My Visit To Phu Tay Ho In Hanoi

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, May 29, 2015 | Published in


If visiting temples during your travels is your kind of thing, then a visit to Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi should be included in your itinerary.

It was my last day in Hanoi and I was travelling solo. My friend had left the day before. Right after my tour of the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum in the morning, I flagged down a taxi to take me to a part of Hanoi that I wanted to see badly - the West Lake area.

My first stop at West Lake was at Phu Tay Ho Temple.

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That is the main entrance gate of the temple. My taxi driver did not stop in front of this temple but further off, and I had to walk quite a bit to reach here. It was OK as I did not mind walking and exploring the place.

Below is the same gate from the other side.

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Located on a peninsula in the middle of West Lake, the Tay Ho Temple was rather quiet during my visit. But I heard that it would get quite crowded during 1st and 15th days of each lunar month.

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The temple, also known as Tay Ho Pagoda, is not a Buddhist temple - neither is it a Confucius temple. It is actually dedicated to the Mother Goddess, Thanh Mau. 

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Legend has it that sometime in the 17th century, the Mother Goddess appeared as a pretty girl to a fisherman on the lake, smiling and reciting poetry. However, she disappeared without a trace after that. The locals found out her real identity and decided to build Phu Tay Ho.

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The main building of the temple, which is located on the left side after entering the main gate.

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Intricate carvings

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The Jade Emperor is also worshipped here, although he is deemed less important than the Mother Goddess.

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Not sure why, but I did not take any pictures inside the temple that day. Maybe that's a good thing because then you will visit this temple to have a look yourself rather than just reading from my blog haha!

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I like the ambiance here - peaceful and quiet. Not many visitors and worshippers that day.

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I like the shape of that roof with the dragon carvings!

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There were some Vietnam heritage trees in the temple compound, like this one.

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It's called Ficus Benjaminal otherwise known as the Weeping Fig tree.

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Look at this tree! It was slanting so much it needed supporting beams.

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One good thing about this temple is you get to see the view of West Lake.

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Not sure what structure this is but it has two elephants at the bottom and two dragons at the top. Hanging from the middle is a bat-shaped axe.

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Bats are regarded as auspicious objects as the word for bat and good fortune are homonyms in Chinese.

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Walking towards the right side of the temple compound while enjoying the view of the lake.

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Another heritage tree here - banyan tree.

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This tree is so tall!

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Can you see a golden buffalo and its calf in the photo below?

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I forgot to take a close shot of the buffaloes! Apparently there's a legend surrounding these buffaloes but I was not too clear about it.

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Another temple building with lovely dragon carvings at the rooftop.

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Close shot of the rooftop carvings.

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More photos ....

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A giant bell and a carp. Not sure what they represents.

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It was said that this giant bell is actually a replica of an even larger bell, which according to legend, when it was rung, the sound could be heard as far away as China!

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I took only about half an hour to complete my tour of Phu Tay Ho. Clearly, the temple was not very large but it was still a nice temple to visit.

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There are actually many temples around West Lake. So expect me to go temple hopping! LOL!

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Which temple would I be visiting next? Stay tuned!