Museums in Hanoi include the Air Force Museum, one the largest museums in Vietnam, with planes, weapons and other military hardware and the Independence Museum, The Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum is a relatively new museum outside of Hanoi. Another new relatively new museum commemorates the Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972. The Army Museum, housed in the Hanoi Citadel, contains a collection of weapons and documents concerning the Indochina war. The Ho Chi Minh City Museum, founded in 1977, has a section devoted to the revolution and another to ancient arts.

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum (66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District) was opened under the direction of Ho Chi Minh in 1956 two years after the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. The museum houses exhibits on the decorative and applied arts, and folk and modern art. and contains a collection of folk art and heroic Communist painting as well an entire floor of Impressionist works painted by Vietnamese artists. The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum occupies a two-storey building. There is a fine folk-art collection and Vietnamese Bronze Age artifacts.

The exhibition system is divided into 5 parts: 1) Fine arts of Prehistory: Consist of the objects from the Bronze Age and Iron Age. 2) Ancient fine arts from the 11th to the 19th centuries: Consists of the objects of Ly, Tran, Le, Mac, Tay Son, and Nguyen Dynasties. - Fine arts in the 20th century: Contemplate times fine arts (1925-1945) and modern fine arts (1945 up to now). 3) Folk painting. 4) Traditional pottery and ceramics. Hours Open: 8:30am to 5:00pm everyday except Monday. 8:30am - 9:00pm on Wednesday and Saturday. Contact for guided visit: Vietnamese, English and French.

Vietnam Women’s Museum (Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hoan Kiem District) covers a 4,500 square meter area planted with beautiful trees. It was open on the 20th October 1995 on the 65th anniversary of the Vietnamese Women's Association's establishment. Documents and objects are displayed and carefully preserved and maintained in this place, expressing the role of women in the process of the development of the Vietnamese nation. The museum is also a place for cultural exchange for Vietnamese and international women with the goal of creating equality, development, and peace. There is a display of pictures from Jane Fonda’s visit to North Vietnam.

The exhibits are displayed on an area of 1,200 square meter on two-storey building; the museum organized around five main themes: 1) Vietnamese women in Vietnamese community. - The involvement of Vietnamese women in the fight for national independence and national construction. 2) The Vietnamese Women's Association and its struggle to liberate women. 3) The culture of Vietnamese women expresses through traditional handicraft products. 4) Women costumes of the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Hours Open: The museum is open daily except Monday, from 8:00am to 4:00 pm. The entrance fee is about US$1.50

Hanoi Zoological Garden (on Cau Giay and Buoi streets, west of Hanoi center-city) is home to hundreds of animals. Opened its in May 1977, it covers a total area of 29 hectares, in which water is 6 hectares. There is also Bo Mountain, Voi Phuc Temple here. Voi Phuc Temple, meaning "prostrated elephant," was built during the Ly Dynasty to worship the Linh Lang deity. Besides, Hanoi Zoological Garden has thousand of trees and flowers. It also features entertaining games such as driving carts, ball games, and electronic games; there is a bookshop and an outdoor stage for dancing.

Co Loa Historical Site (Co Loa Village, Dong Anh District, Hanoi) is the relic of an ancient urban area and military citadel. Throughout history, Co Loa was nominated twice as the capital of Vietnam: the first time during the An Duong Vuong era in the late 3rd and early 2nd century BC, and the second time during the Ngo Vuong Quyen reign in the middle of the 10th century. The three ramparts archeological relics from the Bronze and Iron ages are 16 kilometers long. The complex of religious and commemorative relics includes Ngu Trieu Di Qui Communal House, My Chau Temple, and Bao Son Pagoda. Mystical relics such as Ngoc Well, Flag Tower, and Ngu Xa Castle make of this area a culturally and historically interesting area.

History Museums in Hanoi

Vietnam National Museum of History contain artifacts and related material from archaeological discoveries in Thanh Hoa and Yen Bay, including a 2,500-year-old burial boat and an excellent array of bronze implements. The collections of the Musée Louis-Finot, an archaeological and cultural museum established by the French in Hanoi, were transferred intact to Vietnam and are now part of the Historical Museum,

Museum of the Revolution (216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hoan Kiem District) contains exhibits that chronicle Vietnam’s struggles since the middle of the 20th century against the French, Americans and the American-puppet regim (South Vietnam) with photographs, maps and weapons. Among the photographs are ones of smiling U.S. soldiers posing with Vietnamese corpses.

