When it comes to Hanoi travel and tourism, tourists should not miss out on Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in this city with a long-standing history. Being a sacred “gem” in the middle of West Lake, this religious site is an ideal spot for any cultural enthusiast in Vietnam’s capital.
1. Where is Pagoda Tran Quoc Hanoi Vietnam?
Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on a small islet of West Lake (Tay Ho District, Hanoi). Visitors can go inside the pagoda through its main gate on No. 46, Thanh Nien Street.
Tran Quoc Pagoda worships Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Additionally, there is an altar dedicated to Guan Yu, Guan Ping, Zhou Shang, and Anathapindika.
2. The specific directions to Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda is located in Tay Ho District, a central district of Hanoi, so tourists can reach here easily.
If you are planning to take a bus, the two bus routes recommended are number 33 (Yen Nghia – Xuan Dinh Bus Station) and number 50 (Long Bien – My Dinh National Stadium). You can also drive your personal vehicle or take a taxi. Most Hanoi locals are familiar with Tran Quoc Pagoda location, so feel free to ask them about the way to get here if you need any help.
3. Things to know about Tran Quoc Pagoda
With outstanding features, Tran Quoc Pagoda can offer tourists a unique cultural and religious experience. Listed below are some of the things you might want to know about this destination.
3.1. Long-standing history
With a history of 1,500 years, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. It was built in 541 in the Early Ly Dynasty, originally named Khai Quoc Pagoda.
At that time, the pagoda was located near the banks of the Red River. In 1615, when the dyke collapsed, the pagoda was relocated to Yen Phu dyke in the Kim Nguu mound area.
The pagoda’s name was changed to Tran Quoc during the reign of King Le Hy Tong (1681 - 1705), with the hope that Tran Quoc Pagoda would be a place to help people repel natural disasters and also bring them a peaceful life. The name “Tran Quoc” is used to this day.
3.2. Marvelous architectural complex
Following the strict principles of Buddhism, Tran Quoc Pagoda preserves the aesthetics of Eastern architecture.
- The 11-storey Stupa (Bao Thap)
As soon as you enter the pagoda, you will see a red-brown tower in front of you - the 11-storey Stupa (Bao Thap). This beautiful tower consists of 11 stories, each has 6 arched doorways with a white gemstone statue of Amitabha Buddha inside. On top of the stupa, there is a 9-storey lotus (Cuu Pham Lien Hoa), which is also made of sparkling gemstones.
- The Front House (Tien Duong)
Coming into the Front House in Tran Quoc Pagoda, visitors will see many unique statues. One of them is the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha made out of wood with glossy golden paint, which has been voted as the most beautiful Lying Buddha statue in Vietnam.
- The Incense Burning House (Nha Thieu Huong)
The Incense Burning House is one of the most crowded areas of Tran Quoc Pagoda. Here, visitors can burn incense and other votives to pray for good luck and health.
- The Upper House (Thuong Dien)
Behind the Upper House, there is a bell post that was designed as a 3-compartment wooden house roofed with red tiles. To the right of the bell post is the Stele House.
- The Stele House (Nha Bia)
The Stele House preserves 14 steles engraved with poems of famous scholars at that time. The steles also record the history of Tran Quoc Pagoda, including a full description of the pagoda’s renovations throughout dynasties. Thanks to this information, the next generations can get a better understanding of Tran Quoc Pagoda history from the very first day.
Another highlight tourists should not miss out on when visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda is the Bodhi tree.
The Bodhi tree in Tran Quoc Pagoda was a gift from India's former President Rajendra Prasad to VietNam in 1959. It was extracted from the Great Bodhi Gaya tree, where Shakyamuni Buddha sat and practiced more than 25 centuries ago.
4. A handy guide for your spiritual trip to Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda opening hours:
- Regular days: 8 AM - 4 PM
- Lunar New Year’s Eve: all night
- The 1st and 15th days of every lunar month: 6 AM - 6 PM
Tran Quoc Pagoda entrance fee: Free
Tran Quoc Pagoda dress code: formal non-revealing clothing (no shorts, mini skirts or tank-tops)
Tran Quoc Pagoda is most crowded on the 1st and 15th days of the lunar month, especially during Tet holiday. Therefore, it is suggested that you visit the pagoda during these times to have the fullest religious experience. On the other hand, for a more calming and relaxing visit, you can come here on regular days.
In addition to Tran Quoc Pagoda, there are also many other tourist attractions nearby to visit on your Hanoi tour: Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi Old Quarter, etc. If you want to have a more exciting indoor experience, Vinpearl Aquarium and VinKE are highly recommended.
Being one the most modern aquarium systems in Vietnam, Vinpearl Aquarium offers more than 30,000 freshwater and saltwater marine specimens for tourists to discover. VinKE, on the other hand, is an ideal educational playground for your kids with many job simulation games.
With a long-standing history, impressive architecture, and remarkable cultural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda is definitely one of the top Hanoi tourist attractions that you should not miss out on. Visiting this religious site, tourists can immerse themselves in the calming nature and pray for their loved ones.