Hoa Lu Antigua Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, located in Ninh Binh province in northern Vietnam, is a significant historical site that offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich past. It was the capital of Dai Co Viet, the first feudal state of Vietnam, during the Dinh Dynasty (968-980 AD) and the early Le Dynasty (980-1009 AD). The capital was strategically chosen as it was surrounded by limestone mountains, providing natural defense against invaders.

Today, Hoa Lu Antigua Capital is a popular tourist destination, attracting both history buffs and nature lovers. Its stunning landscape, ancient temples, and cultural significance make it a must-visit for anyone traveling to Vietnam. In this blog post, we will delve into the history and highlights of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the best time to visit, top attractions, transportation options, and other things to do in the surrounding area.

Hoa Lu Antigua Capital

Best Time to Visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

La best time to visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is during the dry season from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather with cool temperatures and little rainfall. However, if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy discounted rates, consider visiting during the shoulder months of May and October.

The summer months from May to September can be hot and humid with occasional rain showers, making it less ideal for outdoor activities. The winter months from December to February are also not recommended as the temperature drops significantly, especially at night. Nevertheless, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is open year-round, and each season offers its own unique experience.

What to see in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital?

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is home to several historical sites, including temples, pagodas, and palaces, which reflect the religious and political importance of the region. Here are the top attractions that you must not miss when visiting Hoa Lu:

Hoa Lu Gate

The Hoa Lu Gate, also known as the Southern Gate, is the main entrance to the ancient capital. It was built during the Dinh Dynasty and served as the gateway to the royal palace. The gate features stone pillars with intricate carvings of dragons, flowers, and phoenixes, reflecting the artistic skills of the time.

Inside the gate, you will find a large courtyard with a statue of King Dinh Tien Hoang, the founder of the Dinh Dynasty. The statue stands tall at 4.5 meters and is made from bronze and stone. You can also see the remains of the royal palace, including the foundation of the throne and other structures.

Le Dai Hanh Temple

Located in the center of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Le Dai Hanh Temple is dedicated to King Le Dai Hanh, the first emperor of the early Le Dynasty. This temple was built in the 11th century and is one of the oldest and most well-preserved buildings in the complex.

The temple features a traditional Vietnamese architectural style, with a three-door gate, a main hall, and an altar. Inside, you will find a statue of King Le Dai Hanh sitting on a throne, surrounded by his four mandarins. The walls are adorned with murals depicting the battles and accomplishments of the king. The temple is still used for worship ceremonies, and you may even witness locals bringing offerings and burning incense.

Dinh Tien Hoang Temple

Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, also known as Dinh Temple, is one of the two main temples in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. It was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang and his wife. The temple is a masterpiece of Vietnamese architecture, featuring intricate wood carvings and colorful paintings that depict the life of the king.

The temple is situated on top of a hill, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. To reach the temple, you have to climb a set of steep stone steps, but the effort is worth it once you reach the top. Inside, you will find a statue of King Dinh Tien Hoang sitting on a lotus throne, along with other artifacts and relics from the Dinh Dynasty.

How to Get to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital?

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is located about 100 kilometers south of Hanoi, making it easily accessible from the capital city. Here are the different ways to reach Hoa Lu:

From Ninh Binh City to Hoa Lu

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Hoa Lu is by taking a bus or taxi from Ninh Binh city. Buses depart regularly from Ninh Binh bus station to Hoa Lu, and the journey takes around 40 minutes. The fare is inexpensive, making it a budget-friendly option for travelers.

You can also rent a motorbike or bicycle from Ninh Binh city and ride to Hoa Lu. The route is scenic and allows you to explore the surrounding countryside at your own pace.

Tours from Hanoi to Hoa Lu

If you’re staying in Hanoi, you can book a day tour to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, which includes transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and entrance fees to the top attractions. Most tours also include a stop at Tam Coc, another popular tourist destination in Ninh Binh province.

You can also opt for a private tour, which gives you more flexibility and allows you to customize your itinerary according to your preferences. Private tours can be booked through travel agencies or online platforms like Viator or TripAdvisor.

Other things to do around Hoa Lu

Apart from exploring the ancient capital, there are several other activities and attractions that you can enjoy in the surrounding area. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a boat ride through Tam Coc, also known as the “Halong Bay on land.” This scenic area is characterized by towering limestone karsts and winding rivers, making it a popular spot for sightseeing and photography.
  • Visit the nearby Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts stunning landscapes, caves, and temples. You can take a boat tour through the complex and explore its natural beauty.
  • Hike to Mua Cave and enjoy breathtaking views of Ninh Binh province from the top of the mountain. The hike may be challenging, but the panoramic views of Tam Coc and the Red River Delta make it worth the effort.
  • Explore local markets and try traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Ninh Binh city. The city is known for its delicious dishes, such as goat meat, crispy fried rice, and rice noodles with chicken or beef.


Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is not only a historical site but also a place of great cultural and spiritual significance in Vietnam. It offers visitors a chance to step back in time and learn about the country’s early rulers and their legacies. With its stunning scenery, ancient temples, and bustling cities, Ninh Binh is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the rich culture and history of Vietnam. So, make sure to add Hoa Lu Ancient Capital to your travel itinerary and get ready to be awed by its beauty and grandeur.