Top 14 Best Temples In Vietnam: A Spiritual Journey

Traveling to Vietnam on a mission of culture and spirituality? Visit the best temples in the country to fully immerse yourself in its rich religious history. Vietnam has a wide range of temples that are both historically significant and artistically alluring, from elaborate buildings that display exquisite architecture to tranquil sanctuaries tucked away in scenic surroundings. We’ll walk you through the best temples in Vietnam that should be on everyone’s itinerary in this article.

1. Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi

Considered one of the most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda is 1,500 years old and was the first temple built by King Lenam Duc (AD 541-547) on the banks of the Red River. When completed, it was named Kai Kuo Pagoda. After renaming and relocating several times In the late 17th century, the pagoda was named Tran Quoc by King Tran Hai Thong and was located on an island east of West Lake, now known as West Lake District.

The first peculiarity of Tran Quoc Pagoda is the temple gate, with a gentle winding passage leading into the temple. Visitors must follow a single red-brick street to reach inner buildings, such as the Daxiong Hall in the center.

The corridor continues with burning incense and an upper hall with a minaret in the background. The highlight of Tran Quoc Pagoda is the unique tomb area. behind the pagoda There are a number of ancient pagodas built in the 18th century, perhaps the most prominent of which is the 11-story, 15-meter-tall Huajian Pagoda. Built in 1998, it has 6 openings on each floor. Each chamber has the Amitabha Buddha image enshrined. There is a stone statue of Cuu Pham Lien Hoa at the top of the pagoda, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi.

  • Location : 46 Thanh Niên, Trúc Bạch, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

2. Cao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh

The Cao Dai Temple was completed in 1955. Caodaists believe that all faiths are the same and that all aspire to promote tolerance across the world. This temple honors the Lord Buddha, Muhammad and Confucius, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, and Julius Cesar.

One of the biggest attractions of this temple is watching Caodiasts worship. They must wear long flowing white robes for lay followers or yellow, blue, or red robes for priests. When worship is performed, ladies sit to the left, men to the right, and all devotees sit in neat rows. The design is a mix of Oriental, Neo-Gothic, and Baroque elements. It is ornately ornamented with seven-headed cobras, dragon-wrapped pillars, and sky blue ceilings.

  • Location : Phạm Hộ Pháp, Hoà Thành town, Tây Ninh
  • Opening time : 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

3. Bai Dinh Pagoda, Ninh Binh

There are several reasons why Bai Dinh Pagoda is one of the most magnificent pagodas in Vietnam, including the biggest bronze Buddha figure and the largest bronze bell in Southeast Asia. This temple was built about 1,000 years ago and is still standing today. It is a monument that symbolizes Buddhism’s ongoing impact in the spiritual lives of the Vietnamese people. The ancient Baiting Pagoda is also one of the old capital’s national historical and cultural monuments, with spiritual significance and magnificent environment.

Many main indigenous elements, such as Ninh Binh green stone, Tu Thiet wood, Bat Trang glazed tiles, and others, are employed in temple architecture with huge cubes, imposing imprints of Vietnam. Tam Quan gate, bell tower, Quan Am, Phap Chu, and Tam The palaces are the main features of Bai Dinh pagoda. To go to an attraction, you must travel a significant distance, usually by steps. This is a means for us to demonstrate our patience and willingness to set foot in the pure land of humanity.

  • Location : Gia Sinh, Gia Viễn, Ninh Bình
  • Opening time : 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

4. Temple of Literature, Hanoi

The Confucius Temple was built to educate and worship Confucius and his talented Confucian disciples. This monument was built in 1070 by King Ly Thanh Tong as a project to continue the people’s enthusiasm for learning and talent in the country. After its completion, studies here began in 1076. This is considered one of the best and most famous pagodas in Vietnam.

The Confucius Temple is located in the southern part of the capital city of Thang Long. It covers an area of 55,027 square meters and is divided into 5 zones. Looking at the overall building of the Confucius Temple from the entrance gate, It includes the Confucius Temple Gate, Da Zhong Gate, Guiwen Pavilion, Dacheng, and Lan Taihe.

The first area from the main entrance of the Confucius Temple to the Dazhong Gate has 2 small gates to the left and right of Dai Trung Mon. The gate on the left is called Thanh Duc gate and the gate on the right is called Dat Tai gate.

The second area is from Dai Trung Mon to Khe Van Cac, typical architectural works of Vietnamese literature and education. Built in 1805, Khe Van Cac is a wooden structure with a glowing Khe star.

The third area has a large rectangular well. which creates a harmonious water painting area for all Confucius Temple ruins. and two rows of stellites engraved with the names of talented people. Each row has 41 stellites on which a turtle, a symbol of immortality, is placed. 82 stellites are the most valuable cultural relics. which symbolizes the Vietnamese people’s passion for learning, passing 82 exams

  • Location : 58 Quốc Tử Giám district, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội
  • Opening time :

– Summer (15 April to 15 October): 07:30 – 18:00

– Winter (rest period) : 08.00 – 17.00

5. Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue

Thien Mu Pagoda, erected in 1601 during the reign of King Nguyen Hoang, is another of the greatest temples in Vienam. Despite the events of history, Thien Mu has always remained the oldest temple in the territory of the capital city, with works that keep the beauty from the beginning.

