Thien Huong Cave in Ninh Binh is a breathtaking cave nestled in the heart of the ancient capital. While visiting Tam Coc – Bich Dong and cruising along the Ngo Dong River to discover famous tourist spots, be sure to make a stop at Thien Huong Cave to experience its pristine, poetic, and spiritual beauty.
Introduction to Thien Huong Cave
Thien Huong Cave is situated at the foothills of Dong Vo Mountain, belonging to the tourist complex of Tam Coc – Bich Dong (Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province). As part of the renowned tourist complex, Thien Huong Cave is an attractive destination for travelers who love to explore nature and admire majestic and unique landscapes.
The cave is named Thien Huong (Heavenly Scent Cave) because, standing inside the cave, visitors can gaze at the clear blue sky and watch fluffy clouds drifting through the skylight of the cave. Additionally, being located at the foothills, with an open view to the sky, visitors can also sense the fragrance of ripe rice and wildflowers growing in the nearby forest.
Inside Thien Huong Cave, there is a shrine dedicated to Lady Tran Thi Dung. She was a queen during the Ly dynasty, the wife of King Ly Hue Tong, and is known for passing on the art of embroidery to the people of Ninh Hai commune. Therefore, Thien Huong Cave is not only a scenic attraction but also a spiritual destination, a place where the local people in Ninh Hai commune pay homage to and worship throughout the year.
Guide to Travel to Thien Huong Cave
Travel to Tam Coc – Bich Dong
Thien Huong Cave is part of the Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist area. To reach here, visitors must first get to Tam Coc – Bich Dong and then proceed to explore the cave. The distance from Hanoi to Tam Coc is approximately 100km. Travelers can choose personal vehicles, buses, or private cars and trains to get here.
- Personal Vehicles: Personal vehicles are the top choice for travelers who enjoy the freedom of independent travel. This option provides a sense of autonomy, allowing you to decide the starting point, departure time, route, rest stops, check-in points, etc. However, self-driving also carries potential risks. With a journey of over 100km, on national highways with heavy traffic and challenging road conditions, it may be safer for those unfamiliar with long-distance driving to choose buses or trains for their safety.If traveling by motorcycle, you can follow this route: National Highway 1A, pass through Phu Ly area, then turn right onto Road 491. At the roundabout across Sao Khe River, continue to turn right onto DT491C, and go straight to reach Tam Coc.For those driving by car, the route is as follows: Expressway CT01 Hanoi – Ninh Binh. After crossing the Day River, you will need to take Tran Nhan Tong Street, continue straight on DT491C road to reach Tam Coc.
- Private Cars: If traveling with a group or family, a private car is the most suitable and safe option. It not only ensures safety but also provides a cost-effective means of transportation. It creates a shared space for people to interact and connect during the journey. DanangPrivateCar.com’s private car service in Hanoi can meet all your needs. Our professional drivers will pick you up wherever you want, such as hotel lobbies, airports, train stations, etc. With a private car, you can relax and explore other attractions along the way.Book your trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh By Private Car today.
- Buses/Limousines: If you lack confidence in your driving skills, buses or limousines are the most suitable means of transportation to Tam Coc. For the most convenient journey, it is recommended to choose a limousine over a bus. Limousines provide door-to-door service, so you just need to wait at home for the vehicle to pick you up. The limousine drops passengers right at the entrance of the tourist area, making it extremely convenient. Some reputable limousine companies you can consider include Trang An Limousine (032.733.0336), Huu Binh Limousine (0888.497.811), Duy Khang Limousine (0247.300.6772), etc. If you prefer buses, here are some reputable companies to consider: Hoang Thin Bus, Thien Chien Bus, Quan Dong Bus, Truong Thanh Bus, etc.
- Train: Trains are a familiar means of transportation, but many travelers have not experienced them. If you want to make your trip more interesting and attractive, train travel is an excellent suggestion.Departing from Hanoi, you can travel to Hanoi Railway Station or Long Bien Railway Station. You can take trains such as SE1 (19:30), SE3 (22:00), SE5 (9:00), SE7 (6:00), SE19 (20:05) to Ninh Binh Station, and then take a taxi, bus, or motorbike taxi to Tam Coc.
Getting to Thien Huong Cave
Upon reaching Tam Coc – Bich Dong, visitors can purchase boat tickets to cruise along the Ngo Dong River and explore various tourist attractions within the tourist area. After finishing the Tam Coc tour, the boat will continue to the Thanh Pier (Sinh Pier). Visitors disembark from the boat and walk approximately 50 meters along the mountain path to reach the base of Dong Vo Mountain. As the cave is located at the foothills of Dong Vo Mountain, tourists need to climb about 30 stone steps to reach the entrance area.
Exploring the Beauty of Thien Huong Cave
Exploring Thien Huong Cave, visitors will experience the unique features of one of the most beautiful caves in Ninh Binh. The first thing that captures the curiosity of many tourists is the vast space inside the cave. Thien Huong Cave is approximately 20m wide, 40m long, with an area of up to 800 square meters. Particularly impressive is the cave’s height, reaching up to 60m, creating a comfortable and spacious feeling for visitors to explore. Looking up, you will see the cave ceiling forming a natural arched dome, resembling a giant stone bell enveloping the entire shrine of Linh, dedicated to the national mother Tran Thi Dung.
