Top 5 Must See Pagodas in Hanoi

Love Vietnam, and wish to explore the culture, religion as well as history of this charming Asian country? You are probably figuring out a journey to touch the religious beauty here, aren’t you? Don’t hesitate to pay a visit to the following must-see pagodas in Hanoi as it will not let you down! Start a day trip in Hanoi to get full experience!

One-Pillar Pagoda

One pillar pagoda, Hanoi

It is easy to come to visit One-Pillar Pagoda as it is situated in the Hanoi Capital, to which you will fly first for your Vietnam day trips. Exactly, this historical site lies in Ho Chi Minh complex and is in the proximity of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ba Dinh District.

When it comes to the pagoda’s history, it is depicted as a unique Buddhist temple with a fascinating story behind its building. Legend has it that Emperor Ly Thai To in the Ly dynasty had a special dream about the Holy Lady (aka Phat Ba Quan Am), who directly took him to a unknown sacred place. Based on this dream and the advice of Thien Tue Monk, he later ordered to build the pagoda looking like where he was led, and especially the lotus of the Holy Lady perched on this building. Since then, the 8th day of each lunar April, the emperor visited the pagoda and practiced the Buddha rituals: Buddha bathing and bird releasing. With the exquisite architectural style and the stimulating story behind it, it is great to pay a visit to the historical site.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc pagoda, Hanoi

Positioned at a tiny peninsula emerging on West Lake and the most ancient pagoda (1,500 years) in the capital Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda deserves a must for your Hanoi day trip. One interesting thing which amazes you so much is that the pagoda has undergone a long period of history with certain changes in which its name was changed many times. Khai Quoc (means establishing a country) was the first name since its erecting at the site of Red River and during the Ly Nam De Dynasty (544-548). Afterwards, in the Le Thai Tong Dynasty (the 15th century), Khai Quoc was renamed An Quoc that implied the country in peace.

In 1915, the pagoda’s foundation ravaged by a terrible landslide forced the feudal government by that time to move it to Kim Ngu Island on West Lake as nowadays. Eventually, there were also some more times to rename the site until it has been Tran Quoc. It is possible to say that each point of renaming the pagoda was closely associated with a certain milestone in the Vietnam’s history.

About the architecture, Tran Quoc most totally carries the marks of Buddhism, and it is taken into account as the harmonious fusion of the solemn ambiance of a religious place, charming scenes of the West Lake, and historical values, making it one of the indispensable parts in your itinerary to experience Hanoi. It is actually amazing!

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son temple, Hanoi

Constructed in the 19th century on a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple is supposed to be ideal for day trips in Hanoi thanks to its special architecture. In regard to the Vietnam’s history, this must-see pagoda in Hanoi is dedicated to Van Xuong Scholar and Tran Hung Dao – a national hero in the 13th century, who was the General in the fight against the Mongol conquer. The temple also underwent the renovation in 1985, which was carried out by Nguyen Van Sieu Confucian. While the temple is on the island, which makes you think getting into the boat is the best way to hit it, there is a red bridge called The Huc to walk; it is also a special point in the temple’s architecture.

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Quan Su Pagoda (Ambassador’s Pagoda)

Quan Su pagoda, Hanoi

Referred to as the headquarters of the Buddhist center of Vietnam in the 15th century (the Le Dynasty), Quan Su Pagoda played an important role in the foreign affairs by that time. The reason was that there was no Buddhist pagoda but cottages for worship while the ambassadors from other territories coming to offer tributes were Buddhist; then, the King Le ordered to erect the pagoda for those ambassadors’ worship. It is probable to assert that there is nothing impressive inside the site, but it is indeed a significant treasure of Vietnam because it has a certain meaning in the country’s history.

Quan Thanh Temple

Quan Thanh temple, Hanoi

Another must-see pagoda in Hanoi for your Hanoi day trips is Quan Thanh, located in West Lake in the proximity of the ancient Citadel. Among the four most sacred temples of Ancient Thang Long, Quan Thanh will be an ideal place to know about part of the Vietnam’s history. It was erected in the 11th century and dedicated to Tran Vu, who was supposed to defend the north. Through many dynasties, this historical and cultural monument was also renovated several times and today boasts unique features in the architecture. It is worth paying a visit here!

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