THAI VI TEMPLE IN TAM COC, NINH BINH

The Thai Vi Temple was built by King Tran Thai Tong in 1258 after his victory of the invading Chinese forces. The temple has gained popularity due to its cultural value but also because of the stone carving art of Ninh Binh’s sculptors. The main parts of the temple are built from stone, as well as the altar and worship items.

Thai Vi Temple belongs to Van Lam village, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District. The temple is a place to worship Kings and generals of the Tran dynasty is one of the most powerful and prosperous dynasties of feudalism in Vietnam. Lasting 175 years, the Tran dynasty obtained remarkable achievements in various aspects of which the most outstanding is a victory of three times defeating Nguyen – Mong invaders.

To memorize the foundation of Vu Lam royal step – over place, after the King’s death, Van Lam villagers built Thai Vi temple on the base of ancient hai Vi Hermitage and called it “Thai Vi Tu” the name of “Thai Vi” originated from the meaning that this was the place where King Tran left home to become a monk.

Thai Vi Temple is situated right in the Tam Coc –Bich Dong complex – Well hidden inside the mountains, the Thai Vi Temple is located just a short walk away from Tam Coc, Ninh Binh Province. Otherwise, you can disembark at Thanh Pier when the rowing boat trip nearly ended then just minutes on walk. Unlike Tam Coc which is mostly full of tourists, you will find an oasis of tranquility here. When we

visited it, we were basically the only ones in the area. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rice fields it is hard not to feel at peace and relaxed.

If you have more than one day in the Ninh Binh Province I would totally recommend visiting the Thai Vi Temple not only for the temple itself but also for the beautiful nature surrounding it. Among other Ninh Binh, must-see attractions are Bich Dong Pagoda and Trang An boat or cycling to Thung Nang of Ninh Binh Tours

The majestic and silent look of the temple is obtained by the “not Cong Ngoai Quoc” architecture method with various stone works sophisticatedly and meticulously made which already reach the level of an art.

The steeple is designed two-story with eight parallel roofs. It is home a bell had cast since 1689. Opposite with the bell tower is the stele tower and 3 styles on both sides. The 4-side stele tower was built in 1926. The content of steles recorded the years of restoring and repairing the Thai Vi Temple along with those who contributed to build the temple. The main roads and the Dragon courtyard are paved with greenstones. The Dragon courtyard is about 40 square meters wide with 2 blocks of Vong houses in both sides. Stepping from the courtyard under stone sidesteps with a height of 1.2 meters is massive Ngu Dai Mon (5 Great Entrance) with 6 rows of parallel round stone pillars carved the motifs of dragons overlooking the chancel. The outer surface of the stone pillars is carved with parallel sentences in kanji. 

The rafts on the patios are also made of stone carved 2 dragons flanking the moon. The center compartment of the chancel is home a horizontal lacquered board red lacquer trimmed with gold hung on height. Setting foot on the inside is compartments with 2 rows of round stone columns including 4 pillars in each row carved the decorative pattern of the dragon. The compartment is also home to a stone altar with 2 couples of wooden Cranes in both sides. After these 3 compartments are 5 main compartments with 8 round-shaped stone pillars sophisticatedly carved. The most prominent in the Thai Vi Temple is that all columns are made of large monolithic green stones elaborately carved with smooth and elegant details. Sculpting features and unique architecture have brought Thai Vi Temple to become one of the most impressive Ninh Binh attractions.

Sculptors and stone carving artisans made the pillars become soulful with high artistic values.  The sanctum of the temple is the statue of King Tran Thanh Tong in the middle, the statue of King Tran Thai Tong on the left and statue of Queen Thuan Thien adjacent King Tran Thai Tong. Besides, the temple is also home to worship the ancestral tablet of King Tran Nhan Tong (the first son of King Tran Thanh Tong) and Tran Anh Tong. Thai Vi Temple thus houses to worship 4 Kings of the Tran Dynasty. There are also statues of Sudhana (also popularly known as Child of Wealth) standing in both sides of the Kings. Behind the magnificent

and tranquil Thai, Vi Temple is dragon eyes on the sides. Discovering the architectural style of the statues in the sanctum and the harmonious scenery here will be surely indispensable experiences in the journey of exploring Ninh Binh travel.

If you happen to visit the temple during the 14th – 17th of March, you can also enjoy the Thai Vi Temple Festival. The purpose of the festival is to commemorate the kings of the Tran Dynasty. When the festival takes place, the number of tourists visiting the temple is qua. They are mostly attracted by the festival activities such as dragon dance, human chess, rowing, and wrestling.

How to reach Thai Vi Temple

The road starts near the Tam Coc Lake and in only about 100 meters you will feel like you have stepped into another world. You will see a big valley full of rice fields, with just a few scattered houses. There is a good reason why Ninh Binh is also called the Halong Bay in the land. A few more steps and you will be welcomed by the bridge with the most beautiful view in Ninh Binh. Standing on it, you can admire the Ngo Dong River in Tam Coc making its way through the mountains. Also, don’t be surprised if you see Vietnamese people rowing boats with their feet. Don’t forget to take a Tam Coc boat tour too!

When you will get closer to the Thai Vi Temple, the quiet can be overwhelming. The mountains make a good job of isolating all the sounds from the city. By the left side, before you get to Thai Vi, it is Tam Coc Nature Eco Lodge where Ninh Binh Luxury tour organizes the Lunch and Fishing I am sure you will absolutely love this place – the only sounds I heard were the birds singing. Walk the Thai Vi Temple is situated just 1.5 kilometers away from Tam Coc. Therefore, the easiest way to get there is by walking or biking. This way, you will also have the chance to admire the views and take a deep breath of fresh air.

1. By bike or motorbike

The road is easily accessible by both bike and motorbike. For renting, ask at your accommodation or hotels nearby.

2. By organized tour

There are many tour companies that organize daily tours in the Ninh Binh area and include the Thai Vi Temple in their itinerary. Thai Vi Temple Tours offer the daily & package tours to visit Thai Vi temple & combine with visiting Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Trang An, Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital, Cuc Phuong National Park, Phat Diem Church, Van Long, Thanh Ha Cave, and Mua Cave. Tell us what do you want to do for Ninh Binh Tours, we will offer you the best price & quality.

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