In Vietnam, the mountainous region of Yen Tu in Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi District, Quang Ninh Province is famous all over the world for its beautiful landscapes, historical relics and hundreds of ancient pagodas and towers, earning its name as the Buddhism capital of Dai Viet, Vietnam’s former name.
From Hanoi, it is a 115 kilometers drive to Quang Ninh Province, passing Uong Bi District, then turning onto Vang Danh Street for 9 more kilometers, and then turning left to the street leading to the region.
In the past, tourists to Yen Tu had to climb the six-kilometer track, on steps made from rock, through the bamboo and pine tree forest leading to Yen Tu. Today they have the option of going by cable car, which has been operating since 2002, which will carry tourists to the Hoa Yen pagoda, and from there they can walk to visit other landscapes in the region.
In the cool weather of spring many tourists still prefer following the track for a leisurely climb to all the tourism sites in Yen Tu. All the pagodas and sites here bear legendary stories of Vietnamese King Tran Nhan Tong leaving the court to follow a religious life in Yen Tu in the thirteen century.
In order to contemplate the beauty of all the pagodas and temples here, tourists should follow the Giai Oan Stream (Vindication Stream), then go to Tung and Truc streets to the Tower and Hoa Yen Pagoda, and from there to Mot Mai, Bao Sai pagodas, visiting An Ky Sinh statue and Dong (Bronze) Pagoda on the right side.
On the way to Dong Pagoda, which is the highest pagoda in Yen Tu, there are more than 20,000 constructions with small and large relics. Near Hoa Yen Pagoda is a street called Tung (pine tree) street because it has two rows of ancient pine trees, dating back 600 to 700 years. Passing this street, tourists will see an ancient rock tower, To Tower, rising to the mountain with the name “Dragon’s Forehead”. A short distance from To Tower is Ngu Doi waterfall.
The more adventurous can go up 800 meters to visit Bao Sai Pagoda, one of the earliest pagodas here. And going even higher brings visitors to the Vong Phu stone, which resembles a mother embracing a child, standing out from the view of forests and mountains. The last stop is Dong Pagoda on the Peak of Yen Tu Mountain, 1,068 meters above sea level.Dong Pagoda has been rebuilt at a cost of more than VND21bil. The copper pagoda is 20 meters square in area with a height of 3, 35 meters.
To sum up, as the journey comes to an end, tourists climb down and enjoy the vegetable dishes in Nang Tam Restaurant. In Truc Lam Zen Monastery, at the foot of Yen Tu Mountain, tourists can hear the supreme monk lecturing about the history and the dogma of Buddhism. Hope you like the tour around one of Vietnam Popular Heritage like this pagoda. It will be an interesting trip that you hardly forget. So come and travel it as soon as possible if you are now in Northern area of Vietnam.
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