Hoa Lư was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. It lies in Truong Yen Thuong village, Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam. The area is one of ricefields broken by picturesque limestone mountains, and is approximately 90 km south of Hanoi. Together with Phát Diệm Cathedral, Tam Cốc-Bích Động, Bái Đính Temple, Tràng An, and Cúc Phương, Hoa Lư is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ninh Bình Province.
Depart at 7.30AM from your hotel in Hanoi for 2 hour drive to Ninh Binh Province. Our first visit is to Hoa Lu- Vietnam’s former capital before it was move to Thang Long (Hanoi in 1,010) and the remains of Dinh & Le Kings’ Temples.
The ancient capital of Hoa Lư was located in a flat valley between small but steep limestone mountains that created virtually impenetrable barriers to human traffic. Even today, many of the mountains are accessible only to the mountain goats that roam the area.
The ancient capital at Hoa Lư consists of two separate enclosures, the Inner Citadel which lies to the west and the Outer Citadel which lies to the east, and which includes most of the sites visited by tourists. The two citadels are separated by a limestone mountain. Both have access to the Hoàng Long (“Golden Dragon”) River that runs just north-west of the capital and that, via a system of rivers, connects Hoa Lư to the sea. In the 10th century, the dwellings of the common people, as well as the markets and the storehouses connected with the river trade, were concentrated near the river.
After lunch, get on small rowing boats to travel along the canals amid local villages, green fields. Enjoy the beauty of Tam Coc (3 caves) which is also called “Halong Bay on land”. Go through the caves and then row back. Upon disembarking, visit Thai Vi Temple, and then take ox-cart ride thru countryside, rice fields and green mountain scenery to Tam Coc.
Tam Cốc, literally “three caves”, consists of three natural caves — Hang Cả, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba — on the Ngô Đồng River. Tourists are taken in small boats along the river from the village of Van Lam, through rice fields and limestone karsts, through the caves, and back. Local women serve as guides and attempt to sell embroidered goods to their passengers.
Return to Hanoi and arrive at your hotel at around 5.00PM.