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Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi is like that mysterious friend with a captivating story. 

Situated on an island in the heart of Hoan Kiem Lake, it boasts a history as rich as its surroundings.

Legend has it that the temple was built to honor a giant turtle, the Batman of ancient Vietnamese folklore, who allegedly wielded a magical sword. 

Who wouldn’t want to visit a temple with a superhero turtle backstory?

Built-in the 19th century, this historical gem started as Ngoc Son Pagoda, worshipping literary deity Van Xuong De Quan and the formidable hero Tran Hung Dao.

Over time, it evolved into a national monument, currently ranking as Vietnam’s 4th most prestigious.

Tortoise Tales: The Guardian of the Temple

Move over, ninja turtles!

Ngoc Son Temple’s honorary guardian is a massive stone tortoise that has seen centuries pass. 

Not only does it add a touch of grandeur to the temple, but locals believe it’s a symbol of longevity and endurance. 

Talk about a wise and shelled companion!

Whispers of the Pavilion: Tranquil Beauty

Step into the temple, and you’ll find yourself in a world of tranquility. 

The city chaos feels like a distant memory as the Pavilion in Ngoc Son Temple offers a serene escape. 

Surrounded by lush greenery, it’s the perfect spot for meditation or pretending to be a character in a martial arts film – your choice!

Bridge to Enlightenment: Huc Bridge

The vivid red Huc Bridge connects the temple to the bustling city, like a gateway between two worlds. 

It’s not just a walkway; it’s a journey into a realm where history and modernity shake hands. 

As you stroll across its scarlet planks, you can almost hear it whispering tales of the past.

Writings on the Wall: Ancient Inscriptions

If walls could talk, the ones in Ngoc Son Temple would probably say, “We’ve seen it all!” 

The temple is adorned with ancient inscriptions and writings, each stroke telling a story of times long gone. 

It’s like a history book but without the intimidating pop quizzes.

Weathering the Storm: Surviving the Ages

Ngoc Son Temple has been through wars, weather, and occasionally curious tourists. 

Yet, like a wise old sage, it stands resilient, weathered but not defeated. 

It’s a testament to Vietnam’s enduring spirit and a reminder that even ancient structures have their version of “back in my day.”

Legends Live On: Ngoc Son in Popular Culture

Ngoc Son Temple isn’t just a historical relic; it’s a celebrity in its own right. 

It has become a cultural icon with appearances in movies, literature, and even local legends. 

Visiting Ngoc Son Temple is like meeting a celebrity – except you’re the star of your adventure.

Ready to Dive into the Ngoc Son Experience?

Ngoc Son Temple isn’t just a destination; it’s an odyssey through time and tales. 

So, lace up your cultural exploration shoes, grab your camera, and let the mystical charm of Ngoc Son Temple transport you to a world where history and wit collide. 

Don’t just read about it; experience the magic yourself!

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple Overview

LocationIslet in Hoàn Kiếm Lake, central Hanoi, Vietnam
EstablishedEarly 19th century
Original NameNgoc Son Pagoda
EvolutionTransformed into Ngoc Son Temple, incorporating Tran Hung Dao and becoming a national monument
StructuresTháp Bút, Đài Nghiên, Đắc Nguyệt, Đình Trấn Ba with symbolic meanings
Historical GemsKhanh Thuy Temple and Khanh Thuy Palace within the Ngoc Son Relic complex
RevampRenovated in Tu Duc’s reign (1865) with added land, stone embankment, and The Huc bridge
Special AttractionPreserved Hoàn Kiếm Turtle, locally known as “Cụ Rùa”


Ngoc Son Temple is a historic site in Hanoi, Vietnam, originally dedicated to the literary deity Van Xuong De Quan and national hero Tran Hung Dao.

Over time, it evolved into a national monument with rich cultural significance.

The ticket price for Ngoc Son Temple is 30,000 VND per person, including the Huc Bridge, which leads to the temple.

You can buy the tickets directly in the ticket booth before the bridge or book a guided tour that includes visiting the temple.

Ngoc Son Temple is primarily influenced by Taoism and Confucianism, reflecting a blend of traditional Vietnamese spiritual beliefs.

It serves as a place of worship and cultural significance rather than belonging to a specific organized religion.

Visitors are encouraged to dress modestly when visiting Ngoc Son Temple.

Wearing respectful attire that covers shoulders and knees is advisable out of reverence for the religious and cultural significance of the site.

At the entrance of Ngoc Son Temple, visitors encounter symbolic structures like Tháp Bút (“tower of the pen” or just “The Pen Tower”), Đài Nghiên (ink-slab), Đắc Nguyệt (“moon contemplation pavilion”), and Đình Trấn Ba (pavilion against waves), each with its profound meaning and cultural significance.


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