The Museum of the Revolution contains 29 showrooms, with more than thousands of historical exhibits. The exhibition is divided into: 1) National liberation movements of the Vietnamese from 1858 to 1945 (from the 1st to the 9th showroom). 2) 30 years of struggle against the invaders and protecting the National independence and unifying the country from 1945 to 1975 (from the 10th to the 24th showroom). 3) Developing the economy from 1976 up to now. The collections of Vietnam Economy from 1975 to 2000 are displayed in the room No. 26, No. 27. 4) The present collections of the Vietnamese people and of the people in the world offered President Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam Communist Party (room No. 28 and No. 29). Hours Open: From 8:00am to 11:45 and from 1:30pm to 4:15 everyday.

Ho Chi Minh Museum (3 Ngoc Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; near Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum in Ho Chi Minh Park) is housed in a cavernous white marble building. Many of the displays are modern and symbolic. The failure of the American effort, for example, is illustrated in one room with a Ford Edsel bursting through a wall. The museum is a four-story building covering a total area of 100 hectares and designed in the shape of a lotus flower as a symbol of President Ho's noble character. This museum was completed on 9 May 1990 for the 100th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday.

The main showroom displays 117,274 documents, articles, pictures and exhibits illustrating the historical events that took place during President Ho Chi Minh's life, as well as important events that occurred in the rest of the world since the end of the 19th century. The museum contains other rooms such as a library, a large hall, meeting rooms and research rooms. Hours Open: The museum is open from 8:00am to 11:00 am and 1.30pm to 4.30 pm daily except Monday and Friday. Photography is forbidden. Cameras and bags must be left at the reception. Admission: Entrance ticket costs 5,000VND.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District) contains more than 10,000 objects, 15,000 black and white photos and hundreds of video tapes and cassettes which depict all aspects of life, activities, customs, and habits of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. Opened at the end of 199 and visited by ethnographers and researchers as well as tourists, the museum has recreations religious rituals, daily life and festivals of Vietnam’s ethnic groups as well as costumes and embroidery of different groups. An open-air exhibition in the museum's spacious and peaceful ground features ethnic houses from all over Vietnam.

The displayed object area is divided into 9 parts with extensive sections on the Viet (Kinh, most Vietnamese), Muong, Tho, Chut ethnic groups and ethnic groups that belong to the Tay, Thai, and Kadai groups. The outdoor exhibition area is only large enough for the most popular architectural styles to be presented. Already presented are the E De long house, the Tay stilt house, the Dao house half on stilts and half on earth, the H' Mong house whose roof is made of pomu wood, the Viet house with tile roof, the Gia Rai tomb, the Ba Na communal house, the Cham traditional houae, the Ha Nhi house made with earth-beaten walls.

There are future plans to present the Co Tu tomb and the surrounding completion of the Viet house. Between the houses, there are trees indigenous to the area of each house, zigzagging paths and a meandering stream crossed by small bridges. The outdoor museum is being realised step by step. Hours Open: 8:00am - 5:00pm everyday; except Monday and holidays such as Tet. Admission: Regular Admission: US1.50; reduced admission for college and university students, primary and secondary students, Children under 6 years of age and to Vietnamese ethnic minorities: free admission.

Pagodas and Churches in Hanoi

Religious buildings in Hanoi include the Temple of Quan Thanh (on Truc Bach Lake), with a four-ton statue of Tran Vo, the god of the north and St. Joseph's Cathedral

Quan Su Pagoda (73 Quan Su Street, Hoan Kiem District) was established more than 1,000 years ago. Also known as Ambassador's Pagoda It is a good place to observe monks and old women practicing Vietnamese-style Buddhism and Taoism. The temple is most active on the 15th of the month (considered an auspicious day) when thousands of Vietnamese come to pray and light joss sticks.

