Though the Tam Coc grotto is more popular than Bich Dong in NinhBinh province, about 120km to the south of Hanoi, the latter is still visit-worthy and in fact, still a favourite destination among tourists.
Bich Dong pagoda, also known as “Bach Ngoc Thach Son dong” (lit. a stone pagoda is as beautiful as jade), is part of the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex which was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014. The pagoda was built in a grotto on the Ngu Nhac Son mountain range in Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district which was dubbed “Nam thien de nhi dong” (the most second beautiful cave under the southern sky) by lord Trinh Sam (1767-1782).
According to Monk Thich Dam Tho, head of the pagoda, Bich Dong was a small pagoda at the peak of the mountain.