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One Pillar Pagoda. Image credit: The Atlas Heart

A pagoda located in the Huong Son commune near Hanoi, this Buddhist pagoda is considered by many to be the most important religious site in the country. You’ll find families coming to the pagoda to pray at all times of the year. You’ll find the pagoda located in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, so there’s no shortage of other activities to do while you’re visiting the complex.

Constructed in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong, it was commissioned to be a token of gratitude towards Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, a symbol of compassion that’s recognized among all Buddhas. After the construction of the pagoda, he married a peasant wife and had a son. The birth of his son was attributed to the success of The One Pillar Pagoda. Due to war, the pagoda was destroyed and rebuilt many times over the last 1000 years. In 1955, French Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing after the end of the First Indochina War. It was rebuilt soon after. Later, a replica was built in Ho Chi Minh City in the 1960s.

Travel tips for The One Pillar Pagoda
There’s no admission fee and it’s located adjacent to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. It’s definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in the area already. The pagoda itself is quite small so you’ll almost always find it overcrowded. Be prepared to battle through crowds to find a spot at the pagoda. With that said, it’s one of the easier iconic temples to visit, just located outside of Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi. I prefer the winter season, but you’ll have no problem visiting during the summer either. This temple is in the heart of Hanoi, you’ll have no trouble getting there.

Location: Chùa Một Cột, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Price: 25,000 VND
Hours: 08:00-11.30 daily and 14:00-16:00 Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun

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