Quan Su Pagoda was built on the land of An Tap Village, Tho Xuong District, on the southern gate of Thang Long Capital (Quan Su Street, Hanoi nowadays). Originally it was a small Buddhist Pagoda, which had been constructed during the Le Dynasty in the 15th century to receive foreign envoys and ambassadors. In 1934, the pagoda was the headquarter of the Northern Buddhist Association. Since 1942, the pagoda has been restored and expanded many times with a larger and better architectural structure. Since 1958, this place has acted as the head office of the Vietnam Buddhist Association.

Hanoi Cathedral (40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District) was built on the site of the former Bao Thien Tower, which was famous in the ancient capital of Thang Long under the Ly Dynasty (the 11th and 12th centuries). Also known as Saint Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi Cathedral, was inaugurated on Christmas Day 1886, two years after its construction. Its design is similar to the architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Many Catholic rituals have been held there. A ritual ceremony dedicated to Jesus Christ is held in this cathedral every year on March 19.

Ly Quoc Su Pagoda

Ly Quoc Su Pagoda (50 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District) honors a Buddhist Monk of the Ly Dynasty (the 10th - 12th centuries) named Nguyen Chi Thanh, who was born on 1066 in Dien Xa Village, Gia Vien District in Ninh Binh Province in the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong. In 1077, at the age of 11, Nguyen Chi Thanh began practicing for the Buddhist monkhood and was taught by Tu Dao Hanh, a well-known monk. As the legend says, Monk Tu Dao Hanh was erudite in Buddhism and excellent in healing. He admired and respected Nguyen Chi Thanh's talent and virtue. In 1138, in his seventies, Monk Nguyen Chi Thanh cured King Ly Than Tong of a disease that many famous doctors had failed to do. For his respectful virtue and talent, he was given the title Ly Quoc Su by the King, which meant Great Monk and Merit Teacher of the nation.

The King provided Ly Quoc Su with a serene residential quarter, which was situated next to Bao Thien Pagoda in the center of Thang Long Capital, on a side of Luc Thuy Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake of today). This pagoda had a 12-storey tower. Apart from preaching Buddhist sutra for the monks and nuns, Ly Quoc Su taught medicine, prescription of medicines and demotic scripts to many people in the temple and surrounding areas. Skilled in bronze casting, Ly Quoc Su also trained many bronze casting craftsmen.

That is why when he died at the age of 75 at Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh in 1141, King Ly Anh Tong (holding power from 1138 to 1175) had a temple erected right on the ground of the residential quarter where Ly Quoc Su had lived. Throughout the country there are many pagodas worshiping both Buddha and Ly Quoc Su, who is considered the Saint of the bronze casting craft, such as Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh and Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh.

Ly Quoc Su Pagoda was rehabilitated and redecorated many times with the biggest restoration being made in 1954. The cultural and historical treasure of this temple still remains Ly Quoc Su's statue, Buddha statues and statues of Monk Tu Dao Hanh and his mother and Monk Giac Hai. There is also the precious bell of Tu Chung, cast in the 19th century and a stone stele with inscriptions made in 1855 by Le Dinh Duyen, a famous man. The name of Ly Quoc Su was given to a 244m-long street running from Hang Bong to Nha Tho streets.

One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda (on Chua Mot Cot Street, Ba Dinh District near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum) is a slightly scaled down wooden version of an 11th century pagoda burnt down by the French army as it retreated from Hanoi in the mid 1950s. The original lotus-shaped wooden structure was built in 1049, on the spot, according to legend, where the Goddess of Mercy helped King Ly Thai conceive a male heir with a young country girl.

The small but elaborate temple sits on a 1.2-meter-wide stone pillar in the middle of a lotus pond, with the image of a blossom rising from a sea of sorrows. In the early 2000s, the pagoda was at the center of a controversy pitting two elderly monks against the government. For a long time the pagoda had been overseen by two elderly monks. The government wanted to replace the monks with state-appointed monks. The resident monks refused to go, claiming the government wants the temple for the money and donations it brings in, and people who prayed at the temple rallied to their support. In the 1980s the government tried to seize the pagoda and turn it into a shrine for Ho Chi Minh. Objections from the public kept that from happening. Nearby is Dien Huu Pagado, a small charming temple with an old monk that performs acupuncture.

