West Lake is the biggest freshwater lake of Hanoi, Vietnam, located northwest of the city center. With a shore length of 17 km (about 10.6 miles) and 500 hectare (about 5 km2) in area, this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. A small part of West Lake is divided by Thanh Nien road to form Trúc Bạch Lake. One district of Hanoi is named after the lake, Tây Hồ District. The notable site of interest at West Lake are Tran Quoc pagoda and Quan Thanh temple.
Tran Quoc pagoda is oldest pagoda in Hanoi, originally constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Emperor Lý Nam Đế (from 544 until 548), thus giving it an age of more than 1,450 years. With historical and architectural values, Tran Quoc Pagoda is famous as a place of sacred Buddha, attracting many Buddhists, Vietnamese and foreigner visitors and tourists.
Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on a single island of a largest freshwater lake in Hanoi. During the Hai Ba Trung period (40 – 43), the area around the West Lake was very sparsely populated, with small and medium caves and forest cover, in the forest there are also some rare and precious animal species. Along with the thousands of years of existence of the temple, the landscape here is now completely different. The lake is surrounded by a large road, villas and modern buildings have formed … On the one hand, it shows the overall architectural perfection of the city, but on the other hand accidentally breaks the historical landscape and spirituality in the concept of living of the indigenous population. Open daily from 07:30 onwards, Tran Quoc Pagoda is free to enter all year long, though it gets packed with devotees during annual festivities such as Tet and Buddha’s Birthday. As it’s a place of worship, visitors are advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the monks and locals.
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