13 FAMOUS VIETNAM PAGODAS FROM NORTH TO SOUTH


13 Nov 2021

A series of sacred pagodas with majestic and ancient settings are spread across the territory of Vietnam. The following are the top 13 famous Vietnam pagodas that you should visit at least once.

Table Contents
  • 1 - Dong Yen Tu Pagoda
  • 2 - Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda
  • 3 - Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • 4 - One Pillar Pagoda
  • 5 - Huong Pagoda
  • 6 - Bai Dinh Vietnam Pagoda
  • 7 - Tam Chuc Pagoda
  • 8 - Linh Phuoc Pagoda
  • 9 - Thien Mu Pagoda
  • 10 - Linh Ung Pagoda
  • 11 - Vinh Nghiem Pagoda 
  • 12 - Buu Long Pagoda
  • 13 - Ho Quoc Pagoda
vietnam pagodas
Source: Doan Xuan Phuong

1 - Dong Yen Tu Pagoda - top Vietnam pagodas

pagoda in vietnam

Dong Pagoda - Source: Internet

Dong Yen Tu Pagoda, located on the top of Yen Son mountain, 1068 meters above sea level, is known as "Asia's largest bronze pagoda on the mountain". The pagoda is completely made of bronze and weighs 70 tons. From a distance, the pagoda looks like a golden lotus flower. To get to Dong Yen Tu Pagoda, you can either climb the stairs from the bottom of the mountain or take the cable car for 150,000 VND/way ($6.46).

Address: Yen Tu Mountain, Nam Mau village, Thuong Yen Cong commune, Uong Bi city, Quang Ninh province, about 70 kilometers west of Ha Long Bay.

Opening hours: 5:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The main festival lasts three months and begins on the tenth day of the first lunar month.

- In 2022, the festival begins on February 10, according to the solar calendar.

- In 2023, the festival begins on January 31, according to the solar calendar.

2 - Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda - top 13 pagodas in Vietnam 

vietnam pagoda

Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda - Source: Internet

Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda, built in 2015 and located on top of Fansipan all year with mist, is part of the Sun World Fansipan Legend entertainment complex. The pagoda is 35m tall with 5 floors, has a vertical layout with an 8-roof bell tower, is entirely made of natural wood, has an intricately curved tile roof, and delicately simple carved lines. The statue of Amitabha Buddha, which stands 21.5 meters high and is made of bronze, is the pagoda's most prominent feature.

Address: Fansipan peak, Sapa town, Lao Cai province

Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The main festival takes place in the early spring days. 

3 - Tran Quoc Pagoda

vietnamese pagodas

Tran Quoc Pagoda - Source: Anh Hoang

Tran Quoc Pagoda, located on a small island east of West Lake in the heart of Hanoi, is Vietnam's oldest pagoda, dating back up to 1,500 years. This Vietnam pagoda as a whole is a 3,000m2 complex with works such as a tower garden, ancestral house, and upper hall. 

The British Daily Mail named the pagoda one of the "16 most beautiful pagodas in the world" in 2016, citing its majestic, ancient, and poetic beauty. From afar, the pagoda appears to be a lotus in full bloom in the heart of West Lake. Tran Quoc Pagoda houses many valuable Buddha statues, the most notable of which is a statue of Buddha entering Nirvana made entirely of wood and painted bright red and gilded on the pattern. 

Address: Thanh Nien Street, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi 

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

4 - One Pillar Pagoda - one of the most beautiful Vietnam pagodas

pagodas in vietnam

One Pillar Pagoda - Source: Nick John

One Pillar Pagoda was founded in the winter of October 1049 under the reign of King Ly Thai Tong and has undergone numerous restorations. In 2012, it was awarded the title of "Pagoda with the most unique architecture in Asia" by the Asian Record. This pagoda's main worship area is located in the heart of Linh Chieu Lake, on a 4m high pillar. The pagoda appears to be a lotus flower growing in the middle of a lake when viewed from above. It has a  roof curved to four sides, with a relief of two dragons adorning the moon at the top.

Address: One Pillar Pagoda Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Ticket price: 25,000 VND/person (1$)

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

5 - Huong Pagoda

biggest pagoda in vietnam

Huong Pagoda - Source: Kenh14

Huong Pagoda complex is a massive cultural-religious work comprising dozens of pagodas, temples, communal houses, and other structures scattered throughout a valley with breathtaking natural scenery. The first works in this Vietnamese pagoda were constructed in the 15th century. You can take a boat along the Yen stream from the pagoda's parking lot to Thien Tru pagoda, an important work in this complex. 