In the past, One-Pillar Pagoda was located in Thanh Bao Village, Quang Duc District in the west of Thang Long Citadel under the Ly Dynasty. According to Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu (A Complete History of Great Viet), the pagoda was built in the winter of 1049 under the reign of King Ly Thai Tong who dreamt of seeing the Goddess of Mercy sitting in a lotus throne and taking him to it. When waking up, the king told mandarins about his dream and one of them thought that it was a bad omen. Monk Thien Tue advised him to build a pagoda and a lotus-shaped tower like what he saw in his dream. When the pagoda was inaugurated, monks went around the pagoda and recited the Buddhist scriptures to pray for longevity of the king. For this reason, the pagoda is also called Dien Huu (long lasting happiness and good luck).

During the Ly Dynasty, the pagoda was the site to hold an annual ceremony on the occasion of Buddha Day - Vesak. In addition, on the 8th day of the Fourth lunar month (late April or May), the king and people visited the pagoda to participate in Buddha-bathing and release ceremonies. After being repaired many times, the pagoda was destroyed by the French colonists in 1954. In 1955, the government has the pagoda rebuilt. The present wood pagoda is in the shape of square with each side of 3 meters and a curved roof. It was designed to resemble a lotus stretching up out of the square pond and placed on a big stone pillar including two blocks which are connected together skillfully. This stone pillar is approximately four meters high (excluding the underground section) and 1.2 meters in diameter. The pagoda’s structure also shows the harmonious combination of imagination and unique architecture with a system of wood beams that create the solidity and beauty for the pagoda.

With its architectural and historical values, the One-Pillar Pagoda was classified as a historical relic on April 28, 1962. On May 4, 2006, it was recorded in the Vietnamese Guinness Book as ‘The pagoda with the most unique architecture in Vietnam.” The pagoda is open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Entrance is free.

Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam and Van Mieu Streets, two kilometers west of Hoan Kiem Lake) contains a ruined gate, pond, walls and several pavilions from an 11th century Mandarin university as well as an important 15th century temple that honors Confucian scholars. It is a quiet peaceful oasis and one of the best places outside Hue to observe traditional Vietnamese architecture. Admission: US$1.50.

Founded in 1070 and covering a 350-x-70-meter area, the complex is divided into five courtyards by walls and pathways and has separate gates for scholars, generals and the king. It once contained wooden dormitories, a renowned library, and place called Poet's balcony, where scholars gathered to recite verse before their arduous exams. Some of the buildings were destroyed in fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in the area after World War II.

Today, this important center of learning contains a gilded and decorated temple visited by blue-robed men and yellow-robed women who participate in traditional ceremonies that were, until a few years ago, outlawed by the Communist regime. The names of 82 honored Confucian scholars, who received high marks on the Confucian exams between 1495 and 1787, are inscribed on tablets placed on the back of stone turtles shells. Performances of traditional Vietnamese music are performed every hour starting at 9:00am. English guides are available.

Naomi Lindt wrote in the New York Times, “For over 1,000 years, the Chinese ruled northern Vietnam, and their influence is evident in the defining role that Confucianism still plays in society. The Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu, was built in 1070 to honor Confucius and became the country's first university. The vast complex of peaceful courtyards, lotus-filled pools and red-roofed temples is still an essential pilgrimage for many. The rows of stone tortoises lining the grounds bear steles with the names of former students; young men and women preparing for exams still rub the turtles' heads for good luck. [Source: Naomi Lindt, New York Times, March 30, 2009]

The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) was built in 1070 in honor of Confucius, his followers and Chu Van An, a moral figure in Vietnamese education. Quoc Tu Giam, or Vietnam's first university, was built in 1076. Throughout its hundreds of years of activity in the feudal, thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from this university. In 1483 Quoc Tu Giam was changed into Thai Hoc Vien (Higher Educational Institute). After decades of war and natural disasters, the former building was completely destroyed.

In preparation for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long (present day Hanoi) another building has been built following the model of the previous Thai Hoc Vien on the same ground. The work includes the front hall, the back sanctuary, lean-tos on the left and on the right, the courtyard, and subsidiary structures. This site preserves historical sites of a 1,000-year-old civilization such as statues of Confucius and his disciples (Yan Hui, Zengshen, Zisi, Mencius), and ancient buildings such as Khue Van Cac (Pavilion of the Constellation of Literature) and the Worshiping Hall.

