Why should you visit Tran Quoc Pagoda first among a variety of pagodas in Hanoi capital? Perhaps, an important reason is that the pagoda is regarded as not only the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with long-standing history line of more than 1,500 years but a cultural symbol of Vietnam Buddism as well.
Architecturally, the Tran Quoc Pagoda subtly combined the solemn and beautiful landscape on the peaceful and quiet ambiance of West Lake’s surface, the largest lake in Hanoi.
Up to now, the pagoda of Tran Quoc has experienced lots of name such as Khai Quoc, An Quoc, etc. First of all, the pagoda was erected with the name of “Khai Quoc” (literally meaning opening a country) during the King Ly Nam De Dynasty (from 544-548). The pagoda at that time was located on the bark of Red River (approximately within Yen Phu Ward belonging to Tay Ho District now). Secondly, King Le Thai Tong changed its name to “An Quoc” (a peaceful country) in 15th century. Finally, King Le Huy Tong (1681-1705) renamed the pagoda Tran Quoc (meaning protecting the country) which is popular to both domestic and international tourists. In conclusion, you can grasp a milestone of the country together with the wishes of Vietnamese people attached to this holy sanctuary through each name of the pagoda.
In the past, Tran Quoc Pagoda was used to be an ideal sightseeing place for many Vietnam’s kings and lords because of its stunning scenery as well as sacred sanctuary. Especially, the pagoda welcomed lots of visitors during festivals, full moon days or Vietnamese Tet holiday. Presently, although the landscape surrounding Tran Quoc Pagoda has been affected by modern urbanization, it still preserves it fame and has become one of the “must-see” attractions in Hanoi.
If you’re staying in Hanoi, city tours around the capital will guide you to visit the most ancient pagoda of Tran Quoc. Check out at: http://eleganthanoi.com/hanoi-cultural-city-tours/ or http://eleganthanoi.com/legendary-hanoi-city-tour/