You are too tired of the bustling cities with crowded stresses, noisy cars, and hard-working days?
You want to escape the busy world and find a peaceful and tranquil place to soothe your mind and relax your body?
You have a headache about tons of suggestions when you search for must-visit destinations in Hanoi on the internet?
Don’t worry! We are here to help you!
It will be a regret if you skip this place during your getaway in Hanoi – Tran Quoc Pagoda! In this article, I will show 7 reasons why you should visit this place at least once!
Basic information about Tran Quoc Pagoda (opening hours, address, dress code,…)
Every day, from 8 am to 4 pm, the pagoda Tran Quoc opens for Buddhist monks and tourists to sightsee and thurify.
Tran Quoc Pagoda Entrance Fee
You can go to this pagoda for free.
Tran Quoc Pagoda Dress Code
As visiting holy sanctuary place, visitors must follow strictly fixed dress code.
In detail, NO hat, shorts, mini skirt or tank-top are allowed.
Tran Quoc Pagoda Address
Location: Tran Quoc pagoda first foundation was on the bank of Red River, the crucial and main waterway of the capital. After that, people relocated the pagoda to the islet of Ho Tay (West Lake Hanoi).
Tran Quoc Pagoda is on Thanh Nien Street, in the North of Hoan Kiem Lake, between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake.
So, you can easily visit the pagoda by bus, taxi or motorcycle.
By bus, you can catch bus 50 to be right in front of the pagoda. Or, you get on bus 31, 41, 55A, 55B, 58, stop at An Duong bus stop and take a walk for 5 minutes to get there.
It’s only 3.6 km from Old Quarter, so it takes about 12 minutes to be there by taxi or scooter.
1. Listed as one of the most 10 beautiful pagodas in the world by Wanderlust
According to a ranking on Wanderlust, a famous travel website of the UK, Tran Quoc Pagoda is ranked 3rd among 10 pagodas with “incredibly beautiful” views in the world. The article describes, “Located on a small peninsula on the east side of West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. The pagoda’s lakeside setting is particularly enchanting and visitors are given incense to burn at the various shrines within the complex.”
In addition, the prestigious Daily Mail (UK) also selected Tran Quoc Pagoda as one of the 16 most beautiful pagodas in the world.
So, don’t hesitate anymore! Don’t miss up on this incredibly charming pagoda in your next journey!!!
2. Keep an eye out for the Bodhi tree
Bodhi tree in Tran Quoc Pagoda grew from a layering of the Great Bodhi tree in India – where Buddha Shakyamuni practiced more than 25 centuries ago.
This Bodhi tree was a gift from the President of India Prasad during his visit to Vietnam in 1959. This Bodhi tree is also known as the “diplomatic tree” because this is a tree planted by the President of India to pay tribute to Uncle Ho’s work. Uncle Ho had planted a plumeria (also a Buddhist tree) during his previous visit to India.
The legend tells that it is lucky to pick up fallen leaves of the Bodhi tree. Someone waits all day for nothing, while leaves fall back into the hands of others by accident.
If you have a chance to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, you can stand under this great Bodhi tree to contemplate its beauty and wait for a lucky leaf.
3. Pray for a peaceful and lucky life
For generations, going to the temple to worship Buddha, praying for a peaceful and lucky life has become an indispensable practice in Vietnam, stands for the respect and morality of the Vietnamese.
If you ask any local people, they will tell you “Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the most spiritual pagodas in Hanoi”. Therefore, you will see many visitors from other countries also come here to pray.
In the first days of the month and the full moon day according to Lunar Calendar, Tran Quoc Pagoda will hold a Dharma lecture or organize a ceremony to pray for the nation’s peace and development. There is a large number of people coming to the pagoda in two these days, so you should avoid the days if you are afraid of crowds.
Be nice and kind-hearted, every good things you pray for will come to you.
4. Explore the local custom of Vietnamese people
Burning incense and offerings a small amount of foods or money is a traditional routine in any pagoda and either does Tran Quoc pagoda.
When visiting here, if you plan to pray for something, you can prepare some food like fruits or a small amount of money. It likes a small and simple gift for the gods in the pagoda.
Vietnamese people believe that odd numbers stand for luck. Therefore, when burning incense, people often bring 3 incense sticks in front of Buddhist statues at Tran Quoc pagoda to pray for health, good luck and success.
Tran Quoc Pagoda is considered as an essential part in the spiritual life of Hanoi people in particular and Vietnamese in general.
