Nui Bai Tho or Bai Tho Mountain (means Poem) is 610ft (186m) high. It runs along the coast of Halong Bay, half on land and half in the sea. In the old day, sailing in the bay, one or two hundred meters from the mountain, one can see a poem carved on a flat stone cliff, but now the view is blocked with houses.
In 1468, during his inspection tour to the eastern region, King Le Thanh Tong stopped here. Inspired by the stunning beauty of Halong, the King wrote a poem and had it carved into the southern side of the mountain, hence its name Bai Tho (Poem). In 1729, Lord Trinh Cuong composed a poem in response to that of King Le Thanh Tong and also had it carved near the former. The mountain features other poems by Nguyen Can and some other poets.
Atop Bai Tho Mountain, you feel surprised at the magnificent landscape of Halong Bay. In the background of immense emerald waters, of rock bobbing, of high sky, of surrounding flowers and trees, you can figure out the tiny images of boats. Bai Tho makes up one of the beauty spots of Halong.
Tran Quoc Nghien Temple
The temple is situated in an elevation at the foot of Bai Tho Mount, in the area of Ben Doan – Hon Gai, Halong City, Quang Ninh Province, looking to the sea.
The temple is dedicated to Tran Quoc Nghien, one of Tran Hung Dao’s sons and a brave, talented general in the resistance against the Yuan-Mongol invaders.
Tran Quoc Nghien was also famous for his filial piety, and Bai Tho Mount together set up a temple dedicated to him.
The temple has a three-compartment Ceremonial Hall, and a Back Sanctuary. The Holy Mother Temple lies to the right of the main temple. Inside the main temple, the middle altar is dedicated to Tran Quoc Nghien. The other two altars on the right and left sides are dedicated to the First Lady and Second Lady respectively. The Temple has a set of eight ornamental weapons, and various worshipping objects. It has undergone many restorations.
The captivating Temple is also famous for its sacredness. It has become a tourist destination in Halong City.
Long Tien Pagoda
The pagoda is situated at the foot of Bai Tho Mount in the Long Tien Street, near Halong Market, in Quang Ninh Province.
Built in 1941, Long Tien is the biggest pagoda and a well-known historical place in Halong City.
The pagoda has original and unique architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty. Atop the three-gate entrance stands a statue of Buddha in a sitting position. Below is a bell tower, featuring three words Long Tien Tu (Long Tien Pagoda), flanked by two parallel panels. The main altar is dedicated to Buddha.
The altar on the right worships generals of the Tran Dynasty, while the altar on the left is dedicated to the Holy Mother of Three Palaces.
It is very convenient for tourists to come there as the pagoda lies in the heart of Halong City. In the past, the festival of Long Tien Pagoda opened on the 24th day of the third lunar month. At present, every day is a festival. Tourists and Buddhist followers from near and far visit the pagoda for sightseeing, or presenting their offerings to Buddha. The pagoda gets extremely crowed on the 1st and the 15th day of each month and during Tet traditional holiday.