Intrinsically linked with the iconic battle that ended 1000 years of Chinese domination in Vietnam, the Bach Dang River just may be the country’s most famous body of water. Having served as the venue of its namesake skirmish, the Battle of Bach Dang River, this breathtaking river witnessed one of Vietnam’s greatest victories over foreign forces in 938 AD; this was when The Long Eclipse as the Chinese occupation was known at the time, would come to a staggering halt thanks to the efforts of valiant Vietnamese forces. Visitors still flock to this meandering water body which is a central river in Northern Vietnam to reminisce and uncover a piece of history.
Situated close to Ha Long Bay the Bach Dang River travels across Quang Ninh Province’s Yen Hung region while also flowing along Haiphong’s district of Thuy Nguyen. Although the site is most famously connected with the battle of 938 AD, it is but one of three significant battles that took place on the river which led to Vietnamese independence in both 981 AD as well as 1288 AD; national hero General Tran Hung Dao used lessons learned in the 938 AD battle to defeat Mongolian forces.
The well-known Battle of Bach Dang River however was headed by Ngo Quyen when Han Chinese ruler Liu Yan attempted to invade Vietnam after the demise of Duong Dinh Nghe, the Annam Lord Protector who spoiled previous attempts of invasion in 931 AD. Setting his own son the task of leading the invasion, Liu Yan’s army travelled to Giao with hopes of entering the Red River Plain from the Bach Dang River. Vietnamese fighters led by Ngo Quyen however anticipated this move and travellers with his army to the mouth of Bach Dang River where they inserted massive poles that featured iron spikes on their summits into the river bed. Anticipating the tidal flow of this body of water the Vietnamese forces provoked opposing troops to pursue them which resulted in warships of the Chinese being stranded among the iron tipped poles. Ngo Quyen then attacked the stranded boats and the Chinese troops trapped within their confines and a majority of the enemy force including expedition leader Liu Hongcao drowned to death.
This historic battle formed the beginning of Vietnamese independence as we know it and heralded in a golden age for the Asian country that lived under the shadow of China for over 1,000 years. This victory could not have been achieved had it not been for the scenic and largely tranquil stretch of water that is the Bach Dang whose tidal waves aided a nation evade invasion.
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Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+