Bai Dinh Pagoda is the biggest Buddhist complex in Southeast Asia. There are several temples and over 500 Buddha statues, with the most impressive 10 meter-high statue made of bronze. The place attracts masses of local devotees and tourists, many of which have their fortunes told by the resident monks.
You will be taken by an electric train to the main entrance. The first pagoda is located on the side of Dinh Mountain and is accessed by a 300-step stairway. This quiet sanctuary includes a main prayer hall and natural caves, where locals worship Buddha and other spirits such as Saint Nguyen and Genie Cao Son.
The second Bai Dinh Pagoda is 800 m further, and it covers a vast area. It was built in 2003 with materials sourced from local handicraft villages from Ninh Binh Province, including ceramic tiles from Bat Trang, Y Yen bronze casts, and embroidery from Ninh Hai Village. Another impressive element is a massive 36 tone bronze bell in one of the temples, said to be the biggest in Vietnam.
You can admire the stunning panoramic views of the mountains. If you come at the right time, you can participate in a variety of events and activities. In February or March, on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, there is a springtime festival, several ritual processions, blessing ceremonies, and performances with traditional dance and music. They include folk games, like tug-of-war and wrestling and of course authentic food. Nearby there are limestone caves and Ba Chua Thuong Ngan forest.