Co Loa Citadel

Attraction Cổ Loa Đông Anh Hà Nội Vietnam Published on: 28-04-2017

2 hours
08:30 AM - 05:35 PM
09:00 AM
11:00 AM
Second-time visit
0.45 USD

Co Loa Citadel is good for

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Co Loa Citadel dates back to the third century BC, with a few of the ancient ramparts remaining but hard to spot among the more recent construction.

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Why Co Loa Citadel is special ?

Co Loa Citadel, dating from the 3rd century BC, was the first fortified citadel in Vietnamese history and became the national capital during the reign of Ngo Quyen (AD 939–44). Only vestiges of the ancient ramparts, which enclosed an area of about 5 sq km, remain.

In the centre of the citadel are temples dedicated to the rule of King An Duong Vuong (257–208 BC), who founded the legendary Thuc dynasty, and his daughter My Nuong (Mi Chau). Legend tells that My Nuong showed her father’s magic crossbow trigger (which made him invincible in battle) to her husband, the son of a Chinese general. He stole it and gave it to his father. With this not-so-secret weapon, the Chinese defeated An Duong Vuong, beginning 1000 years of Chinese occupation.


What to explore at Co Loa Citadel?

There are three sites to visit at Co Loa Citadel: a small pagoda dedicated to the king's daughter (who figured prominently in the tale of woe behind the temple's history), the Am Mi Chau pagoda, which now houses a museum displaying archaeological finds from the area dating back as much as 5,000 years (though you'll find more of the same and better at the History Museum in Hanoi), and also the temple dedicated to the king himself, which has a good display of Buddhist statuary dating back several hundred years.


How to get to Co Loa Citadel?

The Citadel can be reached by leaving Hanoi to the northeast. Take the Chuong Duong bridge over the Hong River out of town to where the road joins up with Highway 1. You'll cross another river 11km later via an old, narrow steel bridge. Take the immediate left, and follow that road as it meets Highway 3, keep straight, and after about 4km there's a sign on the left marking the turn for the site on the right. Turn off for the Citadel. It's another kilometre further down that road and well marked.


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9.0 days
238.81 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
32 places




Cổ Loa Đông Anh Hà Nội Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • There's a lot of lore and history here, more so than the other sites listed in this section, so try to hire a guide in Hanoi to give you the rundown.
    Things to do
  • Admission gives access to all the sites, so keep your ticket handy.
    Things to do

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