Vietnam Bicycle Tours: Bicycling to But Thap pagoda and Dong Ho painting village (one day)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

cycling-rural-hanoi-6Vietnam bicycle tours: A day bicycle tour around Hanoi takes you to the Hanoi countryside, rural area where you will experience the real, authentic life. Begin your day adventure cycling along the Duong dyke, through Vietnam northern countryside villages until you reach the But Thap pagoda where you will make a stop for visiting the pagoda. Continue cycling along village lane, passing by smiling faces to Dong Ho painting village. The one-day cycling tour is customized for both amateurs and professional cyclist. Kids, and family can also join the easy biking trip. Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.

Itinerary:

8:00: You will be met up by Lotussia Travel guide at your hotel in Hanoi (Please advise your hotel name).

After briefing and a short warming up exercise you will leave Hanoi busy streets cycling out of the city center. The first part of the tour is a bit challenging because of the local traffic.

After about a half hour, you will arrive the Duong riverside where the cycle tour really begins. The name of the Duong River sounds intimately in the heart of every Vietnamese because of the charming and peaceful countryside the river meanders through. The numerous pagodas bordering the Duong River through history have added a major attraction to the Kinh Bac (northern) region.

We will cycle through some small villages, meeting up friendly local countryside farmers before arriving at But Thap Pagoda in time for lunch at a local restaurant (lunch is not included).

The name "But Thap" (Pen Stupa) was given by King Tu Duc in 1876 when, in Kinh Bac, he saw the beautiful stone stupa shaped like a pen at this pagoda, which had previously been known as Ninh Phuc Tu (Pagoda of Peace and Happiness). Visit the But Thap pagoda before continuing on to Dong Ho village.

Dong Ho village is famous for an old and special art form called Dong Ho. This art is attractive to the local and foreign people alike. Coming here visitors watch the artisan’s produce pictures using carved boards painted with various colors of ink.

Once in the village a visit will be made at craftsman Nguyen Dang Che's house who is renowned for his traditional paintings.

Late this afternoon, we will cycle back to Hanoi.

About But Thap pagoda:

But Thap Pagoda is situated on the dike of the Duong River, Thuan Thanh district, in Bac Ninh province.

The pagoda was built in the late Le dynasty in the 17th century. Its founder was Chinese Buddhist Priest Zhus Zhus, who died in 1644. Queen Mother Trinh Thi Ngoc

Truc asked Lord Trinh Trang to enlarge the pagoda in 1646.

The pagoda was built according to ?Noi Cong Ngoai Quoc? architectural style, and includes 10 buildings spread over 100 meters, from the three-entrance gates to the bell-tower and back house. Two 13m towers, Ton Duc and Bao Nghiem, are made of white rock, making the pagoda seem higher, more majestic and peaceful. Some remains of the 17th century are kept here such as statues and valuable donations,

Nine-storey lotus tower, Tuyet Son statue, Bao Nghiem tower and Xa Ly tomb.

The last renovations of the structure were carried out in 1992.

About Dong Ho Painting village:

Dong Ho Village with its famous paintings has become an aesthetic symbol in Vietnam culture. Located to the left side of Duong River, Dong Ho stood for centuries making their unique art work. From over 100 families in the 1950s,currently there are only a handful of families still making the traditional craft. Most villagers have now turned to joss paper making, since the regulation has relaxed and again allowed for religious practices that were once deemed “unfit of the revolutionary”. The families of Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam both run their own galleries and employ a number of workers. To everyone relief, the essence still remains and thrives.

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