The Ninth International Conference on Simulated Evolution And Learning (SEAL'2012)

Hanoi Out Sights


Hoa Lu - Ancient Capital


Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam from 10 centuries ago during the Dinh and Tien Le dynasties. It is situated in Truong Yen commune, Ninh Binh province, approximately 100 km south of Hanoi. Hoa Lu is surrounded by numerous magnificent mountains and consists of three areas: Thanh Ngoai, Thanh Noi, and Thanh Nam. 

Thanh Ngoai, covers an area of approximately 140 ha in Yen Thanh village. King Dinh Tien Hoang erected a flag in Thanh Ngoai Palace. Ma Yen mountain is in front of the palace.

Thanh Noi is located in Chi Phong village. This village, formerly known as Thu Nhi commune, where the children and servants of the royal lived.

Thanh Nam is surrounded by high mountains that act like barriers at the south of the ancient city, protecting the capital and enabling people to leave Hoa Lu by waterway.

To the east of the old capital are the Cot Co Mountains where the flag of Dai Co Viet, the former name of Vietnam, was erected; Ghenh Thap Mountain, where King Dinh used to review the army; Tien Cave, where the national treasures were kept; and Thien Ton Cave, where prisoners and criminals were punished.

Le King Temple, where Le Dai Hanh is worshipped, 500 m from King Dinh Temple. Le King Temple is smaller than King Dinh Temple, but is divided in three parts as well: Bai Duong; Thien Huong, where Pham Cu Luong is worshipped; and Chinh Cung, where Le Hoan is worshipped.

Unfortunately, most structures in Hoa Lu have been ruined over the last 10 centuries. Now, only the temples of the Dinh and Le Kings built during the 17th century remain. The tombs of the two kings can be seen in the Ma Yen Mountains.


Bich Dong - Tam Coc

Location: In the Ngu Nhac Son Mountains, in Dam Khe Village, Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province.
Characteristics: King Le Canh Hung said that Bich Dong was the second nicest grotto in Vietnam, after the Huong Tich Grotto in Ha Tay Province.

In 1773, Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the Great Writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. After viewing the whole scenery of the mountains, waterways, fields, and sky covered in green mist, he gave the cave a very beautiful and romantic name, Bich Dong (which literally means “Green Pearl Grotto?. Bich Grotto is said to be the second most beautiful cave in Vietnam. The Bich Dong Pagoda was built near the cave in the Le Dynasty.

Bich Dong Pagoda, built on Ngu Nhac Mountain, is divided into three levels: Ha Pagoda (lower pagoda), Trung Pagoda (middle pagoda), and Thuong Pagoda (upper pagoda). On the mountain peak, the statue of a scholar Mandarin looks at the horizon in hope of viewing the spectacular landscapes of Hoa Lu.

From the upper pagoda, It's easy to see the most magnificent view of Bich Dong, which is romantically charming in terms of architecture and history. The location of this pagoda was chosen in 1428 after two monks were charmed by the view of the river and the mountains. Later, King Le Canh Hung wrote a poem in honour of the beautiful pagoda and landscape. He was the one who said that Bich Dong Pagoda was the second nicest pagoda in Vietnam, after the Huong Pagoda (also called Perfume Pagoda) in Ha Tay Province.

Near the Bich Dong Pagoda, it's very nice to visit Tam Coc Grotto which is located approximately 2km from the pagoda. Tam Coc is 3km from Van Lam Wharf.

Take a boat from Van Lam Wharf to reach the Tam Coc Grotto, consisting of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba grottoes. These caves are adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colours that sparkle like gemstones.


Ha Long Bay  

Location: Halong Bay is located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and constitutes part of the western bank of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of Halong City, Cam Pha Town and part of Van Don island district, Quang Ninh Province.
Characteristics: UNESCO recognized it as the World Natural Heritage two times.

The legend of Halong has it that, ?i>Once upon a time, soon after the Viet people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to earth to help the Viet people fight against their enemy. Right at the time invaders? boats were rushing to the shore, the dragons landed down on earth. The dragons immediately sent out from their mouths a lot of pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders?boats. The fast boats couldn’t manage to stop and crashed into the islands and into each other and broke into pieces.

After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons didn’t return Heaven but stayed on earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is nowadays Halong Bay and where Child Dragons descended is now Bai Tu Long. The dragons?tails waving the water created Long Vi (present Tra Co peninsula) and formed a fine sand beach over ten kilometers long?

Ha Long Bay is one of the most picturesque areas in Vietnam where most visitors are in love with the unique charm of more than 300 limestone rocks in stunning shapes and sizes rising from crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Literally Ha long means "descending dragon", as per a legend,the dragon lived in the mountain created islands around Halong Bay, upon rushing to the sea, the dragon broke up the rocks into marvelous shapes. As a consequence, islands are named after their strange shapes such as Voi (elephant) and Mai Nha (roof). Because of its beauty and rich in natural resources, Ha Long Bay has been declared a World Nature Heritage by UNESCO.


Tam Dao Resort

Tam Dao Resort has long been known for its wonderful scenic spot and it is the ideal destination for vacations in the north. Tam Dao is a range of mountains stretching 50 kilometers, 10 kilometers wide and it is 85 kilometers far from Ha Noi. With the area of 300 ha, Tam Dao town locates in a small valley of Tam Dao mountains. Tam Dao - a sublime and lyrical landscape - is a precious gift given by nature. In summer, tourists visit Tam Dao to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

Weather: The weather is cool all around the year with an average temperature from 20 to 22 oC. There are four seasons within a day: Spring in the morning, summer in the noon, autumn in the afternoon and winter in the evening.

Sightseeing: Television Tower is 93 meters on the highest peak of Tam Dao mountain range (Thien Nhi peak is 1375 meters high). It's difficult to climb but once you reach to the peak, you can enjoy the surrounding landscape. Tam Dao is endowed with the Silver Waterfall which is beautiful and lively scenery. If you love adventure, you can climb to Rung Rinh peak, where you can see many big trees and fantastic scenery. A little bit further is Tam Dao II, the ideal resort French used to relax. 

How to get there: You can ride motorbike. It's about 60 kilometers from Hanoi to Vinh Yen town, Vinh Phuc province, then continue going 25 kilometers, you will reach to Tam Dao. You also can go by bus. It departs at 5h30 everyday at 32 Nguyen Cong Tru.