Trang Kenh Complex – the city’s largest complex of historical monuments is located at the estuary of Bach Dang River, just 20 km from downtown. It’s also cultural and spiritual destination and a popular tourist attraction.
Address: Gia Duc commune, Thuy Nguyen District, Hai Phong city
See on Google map here
Trang Kenh – Bach Dang historic and landmark complex. It also was recognized as the national historical relic in 1962, one of the earliest classified relics in Hai Phong city.
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History of Battle of Bạch Đằng
Bach Dang estuary is a special place because it is closely linked to three great naval battles and symbolizes Vietnam’s undauntedness in protecting the nation from stronger aggressors.
The first battle took place in the year 938. At that time, Southern Han’s 20,000-strong navy, led by Hoang Thao, attacked us from the sea. When the news came, Ngo Quyen gathered his generals and prepared to fight the enemy. He instructed his troops to sharpen one end of wooden logs. Then they cover the logs with iron, and plant them in Bach Dang riverbed. At high tide, the logs were hidden under the water. Our troops then used hit-and-run tactics to lure the Chinese fleet into the logs area.
As the water receded, the Chinese ships got stuck in the ambush. Our men sprang on them from the banks and small boats navigable between the logs. After this victory, Ngo Quyen proclaimed himself King and restored the sovereign nation of Vietnam. In addition, the victory was considered our declaration of independence after a millennium under Chinese rule.
The second battle occurred 43 years later when Le Dai Hanh wiped out Song enemies from China.
The third Bach Dang battle in 1288 is attached to General Tran Quoc Tuan, who helped the Tran Kings to win over the Mongolian invaders.
History of Trang Kenh Complex
Since 2008, Hai Phong city has recreated part of the historical complex in Trang Kenh and built a number of monuments to honor the three victories in the Bach Dang river.
The relic complex is associated with anecdotes, legends, historical events or for commemorating the heroes of Bach Dang victory in 1288 such as Hoang Ton mount, Phoenix mount, U Bo mount; The temple and tomb of Tran Quoc Bao general; Le Princess shrine, Nu Princess shrine; Tay Giang Hau shrine, Dong Giang Hau Vu general shrine (they were deputies of Tran Quoc Bao General).
Besides the religious structures of hundreds of years of history and the famous Trang Kenh archaeological site, a large-scale architectural complex for a tribute to the celebrities associated with the resounding historical Bach Dang river victories in the years of 938, 981, 1288, was built from 2008 to 2011.
The complex located between the rocky mountains of Trang Kenh and the junction of the Bach Dang and Thai river. It is right on the battlegrounds where Tran Hung Dao General directly commanded his military to fire-attacks and burn most of the enemy ships in the Battle of Bach Dang river in 1288.
The Vestige includes parts from Trang Kenh temple (Temple Hung Dao Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan) built in 2008; King Le Dai Hanh temple built in 2009; King Ngo Quyen temple built in 2010 and Trang Kenh Truc Lam Pagoda built in 2011.
What to expect at Trang Kenh Complex
The relic complex includes Trang Kenh temple, temples dedicate to three heros of Bach Dang river’s battles, Mother-of-the-Land and Uncle Ho. Besides, it has Trang Kenh Truc Lam Pagoda, Bach Dang Victory Square, and a museum.
Trang Kenh temple
The site is associated with three famous victories on Bach Dang river. In which Ngo Quyen, King Le Dai Hanh and Tran Hung Dao fought off enemies in 938, 981 and 1288. So three temples overlook Bach Dang river were built in honor of these commanders . The first is the temple of King Le Dai Hanh. Standing just 500 meters from it is the temple of General Tran Hung Dao, with the site’s central square in front of it. Walking along the main road, the temple of King Ngo Quyen will appear in the middle of the forest, right beside Bach Dang estuary.
Bach Dang Victory Square
A new road leads to intricately carved stone bridges and the three statues of the General and the Kings near the Bach Dang wharf. In the river, area of sharpened logs have been recreated as historical evidence of Vietnam’s past glorious victories.
The next place in the complex is a museum housing plans and mock-ups of the three historical battles on Bach Dang river.
A further highlight of the complex are the statues of King Ngo Quyen, King Le Dai Hanh and General Tran Hung Dao. Each has a height of 11 metres and the heroes have been sculpted with bright eyes to depict assertive commanders of a battle.
The museum contains a great number of important artifacts. There are bamboo stakes well-preserved in a glass cabinet, stories of Bach Dang battles, diagrams of these battles. Besides, archaeological ceramics through several historic periods in Vietnam.
The pagoda was built after the model of Dong Pagoda – Yen Tu. The temple worships Buddha Tathagata, Buddhas and Bodhisattva and Tran Nhan Tong. The pagoda has statues of 18 Arhat and an ancient banyan tree over a hundred years old.
Activities of Trang Kenh Complex
Since completion, the Bach Dang Giang relic site has drawn a wide range of visitors from across the country. The relic site Bach Dang Giang is an ideal place for students to experience and learn history. They come here to see compasses, simulation models, and sharpened logs. Therefore, they can imagine more vividly how their predecessors fought against foreign enemies.
The relic has many festivals as a spring festival, Tran temple seal opening festival, the death anniversaries of King Le Dai Hanh and General Tran Quoc Tuan and the Buddha Birthday. Such festivals not only satisfy the spiritual demand of the Vietnamese but also hold great appeal for visitors.
In addition, the complex has well set up for visitors with parking and cleaning services provided by local volunteers. It is different from many others place due to its “three No”– no service charge, no litter and no booths.