Phuoc Duyen is a picture of the Thien Mu Pagoda emblem. The tower has seven stories and is 21 meters tall. It was erected next to the temple. Buddha sculptures are seen on every floor. A spiral staircase inside leads to the top floor, which formerly housed a golden Buddha statue.

Along with stelae and copper bells, Thien Mu pagoda also has architectural masterpieces including Phuoc Nguyen tower, Dai Hung Palace, Ksitigarbha Palace, Quan Am Palace, etc. In addition, the temple is the location of several priceless historical and artistic relics. The Dharma guardian statues, the Ten Kings statue, the Buddha Maitreya statue, the Tam The Buddha statue, or the galleries, the couplets here all serve as reminders of the Thien Mu Pagoda’s rich historical times. The old construction of Thien Mu Pagoda, which is situated on the banks of the beautiful Huong River, has helped to accentuate the natural scene, making it more endearing, somber, and holy.

  • Location : Huế, Hương Hòa, Huế city, Thừa Thiên Huế
  • Opening time : 08.00-18.00

6. Van Thuy Tu Temple, Binh Thuan

Van Thuy Tu Temple must be included on any list of the top temples in Vietnam. Thuy Tu, a fisherman, founded it in 1762 to worship him (the whale).

Dinh Van Thuy Tu employed the “Tu Tru” architecture, which has high architectural merit. The tops of the four pillars serve as the foundation for all of the rafters, pillars, and compartments. Precious woods are used for the wood construction systems, and each detail is intricately and painstakingly carved. As of right now, Dinh Van Thuy Tu possesses old architecture that is still in its original condition, maintaining a significant amount of Han-Nom cultural history associated with the fisheries, as opposed to the numerous Van temples worshiping Hai Than around the coast of Binh Thuan.

  • Location: Ngu Ong Street, Duc Thang District, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province
  • Opening time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

7. Jade Emperor Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City

It was originally the Jade Emperor’s Palace. The temple was built in the early 20th century in the Chinese architectural style by a man named Luu Minh (Guangdong, China). In 1984, the Jade Emperor Pagoda was renamed Fuhai, however, people still call it Ngoc Huang.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is an ancient temple built in the style of a Chinese temple with exquisite ornamentation. brick pagoda covered with yin-yang tiles, decorated with eaves, and covered with colorful ceramic statues on the corners. Inside the temple there are three palaces. The main hall was dedicated to the Jade Emperor Xuantian Beide and the heavenly soldiers and generals.

  • Location: 73 Mai Thi Luu, Da Kao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh
  • Opening time : 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

8. Hanoi Perfume Pagoda

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

This large pagoda was built around the end of the 17th century. It was destroyed in the war against France in 1947 and rebuilt by Thich Vien Thanh in 1988. Perfume Pagoda is not only in Thailand, Vietnam but also known as a beautiful temple. One of the best in South Asia as well.

Perfume Pagoda – Hanoi is a tourist attraction that attracts tourists from all over the world. Trinh Temple, Huong Tich Pagoda, Cua Vong Temple, Giai Oan Pagoda, Tien Son Cave within the Perfume Pagoda are all must-see attractions. Perfume in early spring also has a special spiritual value in Vietnamese culture. January 6 marks the opening day of the festival. The festival usually lasts three weeks according to the lunar calendar. On this festival, millions of Buddhists and tourists from four provinces flock to visit the incense burning ceremony.

  • Location : Huong Son, My Duc, Hanoi
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

9. Giac Lam Temple, Ho Chi Minh City

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

During the reign of Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat, Ly Thuy Long, a layperson, constructed the pagoda in the spring of 1744. The pagoda was originally known as Son Can (painted mountain; cang is a shallow mound), but because it was built on Cam Son mound, it eventually became known as Cam Son.

The main hall, the lecture hall, and the street (also known as Ong Giam’s home) make up the three rows of interconnecting dwellings that make up the Tam-shaped architecture of the Giac Lam Pagoda today. Giac Lam Palace Hall has two wings, four major columns, or four pillars, and is built in the manner of a typical folk dwelling. There are 56 large, intricately carved pillars inside the palace, which is quite wide and deep.

  • Location : 565 Lac Long Quan, Ward 10, Tan Binh, Ho Chi Minh
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

10. Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

The One Pillar Pagoda is a must-see attraction for all visitors. According to Vietnamese history, it is one of the greatest temples in Vietnam, having been erected in the winter of 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong.

“Unique” describes the architecture of the One Pillar Pagoda. The temple is fashioned like a lotus flower growing on the river, a flower that symbolizes Buddhism’s purity and grandeur.

