Hanoi’s Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas

Hanoi’s Thay and
Tay Phuong Pagodas

One of the cradles of Vietnamese Buddhism and folkloric tales of Vietnam’s rural life using
water puppets. The Thay Pagoda is a fine example that embraces the traditional side
with ample opportunities to explore unmissable Hanoi for just half a day.


Rich in Buddhism, the north of Vietnam is home to the country’s most colourful and revered pagodas and temples. On this trip, we will visit the Thay pagoda, located 30 kilometres south-west of Hanoi and built in the 11th century.

A picturesque pond in front of the pagoda brings peace and tranquillity into the scene and serves as a natural venue for water puppet shows during festivals. This half-day excursion is all about finding one of the most serene spots in the country, intertwined with what may be one of Vietnam’s most revered forms of folkloristic storytelling.


Hanoi’s Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas

08:00 - 12:00
13:30 - 17:30

Our English speaking guide and driver will wait for you in the hotel lobby from where we leave the city centre for our tour through Buddhist history in northern Vietnam. Customers have the freedom to choose from a morning or an afternoon excursion to these famous grounds in Vietnamese Buddhism.

Located 30 kilometres south-west of Hanoi is the Thay Pagoda (Master’s Pagoda). Whilst a temple is a place that worships the dead, a pagoda is a place to worship the Lord Buddha. Thay Pagoda is widely known for its finely carved statues in lacquer and gold of Buddha in his past and present form and its colourful Buddhist ceremonies performed here during auspicious dates of the Lunar calendar.

The pagoda itself dates back to the 7th century and is also remarkable for its impressive collection of Buddhist wooden statues from the 17th century. Figures representing “The Conditions of Man” are the pagoda’s most celebrated feature – carved from jackfruit wood, many dates from the 18th century.

Take the steep steps up to the main pagoda building, then find a path at the back that loops down past the other two pagodas and wander through the adjacent hillside village. The temple complex itself can be rather confusing with lots of hidden corners and smaller parts of the pagoda that tell you yet another story – just follow your guide and you will gain a deeper understanding. The temple is filled with references made by the reincarnations of deities that shaped the foundation of this holy site.

After this full immersion into the local culture and day-to-day life off the beaten tracks, we safely will bring you back to your booked hotel in Hanoi. If you happen to be in Hanoi and plan to visit this temple in March, try to match your dates with the Pagoda’s annual festival (held from the fifth until the 7th day of the 3rd lunar month). The temple grounds are filled with festivities and water puppet performance.




  • A half-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.


  • Tours, inclusions of any kind and other services that are not outlined in the tour description
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply.
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside Hanoi city centre. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside the capital, harbour and the Hanoi International Airport are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh City is closed very afternoon, on Mondays and Fridays and during the months of October and November. Visits to the Mausoleum are restricted to outside visits only and/or alternative sightseeing may need to be offered.
  • Customers are advised that during the TET celebrations (celebration of Vietnamese New Year), excursions and tours may be subject to supplementary charges and/or may see longer waiting times than normal. We appreciate your understanding on this.
  • We regret that we cannot guarantee in any way, confirmed pre-seating for the water puppet show. The final seating arrangement will be determined on spot.
  • This excursion includes obstacles of various kinds that may not make this excursion suitable for wheelchair users.
  • Guests are advised that some walking is required during this excursion; we always ensure that we take the most comfortable ways from the entrance of the sight to the sight itself.
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pickup and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sunrays still have an immense power.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.


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