Aerial view of Hoa Lư
Aerial view of Hoa Lư

If this section is a little heavy on the historical side of things, it is not without reason. Hoa Lư Ancient City has been part of Vietnamese history since time immemorial and played a crucial part in the formation of the modern nation we now call Viet Nam.

In many ways it typifies much of Vietnam’s struggles and successes. Dynasties that come and go, the long wars and times of peace, tales of heroism and treachery, of riches and famine, numerous counts of foreign occupation and finally a hard won independence. Nestled in the impenetrable karst mountains of North Vietnam, overlooking the green and gold rice fields of Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu has seen it all.

Hoa Lu Map
Map of Hoa Lư

To give some context to one of the most famous and revered symbols of Vietnamese freedom, we have collected a lot of background and historical information to give the casual visitor some insight into why this ancient city is so special to the Vietnamese people.

Hoa Lu’s story is one of an amazing resilience against all odds. Throughout the numerous name changes, from Van Lang, to Au Lac to Nanyue to Câu Lậu then from Đại Cồ Việt to Dai Viet to Indochina and eventually to Viet Nam, Hoa Lư Ancient City and the fertile surrounding areas can claim to have shaped Viet Nam’s history like few other places in Vietnam.

Enjoy your visit to Hoa Lư Ancient City and know that you are part of an army of countless pilgrims over the centuries to make the journey to this very unique and special testament to a people’s desire for independence and freedom.


Hoa Lư is both a district within Ninh Binh Province and also the site of the original capital of the Dai Co Viet nation. So while Hoa Lư Ancient City seems an unnecessarily long descriptive, it is often needed to differentiate it from the modern day administrative district.

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