Friday, October 7, 2022

West Lake and the Tran Quoc Pagoda

The shores of West Lake, the 500 hectare (1,235 acre) lake in northwestern Hanoi, are popular for recreation and are filled with parks, gardens, hotels, villas and restaurants.  And, the occasional temple or pagoda.

Views of West Lake

Along the Thanh Nien road which separates West Lake from the much smaller Truc Bach Lake, the Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, was constructed on a small island in the sixth century, making it over 1,500 years old.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Monks have lived at the temple for centuries, teaching the ways of Buddhism to the public.  At the main shrine, visitors burn incense to send wishes to the gods and to receive good luck in return.  Offerings of food or small amounts of money are also given as a present to the gods to bring good luck.

Around the Temple and Pagoda

A Bodhi tree grows on the grounds of the temple, taken as a cutting from the original tree in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India under which the Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment.

Grounds of the temple

We leave the temple and walk south along the shore of West Lake, heading back into old Hanoi.

Views of West Lake

The traffic and noise increase as we leave the serenity of the lake and explore more of Hanoi.

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