Ngoc Son Temple – Image courtesy of vietnamspirittravel.com
Introducing Ngoc Son Temple
Discover one of Hanoi’s most picturesque temples. Surrounded by water and shaded by trees, Ngoc Son (Jade Mountain) Temple sits on a pretty little island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Said to exemplify the harmony of Taoist feng shui, Ngoc Son Temple is probably the most visited temple in Hanoi.
The temple is easily reached by an elegant red-painted wooden bridge, known as Huc (Flood of Morning Sunlight) Bridge, constructed in classical Vietnamese style and lined with flags.
Built on the 18th century, the temple honours the 13th century military leader, General Tran Hung Dao, who defeated the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century; the scholar, Van Xuong; La To, the patron saint of physicians; and Nguyen Van Sieu, a Confucian master who made extensive repairs to the temple and built the Huc bridge in 1864.
Stroll around the main temple, ponder the three altars and other deities, admire the fine ceramics, some ancient bells and check out the glass case containing a stuffed lake turtle, said to weigh-in at a hefty 250kg.
Temple buildings include the Pen Tower (Thap But), the ink-slab (Dai Nghien), the Moon Contemplation Pavilion (Dac Nguyet) and the Pavilion against Waves (Dinh Tran Ba), all of which have symbolic meaning.
Location: Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Cost: Entrance fee to temple 12,000VND