Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located on a small island near the southeastern shore of West Lake, and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The pagoda was originally built in the sixth century under the name of Khai Quoc (National Founding), but was relocated and renamed several times due to the erosion of the Red River bank. The current name of Tran Quoc (National Defense) was given in the 17th century.
The pagoda has a distinctive architecture with 11 levels and a height of 15 meters. Each level has six doors with statues of Amitabha Buddha inside. The pagoda also has a bell tower, a front house, an ancestor house, and a bodhi tree that was a gift from India in 1959. The pagoda is a symbol of Buddhism and Vietnamese culture, and has been recognized as a national historical and cultural monument.
If you want to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, you should know that it is open from 8 am to 4 pm every day, and admission is free. However, you should dress modestly and respectfully, as shorts, mini skirts, and tank tops are not allowed. You should also avoid making noise or taking photos inside the main hall.
To get to Tran Quoc Pagoda, you can take a taxi, a bus, or a motorbike from the city center. The pagoda is about 5 km from Hoan Kiem Lake and 3 km from the Temple of Literature. You can also join a tour that includes Tran Quoc Pagoda and other attractions around West Lake, such as Quan Thanh Temple and Tay Ho Pagoda.
Tran Quoc Pagoda is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the history and spirituality of Hanoi. You can admire the ancient architecture, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and witness the daily rituals of the monks. You can also see the beautiful views of West Lake and its surroundings from the pagoda grounds.