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Thai Binh Province

Capital: Thai Binh City
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Ngai, Tay, Ra Glai
Highlights: Keo Pagoda, Tran Dynasty Relic Site, Dong Chau Beach,Dong Xam Silver Village

Tourist Attractions

Keo Pagoda

The pagoda is located at Dung Nhue Hamlet, Duy Nhat Commune, Vu Thu District. To reach the pagoda, drive from Ha Noi to Nam Dinh, Tan De Bridge and then drive along the dike for approximately 10km. It was built in 1067 and has been upgraded many times. It has a rectangular shape composed of several structures with craggy tile-roofs, which well blend with the natural setting. It consists of Ho Pagoda, Phat Pagoda, and the sanctuary dedicated to the Zen master Khong Lo. The architectural arrangement of pagoda follows the style "tien Phat hau Thanh" (the front is dedicated to the Buddha and the back to deities). At its end are the bell tower, patriarch worshipping house, and two corridors stretching from Ho Pagoda to the patriarch-worshipping house. The pagoda has got 17 structures composed of 128 compartments. The three-storey bell tower is 11.06m in height and has got 12 roofs with 12 charming curved corners. This is an original architectural work, evoking a freshly boomed lotus rising by the straight high areca trees. The pagoda displays the artistic features of wood installation. On the first storey of the bell tower, a 1,87m wide musical stone instrument (khanh) is hung over. On the second storey, there is a bell cast in 1686, and on the third and the highest storeys are bells cast in 1796. At present, the pagoda preserves many valuable votive objects. At its back sanctuary, there is a statue of a Zen master made of aloe wood, a bell cast in the Le Dynasty, and khanh and porcelain. The Keo Pagoda Festival (held on the fifteen of the ninth lunar) is a big cultural event, which attracts many pilgrims and tourists.

Tran Dynasty Relic Site

The relic site is situated in Tam Duong Village, Tien Due Commune, Hung Ha District. This place is where the Tran Dynasty's founders were born and started their causes and is to locate tombs of Tran Dynasty's ancestor and royal family. The relic site contains a. temple dedicated to Tran Kings and numbers of Tran royal tombs. 
The temple built in the area of 5,175m2includes Bai Duong house, two Giai Vu houses, De Nhi house, harem and some subsidiary structures. The temple's structures inherit and bring into play architecture of commune house. Here worships Tran Dynasty's ancestor, three first kings and some mandarins. 
Three big tombs of first kings of Tran Dynasty located in front of the temple including tomb of King Tran Thai Tong, tomb of King Tran Thanh Tong, and tomb of King Tran Nhan Tong.
In Tarn Duong, many archaeological objects of Tran Dynasty were excavated such as potteries, terra-cotta objects...

Dong Xam Temple

Dong Xam Temple is situated in Hong Thai Commune, Kien Xuong District. The temple covers an area of 1,000 sq.m, dedicated to Nguyen Kim Lau - the founder of silver engraving work. It consists of a number of the magnificent and beautiful architecture works such as Vong Lau, Thuy Toa, Hoanh Ma, worshipping yard, Front House... 
Vong Lau is a house used for viewing the landscape. 
Thuy Toa is a hexagonal house comprising 6 curve doors, which turn to different directions. From this house, tourists can view the whole scene of the worshipping yard and the boat races on the river when Festivals are held. 
The Font House of the temple is a great shrine with the height of 13 metres and consists of 5 large partitions. It is the large size and magnificent architecture that make it different from others. 
The Back House of the temple is structured into two linked parts: a 5-partition shrine and a Kham partition (to place the statutes in). The front of the Back House is harmoniously decorated with big Chinese words, the parallel sentences, letter scrolls and carved wooden gates. 
Kham partition is considered as a masterpiece of the traditional occupation village. It is covered with the sheets of copper carved with such subjects as four animals (dragon, unicorn, tortoise, phoenix), four plants (pine, apricot, chrysanthemum, bamboo), etc. The statues of Trieu Vu and his wife Trinh Thi placed in Kham partition are cast in copper and gilded. 
In conclusion, both the architecture and things remained in Dong Xam Temple create a great collection of carved wooden, stone, metal articles in Viet Nam from Nguyen Dynasty.

Dong Xam Silver Village

Located in the north of Kien Xuong District in Hong Thai Commune, Dong Xam is a village whose population is skilled in metal carving. According to the local people, 300 hundred years ago there was an artist named Nguyen Kim Lau, who travelled downstream on the Tra Ly River by boat to Dong Xam to make a living. He transferred his silver carving skills to the local people. Over time, silver carving has been maintained and developed. After his death, the Dong Xam Temple was built in appreciation of his contributions to the village.

