Photo: Tay Ho Temple is one of the most popular and important places of worship in Hanoi.

Tay Ho Temple

Our rating:

One of the most popular and important places of worship in Hanoi, Tay Ho Temple trumps even Tran Quoc for its enviable lakeside position.





Phu Tay Ho is on the northern bank of the same-named lake, or West Lake, a few kilometres along the lake road from Xuan Dieu Street. Whereas pagodas are for Buddhists, Phu Ta Ho is dedicated to the Mother Goddesses and the Jade Emperor and is therefore most correctly referred to as a palace, although laypeople would call it a temple.

The buildings have been recently spruced up, as of mid-2017. Photo taken in or around Tay Ho Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The buildings have been recently spruced up, as of mid-2017. Photo: Samantha Brown

Don’t just come straight into the temple. The street leading to the gate is packed with colourful stalls selling snacks like banh tom, prawns cooked on a thick batter base, then freshly re-fried before serving with a dipping sauce. You’ll also find sweets, cakes, fruit, plus paraphernalia associated with making offerings at the temple, like fake money and incense. You will also see elderly men writing prayers for visitors to burn to send to the gods (or goddesses).

Legend has it that one of the three Mother Goddesses appeared to two Confucian scholars in a pub near the lake. She gave them food and drink and wrote poetry and they were so taken by her beauty that they later returned, but there was no sign of her or the pub, just a scroll of poetry, revealing herself as one of the Mother Goddesses. They then built the temple right next to the lake in her honour. Another variation of the legend says she appeared to a fisherman on the lake, smiling and reciting poetry

Tay Ho Temple's lakeside location is one of its appeals. Photo taken in or around Tay Ho Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

Tay Ho Temple's lakeside location is one of its appeals. Photo: Samantha Brown

In the first large building you come to, if you turn left inside the gate, you will see three empty throne-like seats at the back of the altar. They represent the three Goddesses and are ready for the Goddesses to occupy when they are on earth. The altar in the building next door has effigies of the Goddesses, surrounded by their male Chinese servants. Below the altar is a cave of animals representing the animist set of beliefs in place at the time Mother Goddess ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to Travelfish.org to read the rest of this article, or log in here.


Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


By .





Tay Ho Temple
End of Dang Thai Mai St, Tay Ho District
06:00-19:00 daily; till 21:30 the 1st and 15th of each lunar month
Admission: Free

Location map for Tay Ho Temple

Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.

   

Popular attractions in Hanoi

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Hanoi.



Best places to stay in Hanoi

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Hanoi.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hanoi.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Hanoi.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Hanoi.
 Read up on how to get to Hanoi, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Hanoi? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.


See below for more sights and activities in Hanoi that are listed on Travelfish.org.


Top of page


Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hanoi? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


Top of page