Escaping from Hanoi bustling city to tranquil villages of Bac Ninh province on bycycle, We discover But Thap pagoda, master-piece of Vietnamese architecture and Dong Ho village located along Duong River bank.
We will visit the Red River Delta with green paddy fields of Bac Ninh, historical But Thap pagoda – the most typical pagoda in Vietnam and Dong Ho folk painting village. Being recognized as the country’s cultural historic relic, But Thap Pagoda is not only an important place for pilgrims but also a tourist attraction.
The pagoda was built under the dynasty of King Tran Thanh Tong (1258-1278) and rebuilt in 1647 in the Le Dynasty by Chinese Zen Buddhist priest Zhus Zhus, known as Chuyet Chuyet in Vietnamese. Legend has it that when leaving his former pagoda on the northern bank of the Duong River, priest Chuyet Chuyet saw a flock of flying swallows suddenly swooping down and perching on the ground on the southern bank, he decided to rebuild the pagoda there, named it Ninh Phuc Tu, which means peace, and bless. We also visit Dong Ho village where people making a very special kind of Painting, Dong Ho folk woodcut painting.
They all use natural material to make the woodcut painting. For example, Diep paper was made from bark of do tree then mixed with powders of seashells; colors from tree leaves, flower, coal….But today, just 3 family still keep that traditional product because of modern printed painting. The village now is more famous for the “paper things” that burnt for the death. It should not be missed because, this place, you can see Iphone, Ipad, washing machine, cars…..from paper.
07:30AM Meet our tour guide at your hotel. A short briefing about the gears, roads… will be given. Then we get on the car to the dike of the Duong River. We start cycling from there to But Thap pagoda. We ride along the Duong riverbank throughout the quiet villages and have talks with local people.
Arrive But Thap Pagoda, we visit 100 compartments and 10 buildings spread over 100 meters from the three-entrance gate to the bell-tower and back house. Inside the temple are more than 50 statues in different sizes and the most remarkable is “thousand-hands, thousand-eyes” Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin in Chinese) made in 1656 and took several years for completion. Behind the backyard garden stand two stone stupas of the monk Zhus Zhus and Minh Hanh. Once visiting in 1876, the King Tu Duc saw the stone stupa’s shape like a pen and named this pagoda But Thap.
12:30 PM Lunch will be served in a local restaurant or family.
14:00PM We continue our ride to Dong Ho handicraft village, which was known for its traditional wooden block printing. Today though, just 3 family are engaged in this painstaking craft while the rest of the village has turned to a more lucrative pursuit, turning out paper votive offerings. Once in the village a visit will be made at craftsman Nguyen Dang Che’s house who is renowned for his traditional paintings and to learn how to make wooden block paintings. We keep riding around the village and see villagers making “paper things” it’s not difficult to see the Iphone 5 or the new ipad from paper here!
Tour Cost includes: Bike hire, Cycle support by a/c vehicles, All entrances to museums and sites mentioned, Vietnamese English speaking guide, 01 bottle of water each 2 hours cycling, Fresh local fruits at break time, Meals mentioned
Tour Cost excludes: International Flights, TAX, Visa Fees, Alcoholic and other beverages in the evenings, Personal travel insurance, Any services not mentioned in itinerary
Price: 25$- 105$