Vietnam offers beaches, rainforests, islands, mountains and vibrant and colorful cities. It is also a country packed full of temples, temples that are not only huge in size but are blessed with a history that dates back 1000's of years. Nearly all will offer a magical view into Vietnamese history.
Picture temples shrouded with greenery and vines, left to crumble and fall and then picture temples that are still used today. Temples covered with gold and temples that have been restored back to former glory.
It has not been an easy task, but we have taken the time to select the Top 5 temples and pagodas to visit in Vietnam.
1. Chua Tran Quoc - Ha Noi ( North Vietnam)
Ha Noi is the capital city of Vietnam and is delicately speckled with night markets, small traditional winding streets packed full of history. It is home to over 20 temples of varying beauty.
The Chua Tran Quoc temple is the oldest temple in Ha Noi and is certainly a site to behold. It's traditional orange facade and pretty ornate decorations are truly beautiful.
Dating back to the 5th century, the Pagoda style temple was moved from across the river to its present location in the 17th century.
Walk in and around all the small pagoda's and be impressed by the detail and paintings gracing each building. A must see when visiting Hanoi.
2. Thien Mu Pagoda – Hue (Central Vietnam)
Also known as The Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, this immense temple is perfectly placed in the city of Hue.
Formerly known as Saigon, Hue sits above the cities of Danang and Hoi An and was the national capital from 1802 – 1945. Hue is a city full of delicious traditional cuisine, culturally rich museums and of course, temples!
Thien Mu pagoda is a site to behold as one of the tallest temples in Vietnam. Known as a symbolic temple for the former imperial capital, it is often used in folk rhymes and is well known throughout the country.
The original temple was constructed in the early 16th century was a much simpler building, but it was further expanded in the late 1600's.
A temple with a curious and magical history, take the time to visit and learn all about where it gained its name 'The Celestial Lady'.
3. My Son Sanctuary – Hoi An (Central Vietnam)
Hoi An has often been described as the prettiest town in Vietnam. A gentle place with ornate streets, delightful restaurants and a slower pace of life.
Situated close to Hoi An is My Son Sanctuary is an impressive array of ancient temple buildings. Their orange glow stand out against the green backdrop of the rainforests surrounding the site.
Unfortunately, the war saw the demise of many of the buildings, but you can still get a sense of its former glory and importance in Vietnamese history.
My Son Sanctuary is a recognized UNESCO world heritage site, dating back to the 4th century it is easy to see why.
4. Thap Doi Cham Towers – Quy Nhon (South Central Vietnam)
The gentle and ornate orange towers are a small, yet beautiful site, sat perfectly glowing on the outer city limits of Quoy Nhon.
Quoy Nhon city is nestled along the coastline of Central Vietnam, the cities unique location make it a place for you to enjoy beaches, rainforests, and incredible local cuisine.
Thap Doi Cham Towers are perfectly placed at only 3km away from the city.
Tower temples were a unique but common way to build religious structures in Vietnam, these towers are well intact with carvings and images still visible within their brickwork.
The Cham towers signify a couple, standing strong together side by side. Take a walk inside their eery caverns and marvel over their solidity after nearly 700 years of being stood side by side.
5. Cao Dai Temple – Tay Ninh (South Vietnam)
The incredible religious importance and history of the Cao Dai temples offer any visitor the chance to learn more about the diversity of Vietnamese history.
A temple that allows the marriage of three religions; Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism a collective religion known locally as 'Caodaista'.
The temple building is immense, ornate and colorful. Gold tipped pagoda's, pretty blue painted domes and coral brickwork certainly make the temples a site to behold.
The interior offers 18 columns, each distinctly painted in bright colors and traditional style dragon carvings.
The area is home to other smaller yet significant tombs and temples.
Cao Dai will leave you feeling blessed and fortunate to have seen such an impressive and important temple.