Exploring Den Do Temple: A Cultural Gem in Northern Vietnam

Located in the northern part of Vietnam, Den Do Temple stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. Nestled amidst lush greenery and serene landscapes, this historical site offers visitors a glimpse into Vietnam’s past and is an amazing tranquil escape from the bustling city life of Hanoi. In this article, we’ll explore the journey to Den Do Temple, the highlights of the site, and the delectable snacks available in the local market road which leads to the Den Do Temple itself.

Exploring Den Do Temple: A Cultural Gem in Northern VietnamExploring Den Do Temple: A Cultural Gem in Northern Vietnam

Getting to Den Do Temple from Hanoi

By Public Transport

Unfortunately, there is not a direct bus to Den Do Temple so instead you need to catch the bus to Bac Ninh City. is about an hour and a half away from Hanoi ( depending on the traffic ) You can catch buses to Bac Ninh City from My Dinh Bus Station and Gia Lam Bus Station as well as a variety of other stops along the way. Bac Ninh City is a surprisingly large and well-developed city so it is worth adding the city to your itinerary prior to going off to the temple – or even staying overnight in one of the various high-quality hotels available.

From Bac Ninh City, you can opt for a taxi or a Grab ride to Den Do Temple. The temple is located approximately 15 kilometres southeast of Bac Ninh City, and the ride should take around 30 minutes.

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Bac Ninh City is surprisingly developed and well worth a visit

Bac Ninh City is surprisingly developed and well worth a visit

By Motorbike

As Den Do Temple is about 22 kilometres from Hanoi it is simple to get there on your own motorbike. The road is a main road all the way and is in good condition – however, there are a variety of routes that you can also take through more picturesque landscapes if you prefer.

As Den Do Temple is a working place of worship they are well prepared for visitors and thus there are large designated parking areas. If you come in a car then there is a large car park at the end of the main road leading to the temple so you can park there for a small fee and then simply walk up the main road to enter the temple.

If you come on your motorbike then the parking is on the left just as you enter the main gate – the parking fee is the typical 5, 000 VND.

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Exploring Den Do Temple

Please note that the Den Do Temple is totally free to enter- although you can leave donations at any of the alters. As it is predominantly outdoors, it can be very quiet in the middle of summer when it is very hot, with the busiest time being just after the Tet holiday (especially at the weekends) when people come to make offerings so that they will have good luck all year round. Although very busy at this time there are often additional aspects to accommodate the many visitors such as traditional singing on boats etc. Unlike some of the temples, there is no requirement to take your shoes off.

  • den do templeMain Hall (Đền Trung): The focal point of Den Do Temple is the main hall, dedicated to the worship of the legendary King Ly Thai To and his predecessors. There are a lot of very ornate decorations, including carved wooden pillars, lacquered altars, and colourful murals depicting scenes from Vietnamese mythology.
  • Nine Dynastic Urns: These ancient bronze urns, cast during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang in the 19th century, symbolize the unity and sovereignty of the Vietnamese nation and are clearly displayed.
  • Central Lake – there is a large lake in the temple complex and you can cross over the small bridge to the main area. On Saturday afternoon the local singing group practise in the area in the middle of the lake, singing local Vietnamese songs in a special way which is typical of that area – Quan Ho
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Local Market Delicacies

After exploring the cultural treasures of Den Do Temple, satisfy your appetite with some local delicacies available in the nearby market area which leads up to the temple itself. Here are some must-try snacks:

  • Banh phu the: this is a delicacy of the area and is known as “ couples cake “ as was traditionally given by a man to his date but now is typically eaten at wedding receptions. It is made from rice with mung bean stuffing wrapped in a box made of pandan leaves
  • Bánh Đậu Xanh (Green Bean Cake): this is a traditional Vietnamese dessert made from green beans, sugar, and coconut milk which sound like a very odd mixture but are delicious and are in fact sweet.
  • Bánh Bao Chợ Gạo (Chợ Gạo Dumplings): Treat yourself to bánh bao chợ gạo, steamed dumplings filled with a savoury mixture of pork, mushrooms, and spices. These flavorful dumplings are a popular snack among locals and visitors alike.

A visit to Den Do Temple offers a unique opportunity to escape from the city and become immersed in a place that time has forgotten. Whether you choose to travel by public transport or explore on a motorbike adventure, the journey to Den Do Temple promises to be an unforgettable experience and will give you an opportunity to recharge your batteries before venturing back into the hustle of Hanoi.

Author

Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.

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Author Details
Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.