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Ngoc Son Temple: A Sacred Journey to Hanoi’s Historic Gem

A must-visit destination in Hanoi is Ngoc Son Temple, located on Jade Island in the heart of Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple boasts unique architecture and a serene, impressive setting, offering a truly special experience for visitors.

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If you are planning a trip to Hanoi and unsure of interesting places to visit. Ngoc Son Temple is a perfect choice. Not only will you have the opportunity to explore this historical site. But you can also immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of the emerald-green lake and feel the sacred and serene ambiance within the temple. Prepare yourself for a complete and perfect journey to Ngoc Son Temple – Hoan Kiem Lake. Also where you can have fantastic experiences with cultural relics and the serene beauty of Hanoi.

1. Ngoc Son Temple: Beliefs and Legendary History

Ngoc Son Temple, located within the Hoan Kiem Lake historical complex, is a sacred temple dedicated to the national hero Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan and the guardian deity Van Xuong De Quan. Additionally, the temple pays homage to Buddhism and the Genie of Literature.

Through its unique architecture, couplets, horizontal lacquered boards, and meticulous arrangements, Ngoc Son Temple clearly represents the belief in the unity of three religions (Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism) among ancient Vietnamese people.

Originally, the temple was named Ngoc Tuong during the reign of King Ly Thai To when the capital was moved to Thang Long. During the Tran Dynasty, it was renamed Ngoc Son to commemorate the heroic martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the Yuan-Mongol invaders to protect the country. However, the temple later fell into ruins.

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During the Le Dynasty, Lord Trinh Giang constructed Khanh Thuy Palace and two earthen hills were built right in the east, facing Ngoc Son Temple.

At the end of the Le Dynasty, a part of Khanh Thuy Palace was destroyed and rebuilt by the people of Ta Khanh Village. It was renamed Khanh Thuy Temple, facing Ngoc Son Temple.

Later, a philanthropist named Tin Trai built Ngoc Son Pagoda on the site of the former Khanh Thuy Palace. Subsequently, the pagoda was transferred to another philanthropic association and converted into Tam Thanh Temple. The association carried out renovations to the main buildings and rooms, removed the bell tower, and placed a statue of Van Xuong De Quan here, renaming it Ngoc Son Temple.

With its stories and continuous development throughout history, Ngoc Son Temple has become a solemn destination, attracting tourists to explore the beliefs and legendary history of Hanoi.

2. Guide to Ngoc Son Temple: Transportation & Ticket Information

Located on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Ngoc Son Temple captivates visitors with its unique beauty on Jade Island in Hoan Kiem Lake, blending harmoniously with the Tortoise Tower to the south, creating a prominent cultural and historical heritage site amidst a peaceful and verdant natural landscape.

To reach Ngoc Son Temple, you have three transportation options: motorbike, car, and bus.

Bus: Since Ngoc Son Temple is located in the central area of Hanoi, transportation is very convenient. If you want to save costs, choose the bus with the following routes:

  • Route 08: Long Bien Bus Station – Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Route 14: Co Nhue – Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Route 31: Bach Khoa University – Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Route 36: Long Bien Transfer Point – Ngoc Son Temple.

Motorbike and Private Car: Motorbikes and cars are popular choices for many tourists. Here are three routes leading to Ngoc Son Temple:

  • Route 1: Giang Vo → Nguyen Thai Hoc → Hai Ba Trung → Dinh Tien Hoang – Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Route 2: Dai Co Viet → Pho Hue → Dinh Tien Hoang – Ngoc Son Temple.
  • Route 3: Kham Thien → Tran Hung Dao → Hang Bai → Dinh Tien Hoang – Ngoc Son Temple.

Note: During the weekends, Hanoi’s pedestrian streets may be active, and during this time, vehicles are not allowed to move in this area. If you plan to visit Ngoc Son Temple during this time, please arrange a suitable itinerary.

The ticket prices for visiting Ngoc Son Temple are as follows:

  • Adults: 30,000 VND/person.
  • Children: Free of charge.

