One-Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
The One Pillar Pagoda is a popular Hanoi attraction, and many sightseeing tours include a stop here, along with the nearby Ho Chi Minh Complex, the Temple of Literature, or Hoan Kiem Lake. Explore the small pagoda’s unique architecture; made of wood and standing on a single stone pillar, it has a system of curved bars supporting the floor and a curved roof. Inside is an ornate shrine with a statue of Quan Am (Guanyin), the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, seated on a lotus.
Opt to explore Hanoi like a local on a motorbike tour that includes the pagoda, and consider add-ons like a water-puppet show or a cooking class.
Things to Know Before You Go
The One Pillar Pagoda is a must-see for first-time visitors to Hanoi.
It’s free to enter the pagoda though donations are accepted.
Visitors should cover their shoulders and knees and remove their shoes to enter the pagoda.
Although the area around the pagoda is wheelchair-accessible, the pagoda itself can only be accessed by a set of stairs.
How to Get There
The One Pillar Pagoda is located near the Ho Chi Minh Complex in the Ba Dinh District. The easiest way to reach it is by taxi. A number of buses also stop at nearby Le Hong Phong Road, including buses 9, 22, and 34.
When to Get There
The One Pillar Pagoda is open daily, year-round. It’s a popular attraction and can get very busy, so visit early in the morning to beat the crowds. For the best photos, visit in the early morning or around sunset.
Legend Behind the One Pillar Pagoda
Legend has it that aging Emperor Ly Thai prayed to Buddha for a son. He dreamt one night that he was visited by Quan Am, seated on a lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond, and she handed him a baby boy. When the Emperor finally had a son, he ordered the pagoda to be built to resemble what he saw in his dream, in honor of Quan Am.
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- Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh)
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Presidential Palace
- Ho Chi Minh's Residence (Nha Bac Ho)
- Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
- Vietnam Military History Museum
- Do Temple (Den Do)
- Temple of Literature (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam)
- Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC)
- Tran Quoc Pagoda (Chua Tran Quoc)
- West Lake (Ho Tay)
- Dong Xuan Market
- Ambassador’s Pagoda (Chua Quan Su)
- Hoa Lo Prison
- St Joseph’s Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)