If you are interested in the local custom here, note Tran Quoc in your textbook as the next destination in your journey now!
5. Take the stunning photos in Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi
Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on a peninsula to the east of West Lake in Tay Ho district, combining harmony between the ancient solemnity and the poetic and courteousness of the lush green garden and a crystal lake.
Thrillist wrote that Tran Quoc pagoda has an architecture like a lotus in bloom, making people think of the lotus of the Buddha. You can allow yourself a moment to walk through the serene atmosphere and enjoy the timeless charms here with the red bricks or a large incense burner with the perfumed cloud of incense was ascending.
There is no wonder that Tran Quoc Pagoda is an ideal place to make the most splendid photos. It will be very regretful if you leave Hanoi when there is no picture of the famous eleven-story, 15-meters height tower or the great Bodhi tree in your camera.
6. Contemplate the most beautiful Nirvana statue in Vietnam
Visiting Tran Quoc pagoda, you will have opportunities to contemplate different Buddhist and Bodhisattva statues.
These high-valued artistic statues were meticulously crafted with distinctive beauty. Artisans made these statues sophisticatedly and minutely, which brings a religious and mysterious significance to Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Especially, a highlight not to miss is the statue “Phật Thích Ca nhập Niết bàn” – Sakyamuni enters Nirvana – the most beautiful Nirvana statue in Vietnam. It was made from wood, painted with gold-coated vermilion and is considered as a very valuable work in Tran Quoc Pagoda.
7. Find peace in your soul
No need to be so beautiful and fancy, no need to decorate too much, Tran Quoc Pagoda has a very special appeal, which blows the daily worries and stresses away, bringing the souls of each Buddishist to a peaceful and hidden land.
If you are interested in learning about religious culture, discovering the beauty of ancient architecture and enjoying the story of Buddhism, Tran Quoc Pagoda will bring many memorable experiences.
It seems like time forgets this old and primitive pagoda. Leaving my feet on the doorstep, my heart suddenly felt calm and gentle, letting the wind blow away everything, only me and the quiet space of peace.
8. Other information about Tran Quoc Pagoda
Being one of the most spiritual pagodas in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a renowned attraction for its deep cultural and Buddhist values. Coming to Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi (over 1500 years old), you will enjoy a delightful and antiquated picturesqueness in the center of the crowded and fast-pacing city.
Don’t miss your valuable chance to understand more about the belief and Buddhism practice of Hanoi people.
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Deep Cultural and Buddhist Values inside Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi
Visiting the pagoda, you can follow the traditional and usual routine of burning incense and offerings small amount of foods or money
- Food or small changes are like a small present for the gods for their bequest of luck
- Burning incense, in some ways, will navigate the ways for the gods on the other-side world through the smoke to hear your wishes and make them come true.
In Vietnamese and Chinese culture, incense is often burned in odds number with the most frequent of 3 sticks, for the belief that odds numbers will bring luck.
Local people bring fruits and incense sticks in front of Buddhist statues at Tran Quoc pagoda to pray for health, good luck and success (insta: amadeopb)
“Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the most spiritual pagodas in Hanoi.”, as locals usually say. Therefore, many tourists from other countries also come here to pray.
You get what you wish for as long as you live in a good way, be nice to everyone around you.
You can visit Tran Quoc Pagoda and pray anytime. Nevertheless, you may wanna avoid the crowded time, the 1st and 15th day of each month in the Lunar calendar. These days, people pray for happiness. look for a peaceful mind after stressful days.
>>> Check out 20+ Top Things To Do In Hanoi (and the ONE thing NOT to do!) + MAPS<<<
Cultural reference and value
Tran Quoc Pagoda is the center and representative of Buddhism in Hanoi and Vietnam in general.
The worshipping of female Buddhas, known as “the Mothers” who takes care of the Vietnamese life, stands for the respect and morality of the Vietnamese.
A monk of Tran Quoc pagoda recite Buddhist scripture in the afternoon (insta: gsanchez0518)
Why Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi Got Its Name?
Tran Quoc Pagoda (or Chua Tran Quoc) in Hanoi is the oldest Buddhist pagoda with the age of more than 1500 years old. During Ly Nam De times (541-547), the King demanded to build this construction. This is also a pagoda attached to the first state of Vietnam throughout history – the State of Van Xuan.
Tran Quoc Pagoda gate (insta: dan_mclean)
Its name changed through the course of time:
- Initially named Khai Quoc Pagoda (Founding the Country) in the 6th century.
