Rich in Buddhism, the north of Vietnam is home to the country's most colourful and revered pagodas and temples. On this trip, we will visit the Thay pagoda, located 30 kilometers southwest of Hanoi and built in the 11th century. A picturesque pond in front of the pagoda brings peace and tranquility into the scene and serves as a natural venue for water puppet shows during festivals. This half day excursion is all about finding one of the most serene spots in the country, intertwined with what may be one of the countrys most revered forms of folkloristic story telling.
Our English speaking guide and driver will wait for you in the hotel lobby from where we leave the city center for our tour through Buddhist history in northern Vietnam. Customers have the freedom to choose from a morning or an afternoon excursion to these famous grounds in Vietnamese Buddhism
Located 40 kilometres southwest of Hanoi is the Thay Pagoda (Master's Pagoda). Whilst a temple is a place worships the dead, a pagoda is a place to worship the Lord Buddha. Thay Pagoda is widely known for its finely carved statues in lacquer and gold of Buddha in his past and present form and for its colourful Buddhist ceremonies performed here during auspicious dates of the Lunar calendar.
The pagoda itself dates back to the 7th century and is also remarkable for its impressive collection of Buddhist wooden statues from the 17th century. Figures representing the conditions of man are the pagodas most celebrated feature carved from jackfruit wood, many date from the 18th century.
Take the steep steps up to the main pagoda building, then find a path at the back that loops down past the other two pagodas and wander through the adjacent hillside village. The temple complex itself can be rather confusing with lots of hidden corners and smaller parts of the pagoda that tell you yet another story just follow your guide and you will gain a deeper understanding. The temple is filled with references made the reincarnations of deities that shaped the foundation of this holy site.After this full immersion into local culture and day-to-day life off the beaten tracks, we safely will bring you back to your booked hotel in Hanoi. If you happen to be in Hanoi and plan to visit this temple in March, try to match your dates with the Pagodas annual festival (held from the fifth until the 7th day of the 3rd lunar month). The temple grounds are filled with festivities and water puppet performance.