As one of the main religions in Vietnam, Buddhism has an important role in Vietnamese people’s daily life. Local people go to pagodas frequently to pray for the health, wealth, and happiness. When coming to Vietnam for the first time on their Vietnam culture tour, many Western tourists might be confused about what to do and not do in a local pagoda. Then, look at our article to find out some helpful guidelines and tips to help you experience an interesting travel to Vietnam.
1. Dress politely
Vietnamese people generally are quite conservative on clothes, hence, you should be careful in wearing options while visiting Vietnam pagodas and temples. We suggest simple clothes like pants, jeans, dresses over your knees and shirts or T-shirts that cover your arms. Remember to get away from tank-top, sleeveless shirts, low-back clothes, shorts, and ripped jeans.
2. Leave your shoes out of the main worship area
Once coming into the worshiping area, leave your shoes out and walk barefoot in. There will be a sedge mat laid in the middle of the room which is the place for bowing, not for stepping on. It is one of the most important Vietnam culture features that you have to be take care if you have any intention to go to Vietnamese Pagodas.
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3. Do not talk and laugh loudly
Since pagodas are religious sites, visitors should not run around and make much noise inside worshiping areas. If you need to say something, try to keep your voice down and move lightly. It is worth noting that you should not call out others’ names in worshiping area.
Pagodas are spiritual places so noises should be restricted insides. You can feel the freshness and relaxation if you focus your mind on the structure and atmosphere there.
4. Do not take photos with flash
Remember to take notice of “no photo” signs in the pagoda. If you do not see these signs, you are able to take a quick photo without flash.
5. Do not bring much belongings
During traditional festivals in Vietnam such as Tet holiday, there will be a large number of visitors coming to pagodas, creating a chance for thieves and pickpockets. Therefore, tourists should bring little belongings while visiting pagodas in order to avoid being pick-pocketed.
6. Observe the locals
If you come to a Vietnam pagoda for the first time, you can observe a local to see what they do and follow them. But remember that even local people can make mistakes.
7. Do not enter by the center door
When coming to a temple or a pagoda, you should avoid walking in and out by the center door. Instead, you are recommended to enter by the two side doors. Most of the pagodas in Vietnam will close these center doors every day except for festivals such as Tet holiday.
8. Do not smoke
Since pagodas are public places, smoking is not allowed in their precinct.
9. Give offerings
Visitors coming to Vietnam pagoda can bring some offerings. We suggest these offerings: flowers (lotus, lily, rose, daisy, peony, etc), ripped fruits (bananas, dragon fruits, grapes, apples, pomelos, etc), and some kinds of glutinous food like sticky rice or che. Do not bring meat and savory.
With the number of 14,775 pagodas, Vietnam has become the perfect destination for those who love to get knowledge on Buddhism and Vietnam culture. If you are wondering where to visit among 14,775 pagodas, we would love to introduce some famous ones for your Vietnam culture tours:
· Tran Quoc Pagoda (Hanoi)
· One Pillar Pagoda (Hanoi)
· Huong Pagoda (Hanoi)
· Tay Phuong Pagoda (Hanoi)
· Phat Tich Pagoda (Bac Ninh)
· Thien Mu Pagoda (Hue)
· Thien Ung Pagoda (Danang)
· Van Hanh Pagoda (Dalat)
· Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda (Ho Chi Minh City)
Here are our 9 tips for your Vietnam culture tour to local pagodas. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam and still not understand fully about the manner in an Asian pagoda, check out this article again and have an amazing travel!