- Renamed to An Quoc Pagoda (Pacifying the Country) in the 15th
- Lastly renamed to Tran Quoc Pagoda (Protecting the Country) in 17th
The adjust in the name of this pagoda illustrates the wish of the people attached to this antiquated holy sanctuary.
The entranceway to go inside the 3 main houses area in Tran Quoc Pagoda (insta: jitwo__)
First-class attraction, Buddhist center of Thang Long – Hanoi
In the past, Tran Quoc Pagoda was Buddhist center of Thang Long Imperial city during Ly – Tran dynasty (11th – 14th century)
Besides, the pagoda was well-known as a first-class attraction. King and mandarins usually came here to do sightseeing, take an imperial carriage, worship on special occasions such as Tet holiday, festivals… Especially, people built many constructions here like: Ham Nguyen Palace, Thuy Hoa Palace… It served for the unwinding and relaxed time of the King.
One of the Most Architectural Pagoda in the world (according to Thrillist)
3 main houses in Tran Quoc Pagoda. Why is number 3?
Tran Quoc Pagoda consists of 3 main houses and a tower with a dominant red color. Number 3 in the Vietnamese belief represents luck and prosperity. With the harmonic arrangement of the lush green watery landscape beside, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a renowned picturesqueness.
Inside Tran Quoc Pagoda – a representative Buddhist architecture in Vietnam (insta:bryvi_)
The arrangement of 3 houses with different chamber strictly follow Buddhism norm. This is the reason that parts of the pagoda connected to form the Gong (工) radical.
- Tiền Đường (the Front House) faces the West, with the sides, are isle and behind is the bell tower. In front of Tien Duong, there is an incense burner in the middle of the red-tiled yard so that Buddhists and tourists can thurify.
- Nhà Tổ (the Ancestor House), worshipping the previous generation of chief monks, is on the right of Tiền Đường
- Nhà Bia (The Steles House), holding 14 important steles, is on the left of Tiền Đường. These steles were engraved from 1813 to 1815, recording Pham Quy Thich’s composition. It explains the renovating process of the pagoda Tran Quoc after a long time in ruin.
What makes Tran Quoc Pagoda architecture outstanding?
- Bảo Tháp Lục Độ Đài Sen is an eleven-story,15-meters height tower. Each floor has 6 arched windows with a statue of Amitabha made from gemstone lied inside. The top of the tower is Cửu phẩm liên hoa, a nine-story lotus made from gemstone is symmetric to the Bodhi tree.
- Opposite to Bảo Tháp, there is a Bodhi tree, which we mentioned above. This nearly 50-year-old tree was a gift from the Indian President on a special occasion when he visited the pagoda on March 24th, 1959.
The harmonic architecture of 3 main houses with the high tower in red, surrounded by jaded watery
For a deeper understanding, the lotus represents the Buddhist value of enduring clarity. Why?
We can notice that lotus bloom from dirty mud, yet never get uncleaned. Bodhi tree meanwhile is the symbol of boundless intellect and mind. This insightful juxtaposition of lotus and Bodhi tree has a deep Buddhism reference.
In addition, to symbolize the supreme perception of Buddha, the bodhi tree also represents the compassionate, altruistic and selfless heart of humans.
Bodhi tree in Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi (insta: yun_shang)
For these reasons above, Thrillist appraises Tran Quoc Pagoda as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi. The unique architecture resembles a blooming lotus making people imagine Buddha’s lotus-shaped lamp support.
We can say, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a harmonious combination of ancient, imposing architecture with the serene ambiance of green garden and far-flung lake. That’s why the Ministry of Culture and Information recognized Tran Quoc Pagoda as a national monument in cultural and historical values in 1962.
Where is the most beautiful Nirvana statue in Vietnam?
Besides, coming to Tran Quoc pagoda, you shouldn’t miss a chance to see many Buddhist and Bodhisattva statues. These are high-valued artistic statues like a set of worshipping statues in “Thuong dien” and copper-casting… Artisans made these statues sophisticatedly and minutely, which brings a religious and mysterious significance.
However, the biggest highlight is the statue “Phật Thích Ca nhập Niết bàn” – Sakyamuni enters Nirvana, made from wood, painted with gold-coated vermilion. This is the most beautiful Nirvana statue in Vietnam
If you like discovering the quintessential beauty of ancient architecture and find out religious culture, don’t forget visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda to have an impressive and memorable trip to Hanoi.
That’s all you need to know about Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi. Noted this destination on your Hanoi Things To Do. If you need advice for days in Hanoi, contact us!