Moreover, Thien Huong Cave has a unique feature compared to other caves— a straight path leading to the mountain peak behind the cave. The cave’s mountain peak is hollow, with a diameter of about 6m and an open view to the sky. Standing beneath the rocky ceiling, despite the considerable distance, visitors can still admire the clear blue sky, watch white clouds drifting leisurely over the mountain peak. During midday, when the sun is at its highest point, warm golden rays penetrate the top, illuminating a vast space. Additionally, due to its elevated position and open view to the sky, there is often a refreshing breeze blowing in, creating a pleasant and airy atmosphere inside the cave. This is a feature not all caves possess.
Exploring the shrine inside the cave, visitors will first notice the inscription “Quoc sac thien huong,” meaning “The national color, heavenly fragrance,” creating a sacred yet rustic and pure atmosphere. The shrine is designed with the distinctive characteristics of ancient temples and pagodas, featuring arched vaults and intricately carved dragon and phoenix motifs on the walls. All of these elements contribute to a majestic and solemn beauty amidst the lush and grandeur of nature.
Formed and shaped over millions of years, Thien Huong Cave carries the indelible marks of history. Over time, visitors have come to Thien Huong Cave not only to admire the peaceful beauty amidst the vast nature but also to enjoy a sense of tranquility. This place is a destination for tourists to discover the unique cultural and historical beauty, tracing back to the roots of the Vietnamese people.
Tourist Attractions Near Thien Huong Cave
Many tourists know Tam Coc as the “Halong Bay on Land” of Vietnam, but few are aware of its other poetic name, Nam Thien De Nhi Cave. These beautiful names truly reflect the captivating beauty of this destination.
Tam Coc is also part of a cave system, prominently featuring three main caves: Cave One, Cave Two, and Cave Three. All three caves are situated along the Ngo Dong River that flows through the mountains. When visiting Tam Coc, tourists can experience the sensation of floating on rustic wooden boats along the river, enjoying the beauty of lush green rice fields on both sides, meandering through the majestic mountainous landscapes, and discovering the mysterious charm of the caves.
Tam Coc’s beauty is present throughout the year, with each season offering its own unique charm. However, the peak tourist season is often in May and June. During this period, visitors can witness the warm golden hue of endless rice fields on both riverbanks. Additionally, many tourists choose to explore the cool caves as a way to escape the scorching summer heat.
Bich Dong Pagoda
Nestled in the towering limestone mountains, Bich Dong Pagoda is in a prime location, exuding a serene, peaceful, and ancient beauty amidst the vast land and sky—a characteristic not every temple possesses. The pagoda is sheltered beneath the shade of towering ancient trees, presenting a picturesque scene of solemnity, tranquility, and agelessness.
Beyond its spiritual significance, Bich Dong Pagoda also holds cultural value with its purely Vietnamese architectural style, constructed with valuable materials. Bich Dong Pagoda consists of three main temples: Lower Pagoda, Middle Pagoda, and Upper Pagoda. The entire temple complex is built with precious ironwood and intricately tiled roofs. Furthermore, Bich Dong Pagoda is designed and constructed with the architectural style of the late Le and early Nguyen dynasties. When visiting the Lower Pagoda, tourists can admire the Phuong Dinh on the front, with Giải Van and Giải Vu on both sides. Alternatively, visitors can explore the Middle Pagoda with its arched roofs and dragon-shaped carvings, exuding a powerful aura.
Exploring Bich Dong Pagoda, visitors can sense the pristine, tranquil, yet ancient and majestic atmosphere of the Buddhist sanctuary. Amidst the vast and expansive nature, the pagoda stands as a distinctive artistic masterpiece, creating a perfect picture that captivates every visitor.
Thai Vi Temple
Located in Van Lam village, Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Thai Vi Temple is a precious historical relic associated with the Tran dynasty. The temple boasts a simple, modest beauty amidst the grand limestone mountains, vast landscapes, and endless fields. It is a place of worship for Kings Tran Thai Tong, Tran Thanh Tong, Queen Hien Tu Hoang Thai Hau, and the veneration of Kings Tran Nhan Tong and Tran Anh Tong. Legend has it that the current location of Thai Vi Temple was the palace of the Vũ Lâm royal court of the ancient Tran kings.
Exploring Thai Vi Temple, visitors can admire various remarkable structures, including a jade well constructed from stone in front of the temple. Behind the temple, there is a range of forbidden limestone mountains. The temple also features two stone horses entirely carved from green stone, placed outside Nghi Mon. Passing through Nghi Mon, visitors will notice a bell tower entirely made of precious ironwood and meticulously tiled. Going in the opposite direction along the main path, visitors will discover the memorial tower along with three main memorial stones erected on both sides—recording the contributions of those involved in building the temple.
The article above is the travel experience for Thien Huong Cave compiled by DanangPrivateCar.com. We hope that through this article, you have gathered valuable information for your upcoming trip to Ninh Binh. If you are interested in Ninh Binh tours, please contact DanangPrivateCar.com right away for advice and to book tour services at the best prices!