Another popular stop on the tour group trail, masses line up to climb the steps to this small shrine within a gazebo-like structure set over a lotus pond.
For most travellers, it may be enough to take a glance at it as they leave the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
Originally built in 1049 of wood, the pagoda was vandalised and burned by the French in 1954 as they retreated from Hanoi, only to be rebuilt the following year. The pagoda was built by Emperor Ly Thai To during the Ly Dynasty.
Legend states that the Emperor had a dream that he was given a son by the goddess of mercy, Quan An, while seated on a lotus flower. Soon afterwards, the Emperor married a peasant girl and had a son. The Emperor built the pagoda to honour the goddess, and it contains a statue of her and many sculptures of lotus flowers.
The One Pillar Pagoda is popular with childless couples and is also believed to have miraculous healing powers. During the summer, the surrounding pond is covered in lotus blossoms.
As you’re facing the pagoda stairs, turn to your left and back and you’ll spot a slightly hidden entrance to another pagoda. It’s worth popping in to this pretty spot when it's open—it’s closed for a few hours in the middle of the day—most visitors miss it, meaning it's a peaceful retreat.
By Sarah Turner.
Last updated on 25th February, 2017.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.