In Hanoi, a leading tourist attraction is Quan Thanh Temple, one of the four most sacred temples that were built in four directions to protect the capital from malevolent spirits. It is a Taoist temple dedicated to Xuan Wu, a high-ranking Taoist deity and known as the God of the North. It's on the southeast corner of Ho Tay (West Lake) that you can view the temple, which was constructed in the 11th century during Ly Dynasty and now is the oldest one.
Keep an eye out for the grand three-door entrance, guardian tiger, banyan tree and delicate woodcarvings when you approach the temple. While inside the main shrine, you can observe a 13-feet-high bronze statue of Xuan Wu that weights nine tones and was cast in 1677. It’s regarded as a masterpiece of Vietnamese bronze casting and sculpture, the second biggest bronze statue in this country. Martial arts classes are hosted here because the deity is particularly revered by martial artists. Usually, locals in Hanoi come to the temple in Lunar New Year or new moon and full moon to pray for health, luck and happiness.
Since tourist sites in Hanoi are generally in the city center, you can easily access to other spots like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House on Stilt, Ngoc Son Temple, Old Quarter and the Fine Arts Museum. For temple lovers, we pick this 17-Day Vietnam with Angkor Wat & Luang Prabang to provide you with an insight into the Southeast Asian's religious belief.