Thay Pagoda

Located at the foot of Sai Son mountain (southwest of Hanoi), Thay pagoda is not only famous for its mysterious limestone caves but also charming for its ancient structures. Coming to this spiritual site to enlarge your knowledge about Vietnamese people’s beliefs, you will be impressed by the great harmony of the surrounding natural landscapes and our country’s traditional architectural style.

Thay Pagoda

The name “Thay” came from the name of the mountain as in Chinese language, Sai Son mountain was called Thay mountain. This pagoda was built in Dinh Dynasty and it is the place where Zen Master Tu Dao Danh led his religious life. The scenery of 16 surrounding hills looks like the strong body of a dragon jutting out from the ocean. Among them, the biggest and most highlight hill regarded as the dragon’s head is the place where Thay Pagoda is situated. There are three parallel parts that create the overall construction of Thay Pagoda: Lower temple – Middle temple – Upper temple. While the Lower temple is the place for ceremonies, the Middle temple is used to worship Buddha and the Upper temple is for worshipping Zen Master Tu Dao Hanh. Right from the entrance, Thuy Dinh (Water temple) – the stage to perform water puppet show during the pagoda’s festival – seems to float on the Long Chieu river with its ancient beauty. On two sides and in front of the Lower temple are Nhat Tien Bridge (Sun) and Nguyet Tien Bridge (Moon) with curved tiled roofs and divided into rooms creating a harmonious architecture.

Thay Pagoda, Hanoi

Thay pagoda festival, a cultural activity, which is held from the 5th to the 7th of the third lunar month in spring attracts both Buddhist monks and tourists from different regions every year. Besides the activities related to religion, the site is also famous for water puppetry which is well known all over the world. During the festival, many young travelers come to the pagoda to satisfy their adventurousness when climbing up Thay mountain to reach the Cac Co cave located on the top and have local interaction with villagers in the area. You can plan a trip to Thay pagoda anytime in a year. However, summer is one of the most ideal time as you can admire the picturesque scenery when numerous impressive red flowers on the ancient “gao” trees by the 900-year-old pagoda blooming very beautifully.

Located just about 30 kilometers from Hanoi, you can take a private car or ride a motorbike to Thay pagoda. Other famous sites that can be combined with your trip to Thay pagoda are Tay Phuong pagoda, Van Phuc silk village, and Duong Lam ancient village.

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