Thien Tru Pagoda has a large courtyard and layers of old-looking tiles. Following the visit to Thien Tru pagoda, guests can take the cable car to Huong Tich cave, the main place of worship for the Huong pagoda complex. Climb about 120 stone steps from the cave entrance to go deep inside, where there are colourful stalactites, bronze statues tinged with time, and a bronze bell from 1655.

Address: Huong Son commune, My Duc district, Hanoi - about 60 km from the south of Hanoi center.

Ticket price: 80,000 VND ($3.4)/person (inclusive of entrance fee and insurance)

Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

The main festival takes place on January 6th, according to the lunar calendar.

- In 2022: The main festival will be held on February 6.

- In 2023: The main festival will take place on January 27.

6 - Bai Dinh Vietnam Pagoda

vietnam pagoda buddha

Bai Dinh Pagoda - Source: VnExpress

Bai Dinh Pagoda is divided into two areas: the new Bai Dinh Pagoda, which was built in 2003, and the old Bai Dinh Pagoda, which was built more than 1000 years ago. The newly built Bai Dinh pagoda area is a complex of many impressive architectural works. All of the shrines have curved roofs, and inside are many massive Buddha statues as well as many sophisticated and intricate carved decorative details.

There is also a 99m high stupa - a sacred symbol of the pagoda in the new Bai Dinh pagoda complex. The interior of the stupa is extremely beautiful and brightly golden coloured, with decorative motifs of flying clouds, water waves, lotus petals,... The Relics of the Buddha, which were solemnly delivered from India, Thailand, and Myanmar, are housed on the stupa's 13th floor. 

The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda is located on Dinh mountain, right next to the new pagoda area. The Ngoc well, which is located at the foot of Dinh mountain, is Vietnam's largest well. The well's water is always crystal clear and never runs out. The path behind the Ngoc well leads to the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda, which has over 300 stone steps.

Address: Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province

Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

7 - Tam Chuc Pagoda - the biggest pagoda in Vietnam 

vietnam national pagoda

Tam Chuc Pagoda - Source: VnExpress

The Tam Chuc Pagoda is the largest pagoda in the world. The landscape surrounding the pagoda is super harmonious, with a large man-made lake in front and five massive mountains behind it. To get from the parking area to the pagoda's interior, you can take a boat ride through the man-made lake.

The boat drifts slowly through the vast river space, green as jade and misty. The boat will stop along the way for you to visit Tam Chuc communal house, which is built on a small island in the middle of the lake. Tam Chuc pagoda complex includes many impressive and massive works, such as Sutra Pillar Garden consists of 99 stone columns, Ngoc Pagoda located on a 200m high mountain and is made entirely of red granite, or Tam The Temple that can hold up to 5000 people at once. This Vietnam pagoda is also adorned with many majestic and massive Buddha statues.

Address: Ba Sao town, Kim Bang district, Ha Nam province - about 60km south of Hanoi center.

Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

8 - Linh Phuoc Pagoda

best pagodas in vietnam

Linh Phuoc Pagoda - Source: Sandip Roy

Linh Phuoc Pagoda (also known as Ve Chai Pagoda) was constructed in 1949 and is now one of Da Lat city's best-known pagodas. Linh Phuoc Pagoda is made entirely of ceramic and porcelain mosaics and is divided into six sections: the main hall, Hoa Long Vien (Dragon Flower Park), the stupa, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara palace, an antique display area, and a re-enactment area of 18-floor hell. 

Linh Phuoc Pagoda also has a large number of records, including:

- The pagoda is constructed entirely of crockery and porcelain, including the entire wall and roof corner.

- The pagoda's bell tower is the tallest in Vietnam, standing at 37 meters.

-  The pagoda has Vietnam's tallest concrete indoor Buddha statue, with a height of 17 meters.

- The pagoda has the biggest Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara statue made of 650 million immortal flowers, which won the Asian record in 2010. 

- The pagoda houses Vietnam's largest golden-oak wood statues of Bodhidharma and Mahamayuri

Address: 120 Tu Phuoc, Ward 11, Da Lat city - 8km from the city center

Ticket price: free

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

9 - Thien Mu Pagoda - top sacred Vietnamese pagodas

visiting pagodas in vietnam

Thien Mu Pagoda - Source: Vo Thanh

Thien Mu Pagoda, constructed in 1601, is Hue's most ancient and sacred pagoda. The pagoda is located next to the romantic Huong River, and the bell, which serves as a Hue symbol, chimes every day. You can take a dragon boat ride down the Huong River from Hue's city center to get to the pagoda.

The pagoda has a large campus with many trees, which creates a peaceful and majestic atmosphere. Its most notable works include the Phuoc Duyen tower, Dai Hung shrine, Dia Tang temple, and others.

