Bach Dang Giang: An attractive spiritual destination
Lying just 20 kilometres from the centre of Haiphong, the Bach Dang Giang relic site is part of the Trang Kenh complex-a group of historical, cultural and spiritual monuments in Haiphong. The destination was recognized as a national historical relic in 1962 and has been attracting an increasing number of visitors ever since.
Trang Kenh relic complex was established in 2008 as an act of piety by workers in Haiphong Cement Company and local residents.
The relic complex includes Trang Kenh temple, temples dedicated to King Le Dai Hai, King Ngo Quyen, General Tran Hung Dao (Tran Quoc Tuan). Mother-of-the-Land and Uncle Ho, as well as Trang Kenh Truc Lam Pagoda, Bach Dang Victory Square, and a museum.
Since completion, the Bach Dang Giang relic site has drawn a wide range of visitors from across the country.
The site is associated with three famous victories on Bach Dang river, in which the national heroes Ngo Quyen, King Le Dai Hanh and General Tran Hung Dao fought off enemies in 938, 981 and 1288 respectively in order to protect the nation.
Tourists can visit three temples named in honour of these commanders. The first is the temple of King Le Dai Hanh. Standing just 500 metres from it is the temple of General Tran Hung Dao, with the site’s central square in front of it.
Walking along the main road, visitors will come to the temple of King Ngo Quyen in the middle of the forest, right beside Bach Dang estuary.
The next place in the complex is the temple of Uncle Ho. Further along is the temple for the Mother-of-the-Land and a museum housing plans and mock-ups of the three historical battles on Bach Dang river.
A further highlight of the complex are the monuments of King Ngo Quyen, King Le Dai Hanh and General Tran Hung Dao, which overlook Bach Dang river.
Each has a height of 11 metres and the heroes have been sculpted with bright eyes to depict assertive commanders of a battle.
Learning about the past
The relic site Bach Dang Giang is an ideal place for students to experience and learn history, not only in Haiphong but also in other provinces and cities.
The museum contains a great number of important artifacts, such as bamboo stakes well-preserved in a glass cabinet, stories of Bach Dang battles, diagrams of these battles, and archaeological ceramics through several historic periods in Vietnam.
The site is well set up for visitors with services like parking and cleaning provided by local volunteers.
This destination is different from many others due to its ’three no’s’ – no service charge, no litter and no booths.
Every year, many major festivals are held in Trang Kenh relic complex, such as a festival at the beginning of the new lunar year, Tran Temple Festival, Buddha’s Birthday, and the Ghost Festival.
Such festivals not only satisfy the spiritual demand of the Vietnamese but also hold great appeal for visitors.