Amongs over 60 pagodas located in Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the most ancient pagoda with its profound values of history, religion, and architecture. It is situated on the south peninsula of West Lake, at the end of Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District. The Pagoda was newly built in the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De (544-548) and has been restored a number of times.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
This used to be the center of Buddhism of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in the 11th to 14th century. Nowadays, the Pagoda is not only a sacred place for many Buddhist pilgrims but is also a popular stop-over for Vietnamese and foreign people when they pay a visit to Hanoi. Its stunning scenery also adds the values and exhibits a perfect combination of history, architecture, and nature. It was classified the Historical culture monument by the State in 1989.
Things to do and see
Tran Quoc Pagoda is confirmed as the cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Being the most sacred sanctuary of Buddhism in Hanoi, this place used to be a favorite sightseeing place for kings and lords during Tet holiday or special occasions such as full-moon days or festivals. Now visitors and pilgrims come to the Pagoda not only to attend the praying ceremony in hopes of good things to happen but also to indulge in a cultural space with the perfect harmony of nature and religion. You will find your soul immersed in the spiritual atmosphere of Buddhism, in the middle of the thousand-year-old city. Its history of establishment and values are also ideal for anyone with deep fascination in Vietnamese culture or Buddhism in Vietnam.
Another reason for which Tran Quoc Pagoda has become the most visited site in Hanoi is its stunning architecture. Here many visitors can explore the Buddhist architecture which permeates intricately every corner of the Pagoda. The Pagoda’s current scale and architecture were the results of the restoration in 1815. The 3,000m2 complex is surrounded by the silver tide of West Lake and is designed strictly according to rules of Buddhist architecture with many layers of the building. Three main houses are called “Tiền Đường” – the forecourt, the incense burning house and the upper temple. These rooms are connected with each other to form a “Công” script (工). One remarkable structure of the Pagoda is the six-face tower built in 1998. This tower is 15 meter high and has 11 floors. Each floor has 6 arched doorways placing a statue of Buddha carved into precious stones. On the top of the tower, there is a nine-story lotus also made from precious stones. Inside the Pagoda, there are many valuable statues, especially the red lac statue trimmed with the gold of Sakyamuni Buddha's Parinirvana, known as the masterpiece of Vietnamese sculptural art as well as series of ancient stelea, embodied with the long-lasting history of the Pagoda.
Best time to visit
People coming to the Pagoda will certainly applause for its surrounding view, especially the sunset view from the temple grounds is renowned. During sunset, people can see the towers of the pagoda rising above the lake’s surface. Many visitors choose to walk along the West Lake to the Pagoda, to both enjoy the lake view that embraces the Pagoda and the vibrant atmosphere of Thanh Nien street, one of the most beautiful streets in Hanoi.
With its harmonious architecture taking advantage of the watery landscape, the pagoda is undoubtedly a picturesque attraction. Coming to Tran Quoc Pagoda can give visitors an insight into the religion life and culture of Vietnamese people as well as a peaceful moment for their mind and soul.
In any season, the Pagoda always has a breathtaking and peculiar beauty. In the midst of summer in Hanoi, the place is full of wind and shades, visitors can come here for a perfect escape from the scorching heat. When winter comes, the Pagoda is surrounded in the early morning fog, bringing an alluring mystique.
There is no entrance fee for the visit, therefore visitors can come anytime during the day until late in the afternoon. Visitors must wear decent clothes and long trousers are required for men.
How to go to this place
The Pagoda is located in the center of Hanoi, it is very easy to find the way. If you arrive in Hanoi, you can get to the Pagoda by any type of transportation available – bike, motorbike, cars, taxi, bus, and especially by Vietnamese signature “xich lo” (pedi cab). During rush hour, it is highly recommended that you take a bike or motorbike in case of traffic jam, or you can walk to the Pagoda along the West Lake to enjoy the surrounding view. Most Hanoi tours will offer you a stop by the Pagoda, so always remember to ask your tour guides and make sure to check this spectacular place when you come to Vietnam! The best to visit Tran Quoc you should book Hanoi tours to pay a perfect visit here