Friday, 13th May 2016
Top pagodas to visit in Vietnam
Pagodas are a living part of Vietnamese history and fascinating places to visit. There are hundreds of them dotted around the country and you are bound to find yourself in more than one during your stay. Remember, they are sacred, so dress appropriately and explore some of Vietnam’s finest examples.
Thien Mu Pagoda
The seven storeys of the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue make it instantly recognisable and the tallest religious building in the whole of Vietnam. Its name means Lady from Heaven and was constructed in 1601 under the orders of Lord Nguyen Hoang.
Linh Ung Pagoda
A pagoda with a view, Linh Ung is located some eight kilometres outside of Danang atop a cliff on Son Thuy Mountain. Look out for the statue of Guinyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. At 67 metres high, it’s hard to miss.
Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda
Mothers-to-be and young brides flock to the Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, as it was built in honour Mother Sanh, the goddess of fertility. Who know how many babies have come about due to such visits since it was built in the 19th century.
One Pillar Pagoda
Situated in Hanoi, this pagoda does exactly what it says on the tin, being suspended on one pillar above a pond. Dating back to 1049, it is among the oldest religious monuments in Vietnam and has been highly praised since it was built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
An absolute explosion of colour, Linh Phuoc in Trai Mat near Da La, was fashioned out of pieces of glass, porcelain and pottery, making it stand out from all of Vietnam’s other pagodas. As well as a five-metre tall Buddha statue, it is home to decorative pillars in the form of dragons.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
West Lake in Hanoi is the stunning setting for the Tran Quoc Pagoda, which is made up of no fewer than ten shrines. The gardens, complete with Bodhi tree and unique red lacquered Buddha statue, are particularly enchanting.
Another of the pagodas to be found in the Hanoi province, the Perfume Pagoda lives up to its highly evocative name. You must take a boat, walk up a set of steps and then ride by cable car up the Huong Tich Mountains in order to reach it, but it is well worth it for the experience.
Van Son Pagoda
Taking up position in the forest and not far from the beach on the Can Dao Islands is the Van Son Pagoda. It’s not hard to imagine finding spiritual fulfilment in such a peaceful location, which may have been the motivation for building the pagoda here in 1964.
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