Bich Dong Pagoda is an ancient temple built on Truong Yen limestone mountain in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. This is a cultural monument belonging to Trang An Tam Coc - Bich Dong Archaeological Complex which has been classified as a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Tam Coc boat pier, drive East nearly 3km, tourists will reach Bich Dong pagoda – an ever ancient three tiered cave pagoda. It is only accessible by steep stone steps, but it is really worth climbing up for a charming pagoda and stupendous view from the top.
Bich Dong Pagoda is built in the style of "Tam" in Han characters with three uninterrupted, three level along the mountain side, based on the mountain from low to high, it’s devided into three separated temples: Ha temple (Lower temple), Trung temple (Middle) and Thuong temple (Upper).
The unique of Bich Dong Pagoda is the mountains, caves and pagodas complement each other, they’re hidden in the middle of the blue trees, making the temple integrate with natural scenery outside. The landscape is like a majestic mountain picture, inlaid with a relief of three ancient temples, moss-covered roofs.
Like many other pagoda in the North of Vietnam, Ha Pagoda has the floor plan of a Chinese word: "Dinh" (工). The roof of pagoda has 2 storeys and 8 roofs. The eaves of the pagoda is very broad and constructed by 6 stone steps. The two gables of the pagoda and fence were built of stone.
Trung pagoda heads west wards, and has floor plan of a Chinese word: “Dinh”. The roof of pagoda has 2 stories, the upper temple has 3 rooms, and the forecourt has 3 rooms. Standing inside Trung pagoda, tourists do not feel that they are staying in a mountain cave because this pagoda was designed like many ground pagodas with a tiled roof, and walls that cover the cliffs.
To reach Thuong pagoda (upper pagoda), tourists have to get through the Dark Cave or Blue Cave and climb up 40 stone steps on the mountain side. For a long way up to the top of Bich Dong pagoda, tourists are awarded with a panoramic view of dramatic limestone ridges and dotted hamlets and a particularly refreshing moment.