Yen Ngua Mountain provides a scenic backdrop for Hoa Lu’s two surviving temples, both spaces dominated by dark-red lacquered pillars. The first, Dinh Tien Hoang, was restored in the 17th century and is dedicated to the Dinh dynasty. At the front of the main temple building is the stone pedestal of a royal throne; inside are bronze bells and a statue of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang with his three sons. The second temple is dedicated to monarch Le Dai Hanh.
For a great perspective of the ruins, hike 20 minutes (around 1.5km) to the tomb of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang. Access is via the hill opposite the ticket office. Hoa Lu is 12km northwest of Ninh Binh; turn left 6km north of town on Hwy 1. There is no public transport, but tours leave from Ninh Binh.