natural value of Halong Bay has been well documented a long time ago.
In 1994, UNESCO inscribed the bay as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the earliest listed sites in Southeast Asia.
6 years later, Halong Bay is recognized by UNESCO for the second time.
So what makes Halong Bay a two time recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site?

wonder-bay-cruises-halong-1-day-tour

Amazing in Halong's cave

UNESCO has a total of 10 criteria for selecting a World Heritage Site.
Six of them are for cultural site and the other four are for natural site.
To be inscribed, a site must be of “outstanding universal value” of at least one criterion.
20 years ago, Halong Bay meets criterion VI: “contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”.

As mentioned before, with a multitude of untouched limestone islands rising from the sea, Halong Bay presents a spectacular seascape sculpted by the hands of Mother Nature.
Despite the fact that people have inhabited in the area for centuries, the serene natural beauty of the bay remains intact.
In this stunning maze of karst formations, nothing stays the same.
You will be amazed by not only the towering limestone pillars, but also the magnificent caves in Halong Bay.
Travelers would love to see Halong Bay on their postcard of Vietnam.

According to local legend ever since the first settlement of the country, Vietnam has been attacked from the sea.
Knowing this, the Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her child down to help the Vietnamese against the invaders.
When enemy ships were approaching, the dragons flew down from the sky and spat countless pearls into the sea.
These turned into a myriad of jade islands. They linked together to create a solid wall that blocked the approaching enemy ships which crashed into the rocks and were torn to pieces.
After driving away the invaders, the Mother Dragon and her child were so charmed by the beauty of the bay that they decided to stay rather than returning to heaven.
Where the Mother Dragon landed was called Halong, her child settled in Bai Tu Long Bay, and where their tails entwined is Bach Long Vi Island.

wonder-bay-cruises-halong-1-day-tour

Halong bay

Halong Bay was formed by millions of years of geological changes, which created thousands of islands.
Hidden inside these are beautiful caverns such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung, Trinh Nu and Thien Canh Son Caves, and Thien Cung Grotto.
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site for its biodiversity, geology and nature, Halong Bay’s beauty and charm make it an outstanding tourism destination.
The landscape of Halong is attractive in each season.

Halong bay: A place magical destination

Ha Long Bay is said to be a magic land of natural sea bay beauty, attracting more and more tourists ever since UNESCO’s recognition of its nature!

Halong luxury 1 day tour

The overview from the top of Halong bay 

Halong Bay has been recognized twice by UNESCO as a World Heritage Area for its universal values of landscape, geology and geomorphology, respectively in 1994 and 2000, an area of 434 sq. km. including 775 islands.

With its aqua-green water and cluster of limestone rocky outcrops rising from the water like sea dragons, Ha Long Bay resembles a scene from a fantasy story.
Located about 130 km (80 miles) east of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, this otherworldly bay features more than 2,000 jungle-covered islands pitted with intriguing caves, grottoes, sinkholes and lakes.
Many of the islands have been sculpted over the centuries by natural processes into fantastic formations.

A great place for adventure seekers?

Its the eerie mist that can sometimes creep through the bay swallowing the limestone cliffs, painting a picture that is a cross between Jurassic Park and Lord of The Rings. 

The 400+ islands make any person into an adventurer, be it by kayak, stand up paddle board or climbing high to get panoramic views of Halong Bay.
This place has got what any adventurer needs to keep them happy!

Halong luxury 1 day tour

Halong bay's so beautiful place

Discovering for adventurous travelers

The best way to get out and really experience the bay is by kayak. When you’re at the foot of a huge 100+ foot tower of rock, you really are blown away. Kayaking through caves that open into huge lagoons with the possibility of seeing native monkeys and even eagles fishing for lunch is a must do in Halong.
For the best views, rock climbing is by far the best activity. It means a bit of elbow grease and conquering of your fear of heights, but the views alone are worth the effort ten-fold. We always use qualified and insured guides, so this is a safe and fun way to face a fear or follow a love.
Though lots of people don’t even know it can be done in Halong, stand-up paddle boarding is an incredible way to get around, too. Cruising through arches or solid rock only hearing the water drip from your paddle is a very special, very surreal experience that is great for adventure travel novices.
But, all this said, the ultimate adventure seeker activity is deep water soloing. This form of climbing is not for the faint-of-heart. This means climbing high above the water on some of the limestone faces … but with no ropes! This high-adrenaline activity is a must if you’ve got a bit of climbing experience. Like always, we use qualified guides and boat crew that have been sailing these waters for their entire lives.
Last but not least, trekking in and around Cat Ba is beautiful, with a wide range of distances and ability levels. This is something nearly everyone of every fitness level can enjoy, which makes it a great activity to try for anyone looking to try something unique off of the boat’s deck.

Experience of Halong Bay

Halong Bay is truly beautiful and anyone who does any kind of touring here will love it.
That said, most of the boat tours visit areas that nearly every other boat goes – partly because of the strict regulations around environmental protection.
So some of the most beautiful spots in the bay have lots of ships that “park” there, which sometimes can make it hard to enjoy the beauty of the bay without feeling a bit claustrophobic.
Sometimes, for those looking to experience the true beauty of the bay and the people who call it home, the cruising experience alone isn’t enough.
We try and craft our experiences around doing the things few others will do, and seeing the places few others will see.
Obviously this requires a bit of effort and adventure, but we always find that no matter how experienced the traveller, it’s always worth it!

Ha Long Bay is undoubtedly not only a national but also a world nature, a magnificient work of Natural Creator. People who are admirers of natural beauty should stand up, pack their luggages, and right away pick up a flight to Ha Long, or else they will soon feel regretful!

Halong luxury 1 day tour

Halong bay

Halong bay tour Information

Halong Bay is definitely a must-see destination in Northern Vietnam. The best way to enjoy its natural and magnificent beauty is to join a cruise for one day or more if time allows. Most travel agencies in Vietnam provides Halong bay tours that depart from Hanoi city for tourists.

For those who only have one day in their itinerary to visit Halong, the best option would be joing a day tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay.
As the time for one day (including transportation time) is limited, this is a recommended itinerary for a Halong bay tour from Hanoi from City Insight that cover the most visited attractions in Halong.
Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong luxury 1 day tour will be a good choice.
Apart from Halong Bay, you can visit Bai Tu Long Bay, Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay as well as experience home-stay and cruise overnight.