Ancient Place of Worship
Built during the 6th century, Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam. But it wasn’t originally called Tran Quoc, and it wasn’t even originally located on the shores of West Lake. The emperor ordered the temple moved to its current location–an island specially built for the purpose–due to a landslide along the Red River. Despite its rocky history, the pagoda remains one of Hanoi’s most iconic sites.
A Towering Monument
The most famous aspect of Tran Quoc is its red brick stupa, which rises eleven stories into the air. Each story has several alcoves which contain white Buddha statues. Colorful buildings and sculptures fill the rest of the temple. A large bell rests behind the main building, along with gorgeous views of West Lake.
People continue to worship at Tran Quoc, and the temple becomes especially busy during religious holidays. Another notable temple, Quan Thanh, is within walking distance, as are the Botanic Gardens. Tran Quoc is free to visit.