Bắc Ninh a city in the north of Vietnam on the Red River Delta is the capital of Bắc Ninh Province. It was the site of a battle in 1884 when the French took over and very soon its name spread into Europe for its lacquer work and mother of pearl inlays in many wooden products. Its name means ‘’northern serenity.’’ It is a cultural centre and has been throughout its history. Nationally it is famous for Quan ho folk music originating in the 13th Century; it was recognised by UNESCO a few years ago as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Though fairly flat there are slopes that determine the flow of its two main rivers, the Duong and the Thai Binh. It is Vietnam’s smallest province in terms of area but most densely populated as well.
How to get there
Bac Ninh is just a short distance from Hanoi and therefore logically from its international airport. It means that the province and its capital is very accessible and this Bac Ninh travel guide aims to tell you more about the region.
There is a good road system and Bac Ninh is on a main rail route out of Hanoi. Indeed it is on the main transport arteries to China.
Best time to visit Bac Ninh
The dry season runs from November through to April though humidity rises in the later months; average temperatures are around 20C though they will drop a little at night. Temperatures rise as the monsoon season arrives and are likely to average around 30C in the summer. Vietnam travel has its attractions every month of the year of course.
Things to see and do
The shrine to Bà Chúa Kho, the goddess of folk religion, is within a temple in her name.
But Thap Pagoda on the banks of the Duong River is one of most important temples in Vietnam. There is a statue there with a hundred eyes and a hundred arms. There are some extremely interesting 17th Century wooden carvings and quite rightly the pagoda is regarded as one of the best examples of 17th Century religious architecture and will be included in many Vietnam travel packages.
Dong Ho painting village has gained fame for its block prints which are such an important part of the Vietnamese New Year which is determined by the lunar calendar.
There are many festivals throughout the year in Vietnam and within Bac Ninh there are several in all seasons. Quan Ho festival is a case in point; a folk singing festival each spring. While this Bac Ninh travel guide cannot list them all visitors might like to do their own further research.
Dong Ky village is known for its wooden furniture and has established demand way beyond the Province, especially into China. Many wonderful items are likely to be too heavy for those on Vietnam tour packages but that is no reason not to marvel at the craftsmen’s skills.
There are a few alternatives within Bac Ninh and good tour companies organising Vietnam private tours can make suitable arrangements that may include the Landmark or the Phu Son Resort or alternatively Gia Bao, Phoenix 2 International or Ha Na Apartment Hotel. A warm welcome is assured.