Top 5 Vietnam Temples

 

Vietnam has some of the most stunning Buddhist Temples and Pagodas in the world. These magnificent structures are not just symbolic places of worship, but places of serenity, whatever your beliefs. Here are top 5 recommendations from Blue Trips if you are visiting Vietnam.

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Bai Dinh Pagoda

The Bai Dinh Temple in the Gia Vien District, is a modern Buddhist centre, completed 2 years ago. It is the original pagoda on the grounds however, that draws massive crowds, particularly during the temple festival, held on the 6th day of the first lunar month. During the festival, there is a spectacular procession moving up the Dinh mountain to the pagoda, a true celebration of traditional music, costumes and culture. The collection of 500 Arhat statues that stand solemnly in the grounds are also an amazing sight to behold. The atmosphere is almost reminiscent of Anthony Gormley’s “Another Place” – the statues are still, but somehow very much alive.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Completed in 545 AD, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest temple in Hanoi. It sits between the West Lake and Truc Bach Lake on a small island. Inside the pagoda, there are 11 beautiful shrines, including The Buddhist Trinity and many other incredibly valuable statues. It is also for the view from outside that many people flock to visit. The pagoda reflecting from the lake at sunset is a picture postcard scene. The Pagoda is open to visitors every day – just make sure you wear long trousers.

But Thap Pagoda

Finally, But Thap Pagoda in the Thuan Thanh District is Vietnam’s first Buddhist Centre. The pagoda was originally built between 1258 and 1278. There are over 50 statues inside the pagoda, including the valuable “thousand-handed, thousand-eyed” Guanyin who is lifted by dragons. You can drive to the Pagoda on the National Highway, south of Hanoi, but even better to take a boat ride up the Red River, then some 20 km down the Duong River. A beautiful journey to a beautiful pagoda.

Perfume Pergoda

Getting to the Perfume Pagoda on the Huong Son Mountain is not easy, but in many ways it’s the journey itself that makes it so special. To reach the pagoda you will need to travel for around 45 minutes along a very narrow stream in a rowing boat. You will then need to walk up the steep mountain – around an hours climb. The scenic journey is part of the glory of this pagoda – it makes you feel all the more grateful to reach the cool grotto of the main temple. The grotto is filled with stalactites and stalagmites, each with its own legend. There is also a beautiful shrine which draws worshippers from all over the world.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The Giac Lam Pagoda is in the Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Min City. It is one of the oldest pagodas in the city, built in 1744. The last time the pagoda was renovated was over 100 years ago, and the temple still has many of its original ornaments and decorations.

The grounds of the pagoda often attract writers, who come to find inspiration in the peaceful gardens, overlooked by the white Goddess of Mercy.

 

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