Nestled about 100 km to the south of Hanoi, Nam Dinh is easily accessible by train, car, and motorbike thanks to very good roads from Hanoi. The province has nearly 4,000 historical and cultural relics including Phu Day temple, and Co Le, Keo, and Luong pagodas and Ngoi bridge and the Nam Dinh flag pole which carries rich cultural value. Many local relics are closely associated with famous Vietnamese figures including Nguyen Hien, Luong The Vinh, poets Tu Xuong and Nguyen Binh and former Party leader Truong Chinh. There are more than 70 craft villages involved in woodcarving, lacquer, rattan weaving, and ornamental tree plantations. More than 100 traditional festivals take place in the province every year attracting thousands of visitors. The Phu Day temple, Tran temple, Vieng market, and the seal-opening festivals are among the most popular. Do Vu Loi of the National Architecture Institute says: “Its cultural heritage and religious establishments are advantages for Nam Dinh in developing its tourism. Cultural relics and their significant values date back to the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. Many studies on the value of this heritage has been carried out. Tapping this heritage could bring major cultural and social benefits to the province”.
Historical and cultural relics from the Tran dynasty have enabled Nam Dinh to develop a form of spiritual tourism. Festival and craft villages have also been promoted for tourists. Nguyen Cong Khuong is Head of the Tourism Section of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism: “Nam Dinh is the homeland of the Tran dynasty. 750 years ago, the Dynasty was established and flourished here. Thus, the province has rich cultural resources. There are many traditional festivals that are closely associated with the local relics, many of them are spring and village festivals. The wet rice culture is well reflected in local festivals and the arts such as water puppetry art and the duck catching festival. Craft villages are also one of our tourist attractions”