Pavilion of the Constellation of Literature

Pavilion of the Constellation of Literature (with the Temple Literature) was built under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Life of the students in olden times is reflected through a collection of artifacts used by students and scholars. Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (National College) now preserves 82 steles engraved with the names of 1,306 doctors who obtained the doctoral titles at 82 royal examinations, held from 1442 to 1779.

The artifacts, collected during the recent excavation drives around Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) in Hanoi proved the architecture of this site belongs to the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) dynasties. Although Van Mieu was built long ago, some architectural complexes in this area were erected much later. One of them was Khue Van Cac, or Pavilion of the Constellation of Literature. In 1802, Gia Long took the throne and built the capital in Hue. In 1805, the Commander of the Northern Citadel, Nguyen Van Thanh, ordered the construction of Khue Van Cac at Van Mieu. This project was carried out at the same time as the erection of the surrounding walls around Van Mieu in 1833.

The pavilion was a two-storey complex made of wood and bricks, which is mirrored on the Thien Quang Well. Located in the third courtyard (from the front gate), the pavilion's ground floor is empty with four brick pillars of 85 centimeters x 85 centimeters engraved with designs of clouds. The pillars stand on a square base, 6.8 meters x 6.8 meters, which is covered with Bat Trang bricks. The upper floor, made of wooden frames, stands on four brick pillars, with four round windows facing the four directions and having rays like the sun. This floor is the symbol of the brilliant constellation that is shining. The Oriental people consider this star as a symbol of literature. On this floor, the balustrade is supported by engraved wooden pieces and a gilt board with three letters of Khue Van Cac hanging on the wall.

Temples at Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Pagoda (on a small islet in Hoan Kiem Lake) is small, beautiful tower which sits on an island in the middle of the Hoam Kiem Lake. Here, legend has it, a turtle rose up with a sword whih he gave to the 15th century emperor Le Loi who used it to lead the Vietnamese to reclaim their homeland from Ming dynasty China. Inside the temple is a preserved replica of one giant turtle found in the 1960s.

Giant Turtle of Hoan Kiem Lake : Frank Zeller of AFP wrote: “Today, occasional sightings of a giant soft-shell turtle draw large crowds, and photographs and amateur video clips attest to the claim that at least one turtle indeed still lives in the lake. The turtle legend is a staple of traditional water-puppet theater, and reported sightings of the animal, a symbol of eternity, are deemed auspicious, especially when they coincide with major national events. "Since 1991 the turtle has come up about 400 times," said Vietnam's pre-eminent authority on the animal, Professor Ha Dinh Duc of the Hanoi University of Science — better known here as the 'turtle professor.' "Several times when it came up, it coincided with important events," he told AFP. "It's something we can't explain." [Source: Frank Zeller, Agence France Presse, November 5, 2007]

The turtle has appeared when Chinese presidents have visited, during the inauguration of a Le Loi statute, at the start of last year's Communist Party congress, and even during a conference on endangered reptiles, Duc said. The professor says he doesn't know the age of the turtle — which he says is a new species he has named Rafetus Leloiiis. He says it weighs around 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds). Previously, at least four of the turtles lived here — one of them is now stuffed and on display in an island temple on the lake — but today only one is left and Duc frets about its well-being. See Pollution, Animals

Ngoc Son Temple (on an island on the north side of Hoan Kiem Lake) is reached by red-painted wooden bridge. Built in the 19th century it is dedicated to a general who defeated the Mongols and Vietnamese pioneers in medicine, literature and the martial arts. Initially, the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda and was later renamed Ngoc Son Temple, since temples are dedicated to saints.

