Ngoc Son Temple - What Are Special Things About This Place?

One of the most notable and antique heritage of Hanoi. Ngoc Son Temple is considered to be a symbol of Vietnamese traditional beliefs along with One Pillar Pagoda or Keo Pagoda in northern Vietnam. Along with Turtle Tower and Hoan Kiem Lake, this unique temple has become an icon of Hanoi for decades. Let’s dig in and see what we can discover about this amazing yet ferocious symbol of Vietnamese traditional culture.

Ngoc Son Temple is located in the middle of the Hoan Kiem district and is respectfully built near Hoan Kiem Lake with a beautiful and peaceful landscape that will lead you into the “Spirit Realm”. Also, Ngoc Son temple is quite near many famous destinations such as Hanoi Old Quarter and Ta Hien Night Street, both of which are entertaining and varying with many types of delicious food.

Ngoc Son temple brights in sunshine

Ngoc Son temple brights in sunshine

Well-preserved for more than a century for visitors to come and explore, Ngoc Son Temple keeps its distinctive decorations and styles that reveal interesting facts about Vietnamese traditional religions and lifestyles back then in such a vivid way.


This temple was first built during the reign of King Ly Thai To, the founding father of Thang Long - Hanoi nowadays. At first, Ngoc Son Temple was not named yet, mostly anonymous for centuries. It was not until the middle of the 16th century that Lord Trinh Giang, a warlord in the north of Vietnam at that time, built Thuy Khanh palace in the previous landsite of Ngoc Son temple. However, this warlord was not interested in rebuilding this magnificent temple. In the 19th century, a Mandarin and Confucian scholar Nguyen Van Sieu was acknowledged for redecorating and then innovating Ngoc Son temple with other features such as Dai Nghien or Thap But, especially The Huc bridge that leads to the main site of the temple. So, the present and the most long-lasting temple was built only hundreds of years ago.
Over centuries of its weird existence, Ngoc Son Temple has gathered lots of different frames and styles that reflect the religious beliefs and faiths for more than five hundred years. Still, this is considered to be the most attractive structure in Hanoi, which is shown on its walls, altars, statues,specimen of turtle and many more.
specimen of giant turtle ngoc son temple

Specimen of a giant turtle at Ngoc Son temple

3. Some interesting architecture that visitors can take nice pictures

Tourists can feel free to enter and visit Thap But, a place renowned for its long history of resembling the yearning for learning of Vietnamese people in the past. Also with Dai Nghien, an antique yet well-designed tower that serves along with Thap But in presenting Buddhism and Confucian style of architecture. Taking pictures is allowed in both places as long as you follow the instructions carefully. At the entrance of Ngoc Son temple is the place where Thap But was located and still remains today. It represents the studiousness of Vietnamese students in the past. Visitors can recognize the entrance by its calligraphy decorating walls.

The Huc bridge is magnificent and breath - taking during sunset

The Huc bridge is magnificent and breath - taking during sunset 

Besides that, The Huc Bridge with its distinctive red color will bring you the most exciting and nostalgic experience during your journey to Ngoc Son temple. Whenever there is light, there is the gorgeous beauty of The Huc Bridge under the bright sunshine. Tourists can also visit nearby areas such as Hoan Kiem Lake or Turtle Tower (Thap Rua).


Ngoc Son Temple opens for visitors on all days of the week. From Monday to Friday, the temple is opened from 7 am to 6 pm. Particularly on Saturday and Sunday, the temple is open until 9 pm. Nevertheless, if tourists stop at The Huc Bridge, you are luckily free of charge. Going deeper into Ngoc Son temple will cost you 30,000 VND/person. Students will have a discount but free of charge for all children.

Tourists should prepare and arrange a time for visiting properly once arrive in Hanoi.

Tourists should prepare and arrange a time for visiting properly once arrive in Hanoi.


You will have multiple options on how to get to Ngoc Son temple during the week. Firstly, bus routes are available every day and are considered to be the cheapest type of public transportation. Routes 36, 08, 31, 14 all lead you directly to the temple in no time. The second place ideal transportation will be taxi or motorbike technological services such as Grab, Be. Last but not least, renting a motorbike shall be more comfortable and more convenient for you to travel there with just around 100.000 - 120.000 VND per day. Located in the center of Hanoi and in the central area of Hoan Kiem district, Ngoc Son temple is not hard to find at all, which seems to be an advantage for tourists.

6. Ngoc Son temple dress code

Like the other temples or pagodas in Vietnam Tank top and miniskirts not allowed. Take off the hat and sunglasses inside the sanctuary area. Do not touch artifacts, or relics. Do not speak loudly, litter, or make noise.

Remember to keep track with your tour guide and prepare something to eat or drink for your journey before reach here. Also, follow all of the instructions carefully and keep your voice down because Ngoc Son temple is a public place and a heritage of Hanoi. If you are renting a motorbike, make sure to find a suitable parking lot near Ngoc Son temple so that it will take you not so much time to find the right bike once finish the trip.

author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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