City Walk: Đền Quán Thánh + stories of Trúc Bạch Lake + Ngũ Xã island

Please arrive by 8.50am ready to start the tour at 9am. Meet outside Đền Quán Thánh, the very important, old and almost purely Taoist temple with its 3.7-ton 350-year-old bronze statue of Trấ́́n Vũ, Hanoi’s Protector of the North.

While the main theme of this walk is bronze casting, we will also walk along Trấn Vũ around Trúc Bạch lake and learn about a number of past and modern day stories, legends and history associated with lake (including the brick house owned by a French brick maker, the part the young people played in Hanoi’s reconstruction after the French war, and silk making in the old days). We will go onto Ngũ Xã island at the east end of Trúc Bạch lake visiting Chùa Than Quang (pagoda) and Đình Ngũ Xã (communal house). Here we will learn about the history of bronze casting for which this area was famous.

Depending on time and his availability, we may have a chance to visit the house of Mr Hung who is one of 2 bronze casters left on the island and the last person to have cast items in his house. We will end the walk at the Đúc Đồng Ngũ Xã bronze casting showroom at 178 Trấn Vũ. This is the home and business of Mr Nguyễn Văn Ưng, 2nd bronze casting family on the island (for over 400 years).

(NB – there are no bronze casting workshops any more on Ngũ Xã but the showroom has examples of some of the work that has been commissioned).

The tour will end approx 11.30am @178 Tran Vu. Please note cost does not include refreshments

For those who would like to stay on for lunch, we will have lunch at one of the many phở cuốn restaurants on the island for which Ngũ Xã is now famous. (additional cost but very cheap).

Email your RSVP to Stella or phone 01662 979 605. Please include your phone number so we can contact you in case of any last minute changes.


  1. We will start the tour at 9am as we need to be able to arrive in time to visit the Pagoda and Communal house on Ngũ Xã island before they close (at 11am/11.30am)
  2. Dress appropriately for the weather.
  3. We will visit 1 temple, 1 pagoda and 1 communal house so please dress respectfully for these places of worship.
  4. Regarding the detail of bronze casting. Note we plan to run a separate walk/talk involving Mr Nguyễn Văn Ưng dedicated to the bronze casting industry in greater depth re the techniques, history and processes of the bronze casting industry (therefore please note that this Trúc Bạch lake/Ngũ Xã island walk gives a more general overview and concentrates on the stories rather than technical detail)
  5. Bronze casting is no longer carried out on the island – the trade has now moved to another side of Hanoi (we will follow this up in the 2nd separate walking tour to be planned)


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