‘Saint Van Xuong, considered to be one of the brightest stars in Vietnam's literary and intellectual circles, was worshipped there. National hero Tran Hung Dao is also worshiped. He led the Vietnamese people to victory over the Yuan aggressors. The temple as it is today is the result of renovations made by Nguyen Van Sieu in 1864. A Confucian scholar, Nguyen Van Sieu had a large pen-shaped tower built at the entrance of the temple. On the upper section of the tower, also called Thap But, are three Chinese characters Ta Thanh Thien, which literally means "to write on the blue sky? is to imply the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will; Dai Nghien, meaning "ink stand", is carved from stone resembling a peach placed on the back of the three frogs on top of the gate to the temple; and The Huc, meaning "where rays of morning sunshine touch". On the way to the temple there are several parallel sentences (cau doi), written on the walls. These cau doi were part of traditional word puzzles played by educated individuals.

Temples, Pagodas and Shrines Around West Lake

Not only an ideal tourist attraction, West Lake is rich in cultural values. Up to 21 pagodas, shrines and communal houses with many valuable artifacts dot the lake's rim. From the Ly and Tran dynasties, many palaces and pagodas were built there such as Thuy Hoa Palace under the Ly Dynasty, afterward Ham Nguyen Palace under the Tran Dynasty and now Tran Quoc Pagoda; Tu Hoa Palace under the Ly Dynasty, now Kim Lien Pagoda. The 17 kilometers path around the lake leads to Nghi Tam flower village, Tay Ho, Nhat Tan peach villages and Tay Ho Temple, built in honor of Princess Lieu Hanh.

Most frequently visited ones include Quan Thanh Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Tay Ho Temple where visitors can enjoy the beautiful architecture after praying for blessing. Villages located in the west of the lake have their specific characteristic. Nghi Tam Village boasts the unique architecture of Kim Lien Pagoda while Xuan Tao Village takes pride as home to Soc Temple dedicated to Saint Giong. Trich Sai Village houses Thien Nien Pagoda, Ke Buoi Village houses Dong Co Temple while Thuy Khue Village houses Ba Danh Pagoda.

Nhat Tan Village has been known as the source of most beautiful peach blossoms, a must-have floral home decoration to every Hanoi family at the approach of the traditional New Year. Many of the traditional sketches of the villages like century-old dwelling houses, village gates and communal houses are still preserved in face of the urbanization process that has brought high-rise buildings, hotels and villas to the land around the lake. West Lake isn’t only a place for Hanoians to relax, but also an ideal residential place for foreigners working in the city with hundreds of villas built near the lake.

Tran Quoc Pagoda (an islet of West Lake in Hanoi) is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam and a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. It is said that, the pagoda was built under the reign of King Ly Nam De (544-548) under its original name of Khai Quoc (National Founder). It was originally built on the bank of the West Lake and the Red River. In the time of King Le Kinh Tong (1600-1618), the pagoda was removed to the Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) Islet due to the river bank crumbling and was renamed Tran Quoc (National Defence).

Behind the worshiping shrine is the Buddhist trinity followed by corridors, ten shrines and the belfry. In the pagoda, there are many valuable statues, such as the red lac―statue trimmed with gold of Sakyamouni Buddha's Parinirvana and many ancient stelae with the old- one made in 1639 by Doctoral Law- Nguyen Xuan Chinh recording the pagoda's history.

In 1959, on his visit to Vietnam, Indian Prime Minister Razendia Prasat offered the Pagoda a bodhi tree as a gift. The plant was grafted from the holy Bodhi tree where Sakyamuni sat in zen (meditation) position 25 centuries ago. Now the Bodhi tree is green and luxuriant, shading part of the pagoda's yard.

Kim Lien Pagoda (Quang An Village, Tay Ho District) was originally built on Nghi Tam Peninsula, on the bank of West Lake. The pagoda was part of the former Tu Hoa Palace of the Ly Dynasty. Princess Tu Hoa is daughter of King Ly Than Tong. He ordered to built Tu Hoa Palace then sent his daughter and her imperial maids to this area to help them understand and venerate their position in the society. Formerly, it was Dong Long Pagoda and built in the 13th century. In 1771, the pagoda was renovated and changed its name to Kim Lien, which has been used since then. Kim Lien is composed of three pavilions, each of which has 2 roof layers and the appearance of being slightly curved and supple. Apart from its nice disposition, the pagoda has a gate of sophisticated and intricate architecture.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Vietnamtourism. com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, CIA World Factbook, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, Fox News and various websites, books and other publications identified in the text.

Last updated August 2020

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