Tran Quoc Pagoda- the most scenic places in Thang Long capital

With the value of history and architecture, Tran Quoc Pagoda is famous today not only the sacred feet of the Buddha, attracted many Buddhists to worship but also the attraction of visitors, tourists travel in and out of the water. 

Tran Quoc Pagoda- the most scenic places in Thang Long capital
Photo by Greg Willis

Chùa Trấn Quốc (or Tran Quoc Pagoda) is located beside the dazzling West Lake, on Thanh Nien Road, Hanoi. Particularly, it is seated on an island linked by a bridge to the causeway between the two most romantic lakes of Hanoi: West Lake and Truc Bach Lake.


The construction of the pagoda started in year 541 and was completed in year 545 under the reign of King Ly Nam De (544-548). Its original name of Khai Quoc (National Founder). It was initially built on the bank of the Red River (then West Lake and the Red River met).Until the early 17th century, under the reign of King Le Kinh Tong (1600-1618), the pagoda was moved to the Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) Islet due to the river bank crumbling and was renamed Tran Quoc (National Defence).

A cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism – intricate architecture

Tran Quoc Pagoda is worth your visit for a number of reasons. It is considered a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism partly for it is the oldest pagoda and situated in the center of the capital of Vietnam. More importantly, unlike other ordinary pagodas, Tran Quoc Pagoda was built in a very intricate way. Behind the worshipping shrine is the Buddhist trinity followed by corridors, ten shrines and the belfry. Inside the pagoda, there are many valuable statues, such as the red lac statue trimmed with gold of Sakyamouni Buddha’s Parinirvana, which is a masterpiece of Vietnamese sculptural art, and lots of ancient stelae, one of which was made in 1639 by Doctoral Nguyen Xuan Chinh, recording the Pagoda’s history.

No one who has visited this significant pagoda of Hanoi does not take interests in its special and intricate style of architecture dated centuries ago. Please come here to feel it yourself!

A nice tranquil backdrop 

It must be said that the island and pagoda provide a beautiful backdrop, particularly when viewed at sunset. Standing at one end of  Thanh Nien Road, one can see the towers of the pagoda rising above the lake’s surface. In the pagoda’s garden stands a Bồ Đề (Bodhi) tree, which is attached to a past story. The story tells that in 1959, on his visit to Vietnam, Indian Prime Minister Razendia Prasat offered the Pagoda a bodhi tree as a gift. The plant was grafted from the holy bodhi tree where Sakyamuni sat in zen (meditation) position and achieved enlightenment in India 25 centuries ago. Now the bodhi tree is easily recognizable from its heart-shaped leaves, taken from a cutting off its original tree. Today, the tree green and luxuriant, shading over part of the pagoda’s yard.

These days, Tran Quoc Pagoda, as a religious relic with a spectacular ­surrounding scenery, is a favourite stop-over of so many foreign visitors and pilgrims. 

Note: The pagoda open daily. Tourists are requested to dress in proper way within long trousers, especially for men before enter the pagoda site.

   If you want to discover other wonderful places other than Hanoi, here we offers some best tours from Hanoi as references to help you to have great time in Vietnam. 

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