Bach Ma Temple: A Must-Visit Destination for Culture Enthusiasts

Are you a culture enthusiast looking for a unique and enriching experience? Look no further than Bach Ma Temple, a hidden gem in the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam. This ancient temple is not only a testament to Vietnamese history and architecture, but also a place of spiritual significance for locals and tourists alike. In this article, we will take a closer look at Bach Ma, its history, architecture, festivals, and nearby attractions. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey through time and culture.

Where is Bach Ma Temple?

Located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Bach Ma Temple is situated at the intersection of Hang Buom and Hang Giay streets. It is easily accessible by public transportation or a short walk from other popular tourist destinations such as Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature.

Bach Ma Temple map:

Bach Ma Temple Opening Hours and Entry Fee

Bach Ma Temple is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with a break for lunch from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The entry fee is a modest 10,000 VND (less than $0.50 USD), making it an affordable attraction for all visitors.

History of Bach Ma Temple

Bach Ma Temple
Bach Ma Temple

In the heart of Hanoi, where ancient legends and spiritual beliefs intertwine, stands the venerable Bach Ma, a sanctuary that has stood the test of time. It is a gem among the city’s hundreds of temples and pagodas, a sentinel safeguarding the ancient capital of Thang Long against evil spirits, alongside its fellow guardians: Quan Thanh Temple, Kim Lien Temple, and Voi Phuc Temple.

Built in the 11th century under the reign of Emperor Ly Thai To, Bach Ma is a testament to Hanoi’s rich history. Its hallowed halls honor Long Do, a revered deity who shattered the evil spells cast by the colonial mandarin Cao Bien, bringing liberation to the land.

Each year, during the 12th and 13th days of the second lunar month, the Bach Ma Temple Festival erupts in a vibrant display of devotion and gratitude. Pilgrims flock to the temple to celebrate Long Do’s heroic deeds and bask in the divine aura.

White horse in Bach Ma Temple
White horse in Bach Ma Temple

In the olden days, as Lunar New Year approached, kings and mandarins would make a solemn pilgrimage to Bach Ma Temple and its neighboring guardians. They would present offerings and heartfelt prayers, seeking blessings for peace, prosperity, and the nation’s well-being.

This sacred tradition continues to thrive in modern-day Hanoi. During Tet, the lunar new year, and on the first day and full moon of each lunar month, the temple’s sanctum brims with devotees seeking solace, guidance, and spiritual renewal. The air hums with whispered prayers and the gentle chime of bells, creating an ethereal atmosphere of devotion and reverence.

Architecture of Bach Ma Temple

The architecture of Bach Ma Temple is a perfect blend of Vietnamese and Chinese styles, reflecting the influence of both cultures on Vietnam’s history. The temple is divided into three main sections: the entrance gate, the front hall, and the inner sanctum.

Bach Ma Temple Architecture
Bach Ma Temple Architecture

The entrance gate, also known as the “Three Entrance Gate,” is adorned with intricate carvings and colorful paintings depicting scenes from Vietnamese mythology and history. As you pass through the gate, you will enter the front hall, which houses a large bronze bell and several altars dedicated to various deities.

The inner sanctum, or the main hall, is where the statue of the white horse is enshrined. This hall is the most sacred part of the temple and is only accessible to monks and worshippers. The statue of the white horse is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who pray to it.

Explore Inside Bach Ma Temple

As you explore inside Bach Ma Temple, you will come across many interesting features and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the temple’s past. One such feature is the “Thousand Eyes and Thousand Arms” statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, located in the front hall. This statue is said to have been carved from a single block of wood and is a popular subject for photography among visitors.

Main hall of Bach Ma Temple
Main hall of Bach Ma Temple

Another must-see attraction inside the temple is the “Dragon Dance” mural on the ceiling of the main hall. This stunning artwork depicts a dragon dancing among the clouds and is a symbol of prosperity and good fortune in Vietnamese culture.

Bach Ma Temple Festival

Bach Ma Temple Festival
Bach Ma Temple Festival

One of the best times to visit Bach Ma Temple is during the annual festival held in honor of the white horse. This festival takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month and attracts thousands of visitors from all over Vietnam. The festival features traditional performances, food stalls, and a lively atmosphere that is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Attractive Attractions Near Bach Ma Temple

Attractions Near Bach Ma Temple
Attractions Near Bach Ma Temple

Bach Ma Temple is not only a cultural and religious site but also a gateway to other popular attractions in Hanoi. Just a short walk from the temple, you will find the bustling Dong Xuan Market, where you can shop for souvenirs and sample delicious street food. You can also visit the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, known for its picturesque scenery and the iconic red bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple.

For those interested in learning more about Vietnamese history, the Temple of Literature is a must-visit attraction located just a few kilometers from Bach Ma. This well-preserved complex was built in 1070 and served as Vietnam’s first university.

Bach Ma Temple Reviews

Don’t just take our word for it, here are some reviews from visitors who have experienced Bach Ma Temple firsthand:

  • “A beautiful temple with stunning architecture and a peaceful atmosphere. A must-visit for anyone interested in Vietnamese culture.” – Sarah, USA.
  • “I loved the Dragon Dance mural and the Thousand Eyes and Thousand Arms statue. The details are incredible!” – John, Australia.
  • “The Bach Ma Temple Festival was an unforgettable experience. The energy and excitement were contagious!” – Maria, Spain.


In conclusion, Bach Ma Temple is a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts looking for an authentic and enriching experience in Hanoi. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant festivals, this ancient temple offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s past and present. So make sure to add Bach Ma to your travel itinerary and immerse yourself in the beauty and spirituality of this hidden gem.