Lang Son, 180 kilometers from Hanoi, has huge tourism potential: historical relics, scenic spots, temples, and pagodas.
The Dong Dang Temple of the Mother Goddess in Lang Son province (Photo: tuoitrethudo.com.vn)
The cultural diversity of ethnic minorities adds another attraction to Lang Son, which is beautiful all year round.
Tan Thanh border gate and Dong Kinh market are shopping heavens. Scenic spots include Nhi Thanh cave, Ky Cung stone wharf, the Tien cave, pagoda, and well complex, and the Mau Son tourism area. Historical relics include a 16th century citadel of the Mac Dynasty and Chi Lang pass – the site of several great victories against northern invaders.
Mau Son is a popular spot on Lang Son’s tourism map, as it is cool and pleasant in summer and sometimes covered in snow in winter, a rare climate in tropical Vietnam.
Another noteworthy destination is the Dong Dang Temple of the Mother Goddess, built to worship Buddha and Mother Goddess Ban Thien. It hosts a big spring festival on the 10th day of the first lunar month.
Nhu Thi Hat of Thai Binh province, who has been to the festival several times, said “Lang Son province has lots of religious and scenic sites. I’ve visited many temples and pagodas in Lang Son province, including Bac Le temple, Tam Thanh pagoda, the Dong Dang Temple of the Mother Goddess, and the temple at Ky Cung stone wharf.”
Bac Le temple worships Thuong Ngan, the Mother Goddess of Mountains and Forests. It’s one of the three holy monasteries that worship the Mother Goddesses of the three Realms. A Bac Le temple festival is held on the 20thday of the 9th lunar month.
Venerable Thich Quang Truyen, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Lang Son province, told VOV “The worship of Mother Goddesses is a notable religious practice in Lang Son province, which draws a large number of visitors to religious festivals such as the one at Bac Le temple. Pilgrims come to pray for happiness and prosperity.”
There are many temples in Lang Son province, including Tam Thanh, Thanh, and Tan Thanh, impressive for its architecture, statues, and historical interest.
Lang Son's terraced rice fields in harvest season. (Photo: langson.gov.vn)
Tran Thi Bich Hanh, Director of the Lang Son Tourism Promotion Information Centre, said “We operate tours along National Highway 1A. We plan to collaborate with partners in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh province, where spiritual tourism is booming, to design inter-provincial tours.”
Traditional handicraft villages are another highlight of Lang Son tourism, which offer tourists with hands-on experience. Wine making in Mau Son, Nung ethnic brocades, yin-yan baked clay tiles in Quynh Son, incense in Gia Cat, and rice cakes in Van Linh are some of the most famous crafts.
Its beautiful scenery and religious and cultural richness should put Lang Son on your travel bucket list. VOV