Quan Su Pagoda, with its centuries-old history, preserves abundant cultural and spiritual values. As one of Hanoi's prominent pagodas, it attracts many Buddhists and tourists on their Hanoi travel. Stick along with this article to get an A-Z guide to exploring this attraction’s tranquility and serenity.
1. About Quan Su Pagoda - A sacred Hanoi Buddhist temple
- Location: 73 Quan Su Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 6 AM - 7 PM daily
- Tickets: None
2. History of Quan Su Pagoda Hanoi
Quan Su Pagoda, a historical Hanoi pagoda, dates back to the mid-14th century during the Tran Dynasty. Initially, it served as a reception place for foreign envoys visiting the imperial capital of Thang Long. Hence, the name "Quan Su" means "House of Envoys".
Due to the diverse envoys from Buddhist countries like Chiem Thanh, Nam Chuong, and Van Tuong, a pagoda within the palace complex was essential for their convenience before meeting with the king. Although the palace complex no longer exists, the name Quan Su remains to this day.
In 1934, the Vietnamese Buddhist Association's Northern branch was established with its headquarters at Quan Su Pagoda. In 1942, the pagoda underwent a major renovation based on the designs of architects Nguyen Xuan Tung and Nguyen Ngoc Ngoan, approved by revered monk Vinh Nghiem.
Quan Su Pagoda worships various Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong, a renowned Zen master during the Ly Dynasty. Inside the pagoda, you will find a remarkably lifelike wax statue of the late monk Thich Thanh Tu, one of the celebrated Zen masters during the Ly Dynasty, who significantly contributed to the unification of Buddhist sects nationwide.
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3. Architecture of Quan Su Pagoda
With numerous renovations and constructions over time, Quan Su Pagoda now encompasses various structures, including a triple-arched gate, a main hall, a library, a guesthouse, monks’ quarters, and lecture halls. The pagoda's overall architecture amalgamates the essence of prominent Northern pagodas.
The triple-arched gate exhibits wooden frames, exuding an ancient charm. Its red-tiled roof presents a distinctive and captivating architectural style. Passing through the gate and a paved courtyard, visitors will arrive at the main hall, a square-shaped space with two stories, encompassed by corridors.
The main hall exudes solemnity with its large statues, gold-plated altars, and careful arrangements. The highest altar pays homage to the Three Jewels Buddhas. Following that is the statue of Amitabha Buddha, flanked by Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva. The middle altar pays tribute to Shakyamuni Buddha, flanked by Ananda and Mahakasyapa.
On the right side of the main hall, there is an altar dedicated to Monk Ly Quoc Su, also known as Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong, and two of his disciples. On the left side, there is an altar for Duc Ong, Chau Suong, and Quan Binh. Surrounding the courtyard are the library, reception hall, monks' quarters, and lecture halls. The rear compound connects to the main hall via a stairway.
This pagoda is a repository of invaluable Buddhist documents and scriptures and remains one of the oldest centers for teaching, research, and propagation of Buddhism in Vietnam. It stands as a significant attraction among Hanoi attractions, encapsulating the essence of Vietnamese pagodas' architectural and spiritual beauty.
4. Tips to visit Quan Su Pagoda Hanoi
4.1. Best time to visit
The optimal period to visit Quan Su Pagoda is during Buddhist holidays or the Vietnamese New Year. The vibrant celebrations and adorned surroundings create a wondrous atmosphere, its captivating landscapes offering solace and inner peace during these occasions. The pagoda's rituals hold immense importance to visitors, presenting a unique opportunity to connect with nature, find inner harmony, and appreciate its remarkable architectural splendor.
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4.2. How to get to Quan Su Pagoda?
Getting to Quan Su Pagoda is convenient whether you choose private or public transportation. Nearby, you will find several parking spots for easy access.
If you prefer driving a car or motorbike from Hoan Kiem Lake, take Le Thai To Street, then turn onto Ba Trieu Street. At the intersection of Tran Hung Dao Street, turn right and continue until you reach a roundabout. Turn onto Quan Su Street, and after approximately 150 meters, you will arrive at the pagoda.
For those fond of public transportation, buses No. 1, 32, and 40 have stops close to Quan Su Pagoda. Opt for any of these routes for the most convenient journey. Additionally, if you are looking for motorbike rental Hanoi, there are various service providers to facilitate your travel to the pagoda.
4.3. Important notes
- Dress modestly and respectfully, avoiding revealing or inappropriate clothing.
- Wear comfortable footwear with low heels for ease of movement.
- Offer vegetarian offerings such as flowers, ripe fruits, betel leaves, sweet rice, or incense if needed.
- Speak softly and politely, avoiding making loud noises or causing disturbances.
- Refrain from carrying flashy belongings.
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If you wish to explore more of Hanoi's attractions beyond Quan Su Pagoda, here are some well-known places worth considering: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Long Bien Bridge, etc.
In addition to these attractions, it is also recommended to visit VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium Times City. VinKE offers numerous indoor games, interactive experiences, and educational activities, making it a perfect spot for families and friends to share quality time. Meanwhile, Vinpearl Aquarium provides an opportunity to discover the enchanting ocean world, featuring vibrant marine creatures and engaging underwater displays.
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Also, consider extending your Vietnam trip to other must-visit destinations to enrich your journey, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. In these destinations, it is recommended that you experience the opulence and convenience of Vinpearl hotels and resorts, renowned for their top-notch amenities and stunning settings.
Regardless of whether you are a local or tourist in Hanoi, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Quan Su Pagoda and experience the full tranquility and spirituality of this centuries-old ancient temple. Quan Su Pagoda will undoubtedly immerse you in the spiritual essence and values of Buddhist culture, following Vietnam's historical flow of time.