Phat Diem also known by its former name Kim Son is home to a famous cathedral which is the centre of Catholicism in North – Vietnam, built around the end of the nineteenth century. Its vast dimensions and Sino- Vietnamese-European architecture are unique in Asia. The Cathedral complex compromises several buildings, the main cathedral, the bell tower with an enormous bronze bell, the tomb of father Six, the founder, a Lourdes grotto and some more interesting chapels and statues. Daily mass is at 5Am and 5 PM.
Phat Diem cathedral - tamcocbackpackerhostels.com
Bai Dinh, the largest Buddhist temple complex in South East Asia gives an interesting contrast between the religious and cultural background of Phat Diem and Bai Dinh
Bai Dinh temple - tamcocbackpackerhostels.com
Combined with the Ancient Capital of Hoa Lu this tour liads you along the most important and impressive religious and historical buildings of Ninh Binh province.
Hoa Lu ancient capital - tamcocbackpackerhostels.com
Depending on how much time you like to spend at the cathedral, temples and ancient capital you may have some time left at the end of the afternoon. In that case you can also visit the Bich Dong Pagoda.
Bich Dong, or “ Jade Pagoda”, one of the major attractions around Tam Coc for both foreigners and Vietnamese pilgrims, is a temple built on the side of a mountain and in a cave. Ceremonies are held daily, but at unpredictable times.
Bich Dong pagoda - tamcocbackpackerhostels.com
Because this is a tour of more than 70 kilometers and you will have to take some busy highways, this tour is best done by car.
08.30: Start from The Long hotel and head for Phat Diem
09.30: Arrive in Phat Diem, visit the church, free time to explore the surroundings
11.00: Continue tour
12.00: Lunch in a local restaurant.
13.00: Hoa Lu ancient capital. Visit the temples of the Dinh Tien Hoang and Emperor Le Dai Hanh, free time to walk around the village, climb to tomb of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang.
14.15: Continue to Bai Dinh Temples
14.30: One hour to visit the temples
15.30: Continue to Bich Dong pagoda, car 30 minutes.
16.00: One hour to visit the temples
17.00: Return to Tam Coc
17.15: Arrive at The Long hotel, end of tour.
Included: all transport, lunch, entrance fees, guide
Not included: drinks, personal expenses, tips.