Join the journey to discover the historical and cultural beauty of Ngoc Son Temple, an excellent destination that attracts tourists.

3. Amazing Experiences at Ngoc Son Temple Historical Site in Hanoi

When you visit Ngoc Son Temple Historical Site, you will have the opportunity to explore the following fascinating landmarks, creating an exciting experience:

3.1. Pen Tower and Ink Slab

Right from the entrance of Ngoc Son Temple, you will come across the Pen Tower, an impressive five-story stone tower. Built in 1865 on Ngoc Boi Mountain, the Pen Tower carries the meaning of “Writing on the Blue Sky,” symbolizing the willpower of the intellectual class. Nearby, the Ink Slab takes the shape of a vertically halved peach and is designed for grinding ink. You can admire the beautiful moment when the image of the Pen Tower reflects onto the surface of the Ink Slab.

3.2. The Huc Bridge: A Unique Entrance to Ngoc Son Temple

The Huc Bridge, with its vibrant red color, is made of wood and has a curved shape resembling a shrimp. It is the only path leading from the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake to Ngoc Son Temple. With its distinctive design, the bridge provides an opportunity for capturing unique photographs. Take the time to admire the sparkling beauty of The Huc Bridge at nightfall; you won’t be disappointed.

3.3. Exploring Inside Ngoc Son Temple: Journey to the Two Worship Areas

Along the path leading deeper inside, visitors will experience and explore two main worship areas honoring two legendary figures in history, namely Saint Tran Hung Dao and Emperor Van Xuan.

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The architecture of both worship areas bears the distinctive characteristics of Northern Vietnamese temples. At the shrine of Saint Tran, visitors will be surprised to encounter two impressively large statues. Standing gracefully in the inner court is the statue of Saint Tran, with a serene face conveying a sense of steadfastness. The prominent statue of Emperor Van Xuan holds a feathered pen, representing the elegance and noble bearing of a distinguished scholar-warrior.

A notable feature is the celebration of Festivals, New Year, and Ngoc Son Temple’s dedicated ceremonies, which attract a large number of locals and tourists from far and wide, seeking blessings and peace. During these festive occasions, people often prepare elaborate offerings for worship. Depending on each individual’s wishes and desires, appropriate ceremonial items are chosen.

Additionally, at Ngoc Son Temple, there are three commonly used inscriptions, including the Three Holy Mothers’ Inscription, the Thanh Hoang Inscription, and the Cong Dong Inscription. These inscriptions express the sincere and profound reverence of individuals towards these two revered deities.

Overall, the journey to explore the two main worship areas is an amazing experience where visitors can admire the stunning architectural scenery and show their deep respect for these magnificent deities.

4. Important Notes for Visiting Ngoc Son Temple

When planning a visit to Ngoc Son Temple, it’s important to keep the following points in mind for a memorable trip:

  1. Choose the visitation day: You can visit the temple on any day, but be aware that on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar month, the temple tends to be more crowded and lively. If you prefer to avoid crowds, it’s best to avoid these days.
  2. Ideal timing: Autumn and spring are usually the best seasons with excellent weather to visit Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy the beauty of the Huc Bridge. During these seasons, the weather is typically pleasant and warm.
  3. Entering the main temple area: When entering the main temple area, remember to pass through the side doors and avoid the central door and threshold. This is part of the ritual and shows respect for the spiritual place.
  4. Maintain order and silence: Ensure that you maintain order while exploring Ngoc Son Temple. Speak softly and dress appropriately to show reverence in this sacred space.
  5. Limit photography inside: Inside the worship area, limit photography. There are restrictions on taking photos in order to preserve the spiritual ambiance and protect the valuable artifacts housed within the temple.

Remember to adhere to these guidelines for the best visiting experience at Ngoc Son Temple. And to respect the cultural and religious significance of the place.

Discover the vibrant charm of Hanoi! Embark on an unforgettable journey through the historic Ngoc Son Temple and immerse yourself in the beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake. Join our Hanoi tour today and create lifelong memories. Don’t miss out, book your adventure now

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