Tay Phuong Pagoda Travel Guide

Located in In Yen Village, just outside of central Hanoi, this stunning and ancient pagoda dates back to the 8th century. It has, however, been restored many times since and even redesigned. It sits in stunning gardens which are used by locals as a place of contemplation and rest.

In 1632, there was a complete makeover and an extension with extra lobby space and back rooms. There are 239 steps up to the top which are sheltered by ancient trees and bear the signs of the passage of time. Once at the top of these stairs, you reach a gate which is almost as old as the pagoda itself. This is inscribed with the name of the structure and is almost as popular with tourists as the actual pagoda. There are ancient statues within the grounds and also within the pagodas; these are a must-see and one reason for so much interest in the site.

A festival is held in the grounds every year in early spring which features a number of games and entertainment suitable for the whole family. There are also performances by marionettes, a tug-of-war, cock fighting and even a game of human chess. The highlight of this festival is the Sam Hoi ceremony, which is held on the 6th day of the third lunar month. This special day calls upon all men to practice patience and calmness and to avoid doing any wrong.

Getting There & Away

The best way to reach the site is by getting a ground transfer from Hanoi. The capital city is home to the largest international airport in the country with both international and domestic flights available. As the pagoda is so close, it is possible to take a taxi which will take between 20 and 30 minutes or a bus, which will be cheaper but could take up to 45 minutes and be very hot and stuffy.