Address: Ha Khe hill, An Ninh Thuong village, Kim Long ward, Hue city - about 5km west of Hue city

Ticket price: free

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

10 - Linh Ung Pagoda

most famous pagodas in vietnam

Linh Ung Ngu Hanh Son Pagoda, Linh Ung Ba Na Pagoda and Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda - Source: Internet

Currently, in Da Nang, there are three Linh Ung pagodas, respectively Linh Ung Ba Na Pagoda, Linh Ung Ngu Hanh Son Pagoda and Linh Ung Bai But Son Tra Pagoda.

Linh Ung Pagoda - Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain) 

This Vietnam pagoda is located on Thuy Son mountain in the Marble Mountains complex, about 8 kilometers south of Da Nang's center. The overall pagoda is built in the shape of the letter Nhất ( 一), and the walls are painted in a variety of colours including red, white, blue, yellow, and so on. There is a 10m high white Buddha statue that sits majestically on the lotus grounds in the pagoda. 

Linh Ung Pagoda - Ba Na Hill 

Linh Ung Ba Na Pagoda is located at an elevation of about 1400m and is part of the Ba Na Hills tourist and resort complex, which is about 30 kilometers west of Da Nang's center. A 27m high statue of Shakyamuni Buddha meditating on a lotus ground in the middle of a cloudy sky can be found on the pagoda campus. From here, you can see the vast mountain scenery and the Hai Van pass.

Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda - Son Tra Peninsula 

This pagoda in Vietnam is located on the Son Tra peninsula, about 10 kilometers east of Da Nang's center, and is Da Nang's largest pagoda in terms of area. On the pagoda grounds, there is a 67m high statue of Guanyin Buddha - the highest statue of Guanyin Buddha in Vietnam. From the Linh Ung pagoda's yard, you can see the entire green But (Buddha) beach below and the Hai Van Pass in the distance. This is also considered one of Da Nang's most beautiful sunrise admiring locations.

11 - Vinh Nghiem Pagoda 

vietnam pagoda tower

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda - Source: VnExpress

The Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was built in 1964 on a 6,000m2 campus with massive architecture and meticulously carved curved roof tiles. This pagoda has three main areas: the three-door gate, the Central Building, and the Guanyin Tower. The 7-story Guanyin Tower, which stands nearly 40 meters tall, and the Vinh Nghiem Stone Tower, Vietnam's first and highest stone tower, are the pagoda's most prominent features. The Abbot Hall, located behind the pagoda, includes a lotus pond and is a popular resting spot for tourists.

Address: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

Ticket price: free

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

12 - Buu Long Pagoda - top Vietnam pagoda

pagoda in vietnam 1

Buu Long Pagoda - Source: VNE

Buu Long Pagoda, which was built in 1942, now has a quite fabulous beauty. The pagoda's architecture is influenced by both Indian and Thai architecture. The most outstanding work in the pagoda is the Gotama Cetiya stupa, with the main white colour and brilliant golden spire. It stands 56 meters tall and has four surrounding towers with a total capacity of up to 2,000 people. 

Address: 81 Nguyen Xien Street, Long Binh Ward, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City - approximately 20 kilometers east of the city center.

Ticket price: free

Opening and closing hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The main festival dates are the 1st and 15th of the lunar month.

13 - Ho Quoc Pagoda - Phu Quoc

vietnam pagoda 1

Ho Quoc Pagoda - Source: Internet

The pagoda, which was built in 2011, is the largest pagoda on Phu Quoc islands. In front of the pagoda stands the blue Bai Sao beach, with a vast forest behind it, creating a poetic scene. The three-door gate, main hall, courtyard, stairs, drum tower, bell tower, and ancestral church are among eight main features of this Vietnamese pagoda, which are all made of gemstone and ironwood. The pagoda's structures are well-built, with bright red curved roof tiles. 

Stepping through the three-door gate, you'll find a small courtyard with two rows of 18 Arhat statues. Behind the rows of Arhat statues are two stone stairs that lead to the main campus; two of the stairs' walls are decorated with images of lively winding dragons. The space between the two aisles has dragon and lotus motifs carved into it, etc.

Address: Suoi Lon Hamlet, Duong To Commune, Southeast of Phu Quoc Island

Ticket price: free

Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Vietnam welcomes a large number of foreign tourists each year who come to find peace and relaxation at the pagoda gate and take refuge at the feet of Buddha, due to several well-known pagodas stretching from north to south. If you have the opportunity to visit Vietnam, make it a point to see at least one of the famous Vietnam pagodas listed above.

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I'm Giang - a Vietnamese with a passion for photography and travel. Two years ago I left my job to start traveling to explore Vietnam. It's great that I can share my travel experiences with you. I hope it will help you have a memorable trip to Vietnam.

Giang Phạm — Giang Phạm

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