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Tran Quoc named among world's most beautiful pagodas

Released at: 16:47, 05/11/2016

Tran Quoc named among world's most beautiful pagodas

Photos: Duc Anh

Hanoi icon makes listing of MailOnline Travel and Thrillist websites.

by Luong Nhi

Hanoi’s Tran Quoc Pagoda has been voted as one of the world’s most beautiful by travel websites MailOnline Travel and Thrillist.

The pagoda is located on the eastern banks of West Lake, sitting like a blooming lotus on the water. It is a sacred place for Buddhists in the city in particular and in the country in general and is linked to much of Vietnam’s history and Buddhism in the capital.

It was built over 1,500 years ago and is one of oldest in Hanoi and bears architecture typical of Vietnamese Buddhism. It features an eleven-storey tower at a height of 15 meters, each of which has six vaulted windows and each window has an Amitabha Buddha statue in precious gems. On the top of the tower is a lotus made from precious gems.

The tower was built parallel to a Bodhi tree, similar to one Buddha sat behind and enlightened Buddhist teachings. Its construction is meant to indicate that Buddhism is pure and gracious like the lotus trees, growing quietly but strongly with a pleasant, fresh fragrance. Buddhism is like a lotus; never polluted and always beautiful and fresh despite environmental conditions. The Bodhi tree also represents the enlightenment and wisdom of Buddha, as well as humanitarianism.

Hanoi was recently ranked 25th on a list of the 29 Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia by Touropia, an international travel website featuring the most amazing sights around the world divided into various “Best of” lists.

It made the list for blending the charm of the old world with a pace of life that is quickening as the old city modernizes and is where visitors can see local people both taking tai chi chuan exercises and aerobics. “At the heart of Hanoi is its Old Quarter, an open-air museum of historic Asian and French colonial architecture that has largely remained intact,” it wrote.

More than 2.8 million international tourists visited Hanoi in the first nine months of this year, up 25 per cent year-on-year. The number staying overnight was over 2.06 million, up 26 per cent. Domestic tourist arrivals totaled over 13.5 million, an increase of 6 per cent. Tourists therefore numbered over 16.4 million, up 9 per cent, and tourism revenue was over VND46 trillion ($2.06 billion), up 18 per cent.

Some countries recorded strong growth in tourist arrivals to Vietnam, such as India, with 24,939 arrivals and up 46 per cent, Denmark with 20,425 arrivals and up 50 per cent, the Netherlands with 36,882 arrivals and up 40 per cent, and Ireland, with 15,866 arrivals and up 153 per cent.

International tourist arrivals to Hanoi stood at 237,555 in September, down 3 per cent year-on-year. Those staying overnight totaled just 169,682, down 3 per cent. Domestic tourists were over 1.39 million, up 6 per cent, for a total over 1.6 million visitors during the month, up 5 per cent.

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