Thien Mu Pagoda: Discovering the Iconic Pagoda in Hue

In the enchanting city of Hue Vietnam, lies a captivating spiritual landmark known as Thien Mu Pagoda. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and serene surroundings, this pagoda offers a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the region. Let Indochina Voyages take you on a virtual journey as we explore the significance, beauty, and travel tips for visiting this iconic pagoda.

Thien Mu Pagoda Hue Vietnam
Thien Mu Pagoda Hue Vietnam

Getting to know

Thien Mu Pagoda also referred to as the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, stands gracefully on the banks of the Perfume River. With the ancient features of a hundreds-year-olds, this iconic seven-story pagoda is a symbol of Hue and one of the most revered religious sites in Vietnam. Its elegant silhouette and tranquil ambiance make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking spiritual enlightenment and cultural immersion.


Nestled on Ha Khe Hill, about 5 kilometers southwest of the city center of Hue, it is situated at the end of Kim Long Road in Huong Long Ward on the northern bank of the famous Huong River. Its strategic location offers panoramic views of the Perfume River and the surrounding lush landscapes, creating a serene and picturesque setting.

Thien Mu Pagoda on the bank of romantic Huong River
Pagoda Hue on the bank of the romantic Huong River

Why does it called “Thien Mu”?

The name, which translates to “Heavenly Lady,” is derived from a legend associated with the pagoda’s origin. A very long time ago, local people in Hue saw an old woman in red appear on top of Ha Khe Hill regularly every night. Once, this lady foretold to people here that the Lord would visit and build a very important thing on the land where she was standing once someday. And prophesied the construction of a pagoda that would bring prosperity to the area.

From then onwards, people call this hill Thien Mu Son which means Mountain of Lady of Heaven. Later, Emperor Nguyen Hoang built this iconic pagoda in 1601. This became an important spiritual sanctuary for locals and a symbol of Buddhism in Hue.

Thien Mu Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill
An ancient Pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill

What to see?

Over hundreds of years, having gone through countless great historical changes, even damages and also restorations. This vibrant pagoda has long been considered the unofficial symbol of the ancient city of Hue. Here are some highlights to explore during your visit:

  • Phuoc Duyen Tower

Travelers who enter the pagoda will be attracted attention by Phuoc Duyen Tower – a seven-story octagonal tower that was built in the mid-19th century by King Thieu Tri to commemorate his grandmother’s 80th birthday anniversary. 

  • Dai Hung Shrine

You will see the main sanctuary of the pagoda, Dai Hung Palace, where the Buddha is worshipped with impressive sculptures and a giant bell. It is the place where fragrant incense smoke fills the air all day long and all night long to pray for blessings, calm, and peace.

  • The Hall of the Celestial Lady

This main hall houses a beautiful gilded statue of the Celestial Lady, a revered figure in Vietnamese Buddhism.

  • Gardens and Courtyards

Stroll through the well-manicured gardens, adorned with bonsai trees, flowers, and tranquil ponds, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Phuoc Duyen Tower
Phuoc Duyen Tower

Travel Advice

  • Opening Hours

You can come and visit Thien Mu Pagoda every day of the week, as this site opens daily from early in the morning until late afternoon. However, the best time is in the early morning. As travelers can witness a fresh beginning of daily activities in the pagoda or at sunset since the sky and Huong River together create an amazing picture

  • Dress code

As a religious site, it is advised to dress respectfully, covering your shoulders and knees. Remove your shoes before entering the main hall.

  • Best way to reach

You can easily reach this ancient pagoda by taxi, motorbike, or as part of a guided tour. Consider renting a bicycle to enjoy a scenic ride along the Perfume River.

  • Where to visit next?

Combine your visit to this pagoda with other nearby attractions, such as the Hue Imperial Citadel and the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, for a comprehensive Hue experience.

  • Guided Tours

Engage a knowledgeable local guide who can provide historical and cultural insights during your visit, enhancing your understanding of this pagoda in Hue.

Package Tour in Hue
Add Thien Mu Pagoda and Hue Imperial Citadel as your package tour in Hue

In conclusion, this is not only a religious site but also a captivating architectural gem that embodies the spiritual and cultural essence of Hue. Its picturesque location, fascinating history, and serene ambiance make it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring the Hue region.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the beauty and serenity of Thien Mu Pagoda firsthand. Start planning your visit now with Indochina Voyages, and let this spiritual haven leave an indelible mark on your journey through Vietnam.

From Indochina Voyages Team.

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