Tag Archives: vietnam

Quan Su Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

With over 1,000 years of history, Ha Noi has been Vietnam’s centre of Buddhism for centuries. The city has more than 600 temples and pagodas, many of which are not only religious relics but also popular tourist sites. Neither boasting a long history nor having an extraordinary architecture, Quan Su pagoda is still a precious treasure of Ha Noi and has been the Headquaters of the Vietnam Buddhism Association since 1858.

Courtyard at Quan Su Pagoda, Hanoi

Roof ornamentation at Quan Su Pagoda, Hanoi Continue reading Quan Su Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam

Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Hoi An, Vietnam

Night view of Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Vietnam
Burning incense in the courtyard at Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Vietnam

The Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, located at 46 Tran Phu Street, is a famous sign of Hoi An’s trading history and displays rich architectural features that reflect strong Chinese influence.

The building was constructed in 1692 by Vietnamese people living in Hoi An and originally a Buddhist thatched pagoda called Kim Son. It unfortunately became very damaged and was eventually sold to the rich Fukian merchants, who fled from China to Hoi An in the 17th century after their ancestors lost in the fight with the Qing to restore the Ming Dynasty. After the restoration in 1759, the pagoda was renamed “Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall” and dedicated to the worship of their ancestors and Thien Hau Holy Mother, who was believed to save and protect the traders during their escape.

Chinese characters around the doorway in Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Vietnam


Continue reading Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Hoi An, Vietnam

Linh Ung Pagoda, near Da Nang, Vietnam

Situated in the Son Tra peninsula, Linh Ung – Bai But Pagoda is an attractive tourist destination and the biggest pagoda in the charming coastal city of Da Nang.

Chinese style roofs at Linh Ung Pagoda, Vietnam
Unveiled in July 2010 after six years of construction, Linh Ung – Bai But pagoda features perfect harmony between the modern and traditional architectures of Vietnamese pagodas, especially in the three-entrance gate, the main chamber and the ancestors’ house. Tourists are also advised to spend their time admiring lively Buddha statues in the surrounding gardens as they illustrate fascinating myths and stories in Buddhism.

temple at Linh Ung Pagoda, Vietnam

Walking through the Linh Ung pagoda’s main gate, you’re greeted by 18 large white stone statues representing the 18 Arhats, which are a popular subject in Buddhist art, with all of the human emotions of joy, anger, love and sadness.

Guanyin statue at Linh Ung Pagoda, Vietnam

Continue reading Linh Ung Pagoda, near Da Nang, Vietnam

Bo Da Pagoda, Bac Giang Province, Vietnam

Courtyard and gateway Bo Da Pagoda, Vietnam The distinct brown colour of soil walls, the yin and yang tiles, its wooden fences and big water jars give Bo Da Pagoda an old-world feel. The pagoda houses a remarkable collection of the oldest Buddhist texts in Vietnam, which are engraved on a type of ebony [Diospyros decandra] wooden blocks and have lasted for hundreds of years without any preservatives.

Traditional mud brick walls at Bo Da Pagoda, Vietnam

Bo Da Pagoda was built in the 11th century during the Ly Dynasty, the golden age of Buddhism in Vietnam. The pagoda, which has survived several wars and been renovated many times throughout the centuries, now demonstrates the architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty (the last dynasty of feudal Vietnam).

Entrance way at Bo Da Pagoda, Vietnam Continue reading Bo Da Pagoda, Bac Giang Province, Vietnam

Top Hotels for Touring Southeast Asian Countries


Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor*****
1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum
Siem Reap
Tel.: +855 63 963 888; Fax: +855 63 963 168
Email: bookus.siemreap@raffles.com

Located in the heart of Siem Reap, in the Old French Quarter only 8 kilometres from the extraordinary Angkor Wat temple complex, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is the ideal place to explore the spiritual and archaeological masterwork. Relax and revitalise beside a magnificent pool inspired by Angkorian architecture or take a short stroll along the riverside to discover the vibrant local markets.

Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor. Photo via Wikimedia by Kounosu

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi*****
15 Ngo Quyen Street
Hoan Kiem District
10000 Hanoi
Tel.: +84 4 382 66919; Fax: +84 4 382 66920
Email: H1555@sofitel.com

Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoi’s French Quarter this legendary property brings guests into intimate contact with the opulence of another era. Surround yourself in heritage as you stroll stately corridors and explore a dramatic past. Behind its classical white façade green shutters original wrought iron details and stately wood panelling reside over a century of stories. Stand on the walkways that grace its lush courtyard lawn and immerse yourself in the hotels rich traditions.

Temple sites nearby:
Tran Quoc Pagaoda – 4km
Chua Dau Pagoda – 30km outside of Hanoi, Thuan Thanh district
Temple of Literature – 2.5km

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Photo via Wikimedia by Gryffindor

Settha Palace Hotel*****
6 Rue Pang Kham
Tel.: +856 21 217 581; Fax: +856 21 217 583
Email: reservations@setthapalace.com

In the heart of bustling Vientiane stands a remarkable hotel. Built in the early part of the last century, circa 1932, and painstakingly restored to its former imperial glory, the Settha Palace Hotel serves as testament to the long lost era of classical elegance, gracious service and French colonial charm.

Temple sites nearby:
Pha That Luang – 3.5km
Wat Sisaket – 800m
Wat Mixai – 1km

Settha Palace Hotel. Photo via Flickr by Peter Riccio – http://goo.gl/68Rlsj
Myanmar (Burma)

The Strand Hotel Yangon*****
92 Strand Road
Tel.: +95 1 243 377; Fax: +95 1 243 393
Email: reservations@hotelthestrand.com

Declared “the finest hostelry East of Suez” by John Murray in his Handbook for Travellers written in the early 20th century, the 1901-built three storey 5 star hotel in Yangon remains one of Southeast Asia’s few grand hotels and one of its most awe inspiring.

Temple sites nearby:
Shwedagon Pagoda – 4.5km
Karaweik Hall – 3.4km
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda (Reclining Buddha) – 6.6km

The Strand Hotel Yangon. Photo via Wikimedia by Russavia

The Siam Hotel*****
3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal, Dusit
Bangkok 10300
Tel.: +66 2206 6999; Fax: +66 2206 6998
Email: info@thesiamhotel.com

The Siam is the newest addition to, and crown jewel of, the growing portfolio of independently owned and operated properties that make up Sukosol Hotels. The Siam spirit is to create a luxury experience embracing every moment and every individual with sincerity and integrity and a passion for service.

Temple sites nearby:
Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing – 11km
Wat Arun – 8km
Wat Pho – 6km

Wat Arun Bangkok. Photo via Wikimedia by Muisamart

The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta*****
Jalan Jenderal Sudiman 9
55233 Yogyakarta
Tel.: +62 274 566617; Fax: +62 274 566856
Email: info@thephoenixyogya.com

Located in the heart of Yogyakarta, near the popular Malioboro district, the historic Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta, a member of theMgallery Collection, is a colonial landmark dating back to 1918. With 144 elegant rooms and suites, each boasting a balcony and a fusion of Asian and European décor, The Phoenix Hotel features a restaurant, wine bar and terrace bar overlooking an open courtyard. An inviting swimming pool, indulgent day spa and modern conferencing facilities complete the exclusive experience.

Temple sites nearby:
Bodobudur – 42km
Prambanan – 16km

Borobudur in Indonesia. Photo via Wikimedia by Bernard Gagnon


Southeast Asia Tour Companies List

There are so many options for tours around the countries featured in our Golden Lands Buddhist architecture book: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. All the big international companies offer readymade tours for a range of budgets, but for each country there are also more specialized and local tours available, if you search a bit deeper. There are also tour companies offering packages for adventure travel, culture, diving, pilgrimage, and rail journeys.

To help you discover some of the best options for SE Asia travel, we’ve researched and put together a mind map of the tour companies.

The following image is a preview of our mind map, and see the link below for the full web page.

Over 100 Tour Companies listed by country and type!
Over 100 Tour Companies listed by country and type!

Please click here to visit the full mind map including text and clickable links.

Some of the tour companies have Twitter accounts, and we’ve gathered the ones which are more focused  on these particular countries (not big generalists) into a Twitter list of Southeast Asia Tour Companies here, so you can subscribe to all their feeds with one click.