Soc Son tour with Saint Giong Temple for 1day
Saint Giong Temple, also called Soc Son Temple, is located in Soc Son District of Hanoi, 40km from the city center. The temple is built at the foot of the Horse Mountain which was believed to be the place where Saint Giong stopped for a rest after fighting off the invaders restoring peace to Vietnam... It is said that Saint Giong rode the horse to the top of the Horse Mountain, then ascending into heaven. A temple was built right at the mountain to remember Saint Giong for the great service to the country.

In the 10th century, King Le Hoan (Le Dai Hanh) was on a patrol in the war against the Song invaders passing by the temple. The King came into the temple to pay respect and to ask for patronage from Saint Giong in the resistance war. The prayers seemed to work and the invaders were soon driven out of the country. The king ordered to expand the old temple and to construct another temple next to the old one. Nowadays, this temple is called Den Ha (the Lower Temple) dedicated to the God of the Mountain (Son Than).

The festival of Soc Son Temple is held every year, on the 6th day of the lunar year. Participants to the festivals include people from Hanoi, and people from Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc Provinces. The festival is to recreate the victory of Saint Giong over the invaders and to recreate many activities of the Vietnamese in the ancient times. 

Thanh Chuong Viet Phu (Thanh Chuong palace)

Soon after its existence in 2002, Thanh Chuong Viet Palace instantly became famous as a unique cultural preservation resort, a spiritual legacy of Vietnamese art and culture that attracts lots of local and foreign visitors, people who love and want to have an in-depth understanding of Vietnamese culture, fine arts and spiritual life.

Lying on a hill leaning back over Soc Son Mountain, the site covers over 10,000 square meters and keeps thousands of cultural and historical artifacts of dynasties Dinh, Ly, Tran and Le which artist Thanh Chuong spent his life to collect and store.

The simple path to the site, to cottage houses, lotus ponds, together with images of water rice civilization such as water ladles, rice mortars, bamboo beds and green-moss stone steps, brings tourists nostalgic feelings but is familiar and cozy.

Cottage houses with earthen walls are not cold and alone in the world of Vietnamese culture at all but they inspire visitors to think back to their forefathers. Once visiting the complex, visitors also have a chance to contemplate old houses belonging to many varied regions and cultures such as an old stilt house of the Muong ethnic people which is over 100 square meters and bought from Hoa Binh Province or another stilt house from the Northern mountainous area. In front of the stilt houses is a large pond with a stone bridge spanning through. Next is a five-floor tower built in ancient style and standing imposingly on a hill. At the middle of the site is an old house bought from the countryside of Nam Dinh Province, especially a five-story house nearby, striking with architecture of old temples, carved with meticulous and elegant patterns and decorated with many parallel sentences and bas-relief.

The highlight of the site is a complex of statues made of stone, wood, bronze or ceramic, installed and displayed in the houses and yards around the site. Moreover, tourists also have a chance to admire paintings of artist Thanh Chuong, works made by harmony of folk and contemporary, past and present.

At the palace, visitors can also enjoy folk music performances of quan ho, dan ca and water puppet shows.

Thanh Chuong Viet Palace will make guests who call on it feel as if they were living simultaneously in ancient and modern times since they can see with their own eyes the lost beauties of Vietnam now being resuscitated.

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