VietnamHanoiThe Story of Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

The Story of Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple is a quiet haven on the creative pulse of Vietnam’s capital. Whether you are a history nerd or a curious traveler, we bet the story behind this sanctuary will interest you.

A Few Glimpses of Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Ngoc Son Temple is on a small island north of Hoan Kiem Lake. To reach it, you must arrive at the lakeshore and pass a captivating red bridge (The Huc Bridge). This Hanoi’s charm has long been a must-visit spot on the tourist map, but for locals, it is also a renowned worshipping place.

Location: Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District

Opening hours: 8 AM – 6 PM

Ticket price:

  • Adult: VND 30,000
  • Children under 15: free


  • Since this is a religious place, dress politely and speak softly.
  • The temple is relatively small, so please queue if it is crowded.
  • If you want to pray for good luck, burn incense and put it in a censer.
  • Some items are only for display, so you should read the management board’s instructions carefully.
The main gate leading to the temple

The Story of Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Historically, Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi has undergone many changes in its name and structure.

Close up at the temple
  • When King Ly Thai To moved the capital to Thang Long in the 11th century, he named the temple Ngoc Tuong.
  • In the Tran Dynasty (1225 – 1400), the temple was named Ngoc Son.
  • In the Le Dynasty (1428 – 1789), Lord Trinh Giang erected Thuy Khanh Palace on the grounds of Ngoc Son Temple. At the end of this era, Thuy Khanh Palace was destroyed.
  • Mr. Tin Trai, a philanthropist then, constructed a Ngoc Son Pagoda on the grounds of Thuy Khanh Palace. After that, the temple collapsed, and Mr. Tin Trai’s son ceded the pagoda to a charity a few years later.
  • The charity association remodeled and removed the bell tower. They also used the temple to worship the scholar Van Xuong De Quan.
  • By 1865, the scholar Nguyen Van Sieu had renovated the temple, gradually becoming what it is today. Therefore, most people believe that the history of the present Ngoc Son Temple can be traced back to the 19th century.
  • Nowadays, this place worships the scholar Van Xuong De Quan and the heroic commander Tran Hung Dao, and it is called Ngoc Son Temple.
Inside the temple, there are bronze statues, altars,
… and a preserved specimen of a 250-kilogram turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake

After being renovated in 1865, Ngoc Son Temple has stone embankments and several construction projects. The most outstanding highlights are the Tran Ba ​​communal house and The Huc Bridge—a scarlet bridge connecting the east bank and the temple. On the left side of this sanctuary is Dai Nghien, and on the east side is the Pen Tower on top of Ngoc Boi Mountain.

The Huc Bridge from a distance
Pen Tower symbolizes the aspiration to write poems on the sky

Things to Do near Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Attractions Near Ngoc Son Temple

Within walking distance from Hanoi’s most-visited temple, you can easily reach these prominent spots.

Bach Ma Temple with stone sculptures of the unique dragon head and Vietnamese unicorn
Established in 1886, St. Joseph’s Cathedral was constructed as a simulation of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Hanoi Opera House is a replica of the Opera Garnier in Paris. Whether you are a Gothic style fan or simply seek a historical piece of the city, this is a worth-visiting spot
The abovementioned spiritual places do not appeal to you. Let’s stroll through Hanoi Old Quarter

Try the Iconic Egg Coffee

After a visit to Ngoc Son Temple, what can be better than sitting in cafes and enjoying your beverage? If you have no idea what to order, we highly recommend the reputable egg coffee as it is a specialty you should never miss in Hanoi.

See our suggestions in The Best Cafes around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Egg coffee – an amazing drink for chilly days

Grab a Snack at a Street Vendor

Since Hanoi Old Quarter is just a stone’s throw away from Ngoc Son Temple, why not treat yourself to an appetizing meal in this corner of the town? Pho, Bun Cha and Cha Ca are among the best dishes to try in the Hanoi Old Quarter, so make sure you try these dishes.

Final Thoughts on Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Amid a metropolis like Hanoi, Ngoc Son Temple is where you can find inner peace and escape from the repetitive cycle of work and life. With its solemnity and antiquity, this sanctuary is a historical site and a haven for tired souls.

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