Vietnam Travel Guide

Bach Ma Temple – Hanoi Old Quarter

Bach Ma Temple

Bach Ma Temple

Built in the middle of 11th century, Bach Ma Temple is said to be the oldest temple in all Hanoi. This temple honors a white horse which was thought to be an incarnation of a local river god. This historical legend told that in the spring of the year 1010, the founder of the Ly dynasty, King Ly Thai To (real name is Ly Cong Uan) issued the “Edict of the Transfer of the Capital” (Chiếu dời đô) which declared the transfer of the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La (Today’s Hanoi). After the Ly settled in Hanoi, his laborers worked for a year and a haft to construct a mighty citadel but each time they erected the walls the marshy soil would give way. One day, while the king was praying, an apparition of a white horse appeared in front of the king and used its hoof prints to mark off an area. The king understood that the horse was indicating a safe area to construct the citadel and indeed, the fortress erected at the site remained standing. In gratitude, the king established Bach Ma Temple to honor the white hose that assisted the fledgling city. Having been damaged by flooding and other natural disasters over the course of the past thousand years, the present buildings were constructed from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Located at 6 Hang Buom Street, Bach Ma Temple can be reached very easy while walking through the maze lanes of Hanoi Old Quarter. The temple is opened from 7.00 am to 11.00 am and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Visitors will be free at this destination. For tourists would like to visit this historical place, you could join our Hanoi Street food tour to get more value.

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