Quan Su pagoda

Situated at number 73, Quan Su street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi, Quan Su is one of the most important pagodas in the country. Constructed in the 15th century along with a small house for visiting Buddhist ambassadors, in 1934 it became the headquarters of the Tonkin Buddhist Association and today it is headquarters for the Vietnam Central Buddhist Congregation.

According to the legend, in the period of Tran Du Tong Kinh (1341-1369), at the area of today pagoda, there was a common house ( Cong quan) build by the court for receiving foreign ambassadors. Because most of them followed Buddhism, the King allowed to found a pagoda named Quan Su next the common house for ambassadors to come to pray. Afterwards, the common house was damaged while the pagoda has been existing til now.

It's an active pagoda and usually thronged with worshippers; the interior is dim and smoky with incense. To the rear is a school of Buddhist doctrine. For good luck (or for fun), visitors of any stripe are welcome to buy sticks of incense and make offerings at the various altars and sand urns. It's easy to just follow suit, and folks will be glad to show you what to do.