Bai Dinh Pagoda lies within a complex of spiritual Buddhist temples on Bai Dinh Mountain in Ninh Binh, North Vietnam. It stands an impressive 13-stories tall and boasts panoramic views at the top.
I have put together this complete guide to Bai Dinh Pagoda including how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect when you arrive.
WHERE IS BAI DINH PAGODA?
Bai Dinh Pagoda is located 20 km west of Ninh Binh and it’s approximately a 30-minute drive.
You can rent a scooter from one of the rental shops in town for 100,000 VND per day or alternatively, you can rent a bicycle for half the price.
The journey will lead you along a road that hugs the edge of the Trang An River, surrounded by the world-renowned cliffs that are said to resemble that of Ha Long Bay, but on land.
Bai Dinh Temple
MAP OF BAI DINH
ARRIVING AT BAI DINH PAGODA
There is a large parking lot along with a dozen food stores and markets at the entrance to the pagoda. It’s best to park your scooter in the shade and pay a parking fee of 15,000 VND.
There is no entrance fee to visit, however, it’s a very long way to walk from the entrance gate to the actual complex of temples. I recommend taking a ride on the golf buggies that are available for 30,000 VND each way.
The golf buggy will drop you off at the main entrance hall. From here you will have to climb a number of steps up multiple levels that are lined with hundreds of Buddha statues and golden ornaments.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
The electric golf buggies
WHAT TO EXPECT INSIDE THE COMPLEX
When you reach level one of the temple complex, the first attraction is the 3-tiered bell tower pagoda. You can climb the small flight of stairs on the inside of the bell tower for an epic view of the surrounding gardens and Bai Dinh Pagoda in the distance.
Continue uphill to the second level and discover the large golden Buddha. Walk into the great hall and prepare to be in utter awe at the impressive golden Buddha that sits behind a haze of incense smoke.
The Bell Tower
The multilevel complex of temples
The Golden Buddha
Further along, the third level is where you’ll find the Bai Dinh Pagoda itself! The multilevel pinnacle pagoda stands proudly in a symmetrical garden on Bai Dinh Mountain.
If you wish to go to the top of the pagoda you will have to pay 50,000 VND at the ticket stand and then take the internal elevator to the top.
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Last but not least is the silver Buddha statue on the fourth level of Bai Dinh Mountain. By this point, you may be getting tired of climbing hundreds of stairs but it’s worth it for the 360-degree view of the complex of temples, the pagoda, and the incredible surrounding landscape.
Bai Dinh Temple
The silver Buddha on Bai Dinh Mountain
WHERE TO STAY IN NINH BINH
Tam Coc and Ninh Binh have hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh
Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort is the best luxury accommodation in Ninh Binh. Located on the edge of a beautiful nature reserve featuring 3 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa, and free wifi. The spacious, vill-style rooms are fitted with wooden decor, a large balcony with stunning views, flat-screen tv, minibar, and private bathroom. Breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families, and friends!
Mid Range: King Kong Homestay
King King Homestay is the best value-pick accommodation in Tam Coc. Featuring well-kept gardens, a shared lounge, terrace, free wifi, and a 24-hour front desk. Choose from a double room, king room, or deluxe family room, each with air conditioning, wardrobe, seating area, pool views, and private bathroom. Guests can also enjoy an à la carte breakfast.
Budget: Zuli Zen Home
I personally stayed at Zuli Zen Home and can’t recommend this place enough! With a great location in Tam Coc just walking distance of shops, cafes, bars, and tourist attractions. The property has a shared lounge and kitchen, free wifi, and is surrounded by beautiful rice fields and mountains. Choose from either a dorm room or a private double room, each of which has air-conditioning. Guests can enjoy continental or Vietnamese breakfast. Perfect place to stay in Tam Coc for solo travelers, couples, and friends on a budget.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHAT TO PACK FOR NINH BINH
When visiting Ninh Binh, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Vietnamese sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
BEST VIETNAM TOURS
MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
- Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
- Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
- Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
- Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
- Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
- Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
- Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
- Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please drop me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
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