April 2018. Hanoi’s most visited temple (translated into English as Temple of the Jade Mountain) sits on a tiny islet running off the northern part of the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. The temple is dedicated to a trio of famous Vietnamese men: General Tran Hung Dao (who kicked the Mongols’ asses in back in the 13th century), Lao To, the patron saint of physicians and the renowned scholar Van Xuong.
April 2018. Go through the main arch and get your 30.000 VND entrance ticket (£0.90/€1.05/$1.30) from this little stone courtyard. Check out the tiny shrine accessed via a short stone staircase under a looping tree. Hang about for just a few minutes and you’ll see a number of locals trotting up and down to pay their respects.
April 2018. The pretty scarlet red Huc Bridge takes you through to the main courtyard. The temple itself dates back to the 13th century (!) but… don’t tell anyone, the bridge was only added in 1985. Ssssh!
April 2018. The main structure (Moon Gazing Pavilion) and altar are fairly standard affairs for anyone even a little familiar with the Asian temple scene, but the location is wonderful. Just enjoy the scattered sections of shade afforded by the weeping trees and soak up those lake views.
April 2018. A short stone path takes you back round to the bridge, returning you to the lake trail. Ngoc Son Temple is open daily from 08:00-16:00.
For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, have a look at more pieces from around Hanoi.
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