As a result, it is still referred to as Lien Hoa Dai. The entire temple complex is built on a stone pillar beneath Linh Chieu Lake. The pillar is made up of two stone blocks that are skilfully placed as one to produce a distinctive temple architecture. The pagoda is fashioned from a variety of rare woods. The roof tiles on the Temple were skillfully crafted and bent, with exceedingly delicate designs. Dragons are an essential emblem in temple construction from antiquity to the present. This is a sign of heavenly power and daring human values, representing man’s aspiration and intelligence.

To get to the temple, you must first climb a tiny set of 13 brick stairs. There are stone steles on the steps that provide a brief history of the temple.
Inside the temple, there is a sophisticatedly decorated statue of Quan Am Buddha. The Buddha statue is meant to resemble King Ly Thai Tong’s dream of Quan Am Buddha seated on a gleaming lotus blossom. Linh Chieu lake surrounds the temple and is enclosed by modest brick walls.

One Pillar Pagoda is the highest point of Eastern philosophy in addition to having distinctive architectural qualities. According to several academics, the yin and yang principle was taken into consideration while designing the temple area. To represent the yin, the pagoda was constructed in the shape of a square. The temple’s pillar is supported by a circle of yang symbols. That is the balance of yin and yang, birth and death, heaven and earth.

  • Location : One Pillar Pagoda, Doi Khan, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
  • Opening time : 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

11. Keo Pagoda, Thai Binh

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

This pagoda’s historical roots may be traced to the Nghiem Quang Tu temple, which King Ly Thanh Tong erected on property in the hamlet of Keo in 1061, according to research by the Management Board of Thai Binh Province Relics. The pagoda has been there for about 400 years, and despite several additions, it still has the distinctive old architecture of the Vietnamese temple. The Keo Temple Festival is held on January 4 each year.

The most notable pagoda-related architectural creations include Tam Ngoai Quan, Tam Quan Noi, Buddha Pagoda, Ong Ho pagoda, Ong Muong, Tam Bao, Gia Roi, Thieu Huong, Phu Quoc, Thuong Dien, and ultimately Gac Chuong. The bell tower, a distinctive wooden piece of art representative of Vietnam’s historic architecture from the Le Dynasty, is one of Keo Pagoda’s most well-known architectural features. It was constructed on an 11-meter-square brick floor, had three storeys, and was connected by painted mountains.

  • Location: Duy Nhat Commune, Vu Thu County, Taiping Province, Vietnam
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

12. Quan Cong Temple, Quang Nam Province

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

Ong Pagoda is another name for Quan Cong Temple. It was created in the mid-17th century by the Minh Huong people of Hoi An and Vietnamese people.

The building of Quan Cong Temple consists of four towers, a vestibule, two left and right transepts, and a vestibule. The tiled roof is adorned with an intricate dragon pattern.

The monument of Quan Cong, together with two other sculptures, namely Chau Thuong, the general’s valiant and devoted servant, and Quan Binh Nghia Tu, are all located in the main hall, along with two horses that are exactly the same height as actual horses. These sculptures were skillfully crafted to display the virtuosity of the previous artists.

  • Location: 24 Tran Phu, Cam Chau, Hoi An, Quang Nam
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

13. Linh Ung Pagoda, Da Nang

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

Built in July 2014, Linh Ung Pagoda covers an area of 20 hectares and is 693 meters above sea level. Located on Son Tra Hill, this temple is shaped like a turtle. Standing here, you can easily enjoy the beauty of the clear blue waters and enjoy the fresh air brought by the sea breeze. Linh Ung Tu is a complex that has many works. Including the ancestral house, meditation monastery, library, main hall, lecture hall

The Linh Ung Pagoda was constructed using both a contemporary design and elements of Vietnamese religious history. The Linh Ung Pagoda’s main hall has a curving tile roof. Dragons are intricately carved all around the main hall’s sturdy pillars. In Linh Ung Pagoda, a huge number of impressive structures, including the main hall, the ancestral home, the amphitheater, etc., were constructed.

  • Location:  Son Tra District, Da Nang
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

14. Thien Hau Temple, Ho Chi Minh City

14 Most Beautiful Temples in Vietnam | Famous and Ancient List (Pictures, Maps)

Built in 1760, the pagoda was designated as a national architectural and aesthetic legacy in 1993. Despite its 256-year history, Thien Hau Pagoda remains one of the greatest temples in Vietnam because it has retained its unique architecture despite several repairs.

Thien Hau pagoda is one of Saigon’s oldest temples, built in the manner of ancient Chinese pagodas, down to the designs and materials used. The temple has hundreds of antiquities ranging from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, including beautifully constructed and polished wooden sculptures, stone statues, stelae, copper censer, reliefs, and so on. A place known as the Thien Tinh, which aids in gathering light, air, and smoke, can be found between the rows of temples. Many people visit Thien Hau’s temple every day, according to those who look after it.

  • Location : 710 Nguyen Trai, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening time : 08.00 – 16.00

For an enlightening spiritual trip, be sure to include these temples on your schedule while you tour the dynamic country of Vietnam. Each temple offers a special combination of architectural beauty, cultural significance, and a tranquil atmosphere that will enchant your senses. Join us on this cultural journey, and let the best temples of Vietnam to make a lasting impression on your spirit.

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