Half Day Tour of Dinh & Le Dynasty Temples
Ninh Binh, The Far North, Vietnam
Due to its mountainous scenery acting as a barrier against invaders, Ninh Binh was once the capital province of Vietnam. Whilst little remains of the ancient capital city of Hoa Lu, two small but intricate temples stand on the site.
The temples are dedicated to the Dinh and Le dynasties. The first temple is dedicated to Dinh Bo Linh, posthumously named Dinh Tien Hoang. Dinh Bo Linh was the first emperor of Vietnam after the country was liberated from Chinese rule. Whilst his reign was relatively short-lived, he nevertheless played an important role in Vietnamese political history, defeating the notorious 'Twelve Warlords', who had previously been the cause of anarchy and civil wars in the country.
The second temple is dedicated to Le Hoan, posthumously named Le Dai Hanh, who deposed Dinh Tien Hoang's son and married the first emperor's widow. Le Hoan also played an important role in the country's history, quelling two Chinese invasions.
Spend some time exploring these temples, which are nestled amongst lush greenery with a backdrop of limestone hills. Whilst the interiors of the temples are relatively small, they are wonderfully intricate, featuring lacquered pillars, ornate shrines and interesting statues.