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A visit to Tran Quoc Pagoda in capital city of Hanoi in Vietnam
During my visit to Vietnam, I happened to stay in a hotel close to Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist shrines in the country which was also visible from the window of the hotel room.

As one of the famous landmarks of Hanoi, this Buddhist shrine has undergone several changes throughout the history including its name. Being close to the hotel, I walked to the pagoda and spent an hour there.

The pagoda is located on an islet within West Lake surrounded by lush greenery and it had been a favourite place amongst the kings and royal families for festivals, full moons, and Tet Festival earlier. But now the tourists and the followers of Buddhism frequent the pagoda. Some the residents visit it daily before going to work.

This pagoda is 15 metres tall with a few surrounding buildings meant for incense burning and worshipping and has free entry for locals and tourists alike. The daily opening hours of the shrine are from 07:30 to18:00 hours.

It also houses a museum with historic relics and intricately carved statues dating to 17th century. The significant fact about the statues is that each one of them has unique facial feature distinct from one another.

The pagoda gets packed with devotees during annual festivities such as Tet and Buddha's Birthday. As it's a place of worship, visitors are advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the monks and tenets of Buddhism.

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