Bach Thuan Garden Village

Bach Thuan is in Vu Thu District, approximately 10km from Thai Binh City. It is a rich and populous garden village, the edge of which is an alluvial field, which serves for the cultivation of mulberry, banana and sugarcane. Inside the village are fruit tree and ornamental plant gardens. There are various flowers and fruits during all four seasons: apples, guavas, plums, lemons, longans, sapodillas, oranges, tangerines, bananas and jack fruits.
Flowers and fruits are specialities of this village where gardening has become an art. At times of high tide, Bach Thuan's roads flood and become small rivers. From one house to another visitors and locals must take boats.

Hoi Mat-Weaving Village

Hoi (or Hai Trieu) Village in Tan Le Commune, Hung Ha District is famous for mat weaving craft. Mats made by Hoi makers are soft, easy to wash and dry, cool in summer and warm in winter. The founder of the craft was Mr. Pham Don Le, a mandarin of the King Le Thanh Tong (1460-1497). During his term of office as an envoy in China, he learned to make mats and taught his villagers when he came back to his village. Hoi skilful workers make varieties of mats with beautiful design.

Dong Chau Beach

Dong Chau Beach is located in Dong Minh Commune, Tien Hai District, 30km far from Thai Binh City along National Road 39B, and 145km from Ha Noi.
The beach lies 5km in length and has reserved much of a wild beauty. Several hotels and guesthouses have been built to accommodate visitors in coconut groves and huge gardens. From Dong Chau Beach, tourists can take a boat to visit Thu and Vanh Islets, which also offer good beaches. Lying 7km from the coastlines, Thu and Vanh Islets look like two green waves emerging from a 5ha islet, which lures people for its lush forest, green casuarinas-trees, small but picturesque and quiet beaches. 
The best of Dong Chau Beach is pure air, soft winds and good climate, which are good conditions for relaxation and convalescing. Seafood is good to taste and reasonably price.

Festivals 

Dong Xam Temple Festival

1st to 3rd day of the 4th lunar month. 
The festival is dedicated to Mr. Nguyen Kim Lau, the founder of silver carving in Dong Xam. Wonderful samples of artistically carved silver are displayed. In addition, there are many activities, like canoe racing, popular opera of the Red River Delta (cheo) and declamation pieces (ca tru).

Keo Pagoda Festival

15th day of the lunar month .
The festival lasts three days in honour of Buddhist dignitary Duong Khong Lo, a man who is credited with curing King Ly from a serious illness. The participants take part in many religious rites and ceremonies, as well as in many games and artistic performances that reflect the distinctive traits of this agricultural community of the Red River Delta.

Tourist Information

IDD code: 84 - 36

Transport

Thai Binh City is 110km from Ha Noi, 70km from Hai Phong, 20km from Nam Dinh.

Thai Binh Bus Station 

Ly Bon St., Thai Binh City.
Tel: 3836 995

Tourism Division (dcst)

7 Quang Trung St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3840 632 

Tour Operator 

Thai Binh Tourist
Trade Center, 285 Ly Bon St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3654 236, Fax: 3654 236

Hotels 

In Thai Binh City

An Thai Hotel

288 Tran Thai Ton St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3840 822, Fax: 3830 293
30 rooms, US$10-15

Hong Tra Hotel

Km4+500 Hung Vuong St., Thai Binh City 
25 rooms, US$ 6-10

Diamond Hotel

373 Tran Nhan Tong St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3641 555, Fax: 3831 195
41 rooms, US$ 9-19

Nam Thai Hotel

532 Ly Bon St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3831 836, Fax: 3250 050 
25 rooms, US$ 6-15

Song Tra Hotel

Le Loi St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3735 343
32 rooms, US$10-13

Thuong Mai Hotel

Km 4 Hung Vuong St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3836 093
30 rooms

Dong Chau Tourist Guest House

Dong Chau Beach, Dong Minh Commune, S2 Tien Hai Dist.
Tel: 3824 118; 32 rooms, US$8-10

Restaurant

Anh Anh Restaurant

10 Kim Dong St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3835 236 
Sea food, traditional dishes

Quan Ca Restaurant

12 Tran Phu St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3834 747 
Dishes made of fish

Thanh Doanh Restaurant

278 Tran Hung Dao St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3835 692

Thu Huong Restaurant

28 Nguyen Due Canh St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3834 592

Tung Tung Restaurant

162 Tran Thanh Tong St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3840 284
Fresh seafood, traditional dishes

Post Office

Le Loi St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3831 100, Fax: 3833 184

Medical Services

General Hospital
Ly Bon St., Thai Binh City
Tel: 3831 042

Banks

Agribank

297 Tran Hung Dao St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3833 085, Fax: 3833 705

BIDV

80D Ly Thuong Kiet St., Thai Binh City
Tel: 3731 210

Vietcombank

59 Le Loi St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3842 189/13845 998

Vietinbank

190 Trung Trac St., Thai Binh City 
Tel: 3835 939



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