Talk to our local expert directly


Vietnam: Explore Myths And Legends Of This Historic Nation

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Vietnam-Culture & History

The air of mystery in the East has always been noticeable, and Vietnam is no exception. Wrapped in folklore, this country has a rich history of legends, mythology, and stories. 

Legends and myths have been hiding in every corner and crevice of Vietnam for a thousand years. They are so much more than just stories passed down from generation to generation. Many beliefs are associated with events such as the coming of the monsoon season, local origins, cultural festivals, and temples and sacred locations.

Holidays to Vietnam have so much to offer, and the more you see and hear, the more you will want to know. If you want to know more about Vietnamese legends and myths, keep reading this blog. We will uncover many legends and myths that will open up a new world to you.

4 epic Vietnamese Legends and Myths

The Vietnamese creation myth

This Vietnamese legend will teach you about their people's understanding of unity and supports the belief that all Vietnamese people are a family. 

The tale begins with Lac Long Quân, a descendent of the rivers, and  u Cơ, the mountain fairies' heir. These two mythological characters fell in love and produced a hundred eggs. 

However, with time, Lac Long Quân began to yearn for the sea, knowing it was where he truly belonged. As a result, he informed his wife that they should get separated. Following this separation, the offsprings of Lac Long Quân and  u Cơ dispersed throughout Vietnam and became the ancestors of the Vietnamese people today.

Despite their separation, they had a productive existence and gained various talents. Their eldest son is also claimed to have been the first of the Hùng Kings, who ruled over Vietnam's first dynasty.

The legend of the Mountain God and Water God

The 18th Hung King wanted her daughter to get married. He conducted a contest to choose a suitor for her and shortlisted two contenders of the equal match: Sơn Tinh, a mountain God, and Thủy Tinh, a river God.

With total control over the mountains, sea, and storms, Sơn Tinh and Thủy Tinh engaged in a deadly battle. They wreaked havoc on the regions with their destructive abilities. Sơn Tinh finally triumphed. However, Thủy Tinh's refused to surrender and unleashed devastating storms and floods on the lands, leading to greater devastation.

Sơn Tinh created the mountains to save people's houses and fields until Thủy Tinh was forced to retreat. Year after year, he wanted revenge, but Sơn Tinh continually turned him down.

In this tale, Thủy Tinh represents the yearly floods and storms that devastated Vietnam, whereas Sơn Tinh represents the Vietnamese people's endurance and courage in the face of natural calamities. Book a tour with Threeland Travel and hear these stories from locals.

The legend of the Hoan Kiem Lake

If you select the best tour of Vietnam, you will visit a lake - Hoan Kiem. This lake is also known as the Lake of the Restored Sword or the Lake of the Returned Sword in Vietnam. 

Long Vương, the Dragon King, had given Lê Lợi a sword to battle Ming China. Lê Lợi became Emperor in 1428 after conquering Ming China. He was on a boat on Hoan Kiem Lake when the Golden Turtle God, Kim Qui, arrived and demanded the Emperor's magical sword. 
To honor this event, the Emperor changed the lake's name from Green Water to Lake of the Returned Sword.

Later on, the Turtle Tower, Tháp Rùa, was built on a tiny island in the lake's center. The lake itself is home to a population of soft-shell turtles, which the Vietnamese believe bring good luck.

If you are interested in such legendary stories, another nation might also catch your eye - Cambodia. Cambodia tours will allow you to explore such interesting stories that you could take home and relish forever.

The legend of the three kitchen gods

On your holidays to Vietnam, you will see that it is widely believed that every home’s kitchen harbors Tao Quan, the Three Kitchen Gods. They are called Ong Lo, Ong Tao, or Ong Vua Bep.

These gods keep an eye on everything that happens in the kitchen. On the 23rd of December, the end of the Lunar Year, they leave kitchens to report to Ngoc Hoang, the Jade Emperor and supreme God of the Taoist Heaven. Tao Quan is offered the most delicious food and spices on that day, as well as money and clothing as gifts.

Long ago, a woodcutter and his wife lived in a lush, green forest. They were poor, and its frustration and concern led the man to drink, and he'd return home in a foul temper late at night.

He used to attempt to relieve his fury by breaking furniture, but when he started abusing her wife, she couldn't take it anymore. She ran away from the cottage one night and was never seen again.

The woman was lost in the woods and eventually arrived at a hunter's lodge. The owner was a decent man who fed her and let her stay in his house. She was his housekeeper then, and they married after a while. 

When Tet (Vietnamese New Year) approached one day, A beggar in rags came across her house and begged for food. The wife recognized her husband and welcomed him into her home, feeding him. 

Then, the hunter returned home. She quickly concealed the beggar behind a haycock. He entered the cottage and proceeded to roast it in the haycock, completely oblivious to the beggar's presence.

The beggar did not dare to stir or scream inside the hay because he was certain the man would kill his wife for catching her with another man. Of course, she realized her former husband was dying for her sake. She pushed herself into the fire to perish beside him.

When the hunter realized what his wife had done, he screamed in horror. He also leaped into the fire, believing that some of his actions had led her to such desperation. 

When the people learned about the events, they paid their respects to the deceased for their heroic acts.

Wrapping up!

Vietnamese mythology is steeped in the country's history. As moral lessons continue to enter the hearts of their people, it is commonly described as the foundation of their ideals.

There are many more legendary stories that might interest you. However, listening to them through local Vietnamese people would be even better. So, pack your bags and book your Vietnam holidays with Threeland Travel today!