Bach Ma Temple is believed to be the oldest temple in Hanoi. This Buddhist temple was originally built in the ninth century by King Ly Thai To in honour of Bach Ma. According to a sign inside the temple, originally the site of the temple was Long Do Mountain. The temple was moved to its current location in the Old Quarter of Hanoi in the 18th century, during the Ly Dynasty, to guard the east side of Thang Long.
The translation of Bach Ma is ́White Horse ́ and this refers to a story behind the construction of the Temple. King Ly thai To had been struggling building the temple as its walls kept collapsing . It is said that a white horse delineated the best area to build the temple with its hooves to help the king in constructing the temple.
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You enter the temple through some ancient wooden doors after which you will be able to see the beautiful decorated interior and a red-lacquered funeral palanquin. Inside the temple you will find a statue of the white horse, a shrine to Confucius and a Phoenix Altar for offerings to the four seasons. Bach Ma Temple is still actively used by worshippers who come there to burn incense and pray, it is a well maintained small temple that is easily reached and offers an opportunity to see locals practice their beliefs. Entrance is free of charge.