Most of the Vietnamese People have religion. Some people follow Catholicism, some follow Caodaism and some follow Buddhism. Each religion has the name of its peculiar worshipping place. The one of Catholicism is called Church (Vietnamese: Nhà Thờ), one of Caodaism is called Saint House (Vietnamese: Thánh Thất) and one of Buddhism is called Pagoda (Vietnamese: Chùa). The believer number in Buddhism is the largest in Vietnam, so there are the most temples in this country. Today we introduce 10 thought to be the most famous in Vietnam.
1. One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi
One Pillar Pagoda is a pagoda located in the heart of Hanoi capital. One Pillar Pagoda was built by King Ly Thai Tong in the winter of October (lunar calendar) in the year 1049. This is the pagoda having unique architectural style in Vietnam, even all over the world. The pagoda has lotus shape, bent roof, red tiles. It worships Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. One Pillar Pagoda is one of the symbols of Hanoi. Every year millions of tourists coming for sightseeing and praying.
2. Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh
Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in Ninh Binh Province. There are 2 Bai Dinh Pagodas: ancient one and new one. The ancient one was built in Ly dynasty (1009-1025)ne, the new one was built in 2003. The main hall of the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda has ancient oriental architectural style, bent roof, red tiles. The pagoda has many architectural details and antiques bearing boldly imprint of the Ly Dynasty.
The new Dinh Pagoda covers an area of 80 hectares located on the other side of the mountain compared to the ancient pagoda. The most distinctive feature of the Bai Dinh pagoda architecture is that it appears in a dark brown dome with a curved tail of a phoenix, unlike the Chinese temples. The decoration of the pagoda is also marked by the famous traditional trade villages in Vietnam.
3. Huong Pagoda in Hanoi
Huong Pagoda is a saying way of folk, in fact, Huong Pagoda is a cultural and religious complex of Vietnam including dozens of Buddhist temples, some god temples. The main pagoda is Trong Pagoda, which is not an artificial construction but a natural rock cave named Huong Tich. The pagoda was built at the end of 17th century. The landscape of Huong pagoda is beautiful and charming. Every year, from 6 January to the end of the 3rd lunar month, millions of visitors come here for sightseeing and praying.
4. Thien Mu Pagoda in Thua Thien – Hue
Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu Pagoda, is an ancient pagoda located in Ha Khe Hill, on the left bank of the Huong River, about 5 km west of the center of Hue City (Vietnam). Thien Mu Pagoda was officially established by Lord Nguyen Hoang – the first Lord of 9 Nguyen Lords in 1601. The highlight of Thien Mu Pagoda is Phuoc Duyen Tower and a big bell. Besides, This place still saves the Supper Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc’s car that has remained after he had killed himself with fire in 1963 to oppose the Ngo Dinh Diem regime.
5. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City
Viet Nam has 2 pagodas named Vinh Nghiem, one in North, the other in South. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is located on a spacious campus, about 6000 m2, beside Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was started building in 1964 and finished in 1971 under the lead of the two Superior Buddhist Monks: Thich Tam Giac and Thich Thanh Kiem coming from North Vietnam. This is one of the typical pagodas of Vietnamese Buddhist architecture in the 20th century in Vietnam. The highlights of the pagoda are Avalokiteśvara tower, Vinh Nghiem tower, Avalokiteśvara statue, big bell, and large comfortable space.
6. Xa Loi Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City
Xa Loi Pagoda is located on the corner of Su Thien Chieu street and Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street. The pagoda has 2 gates: the main gate looks out Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street and the side gate looks out Su Thien Chieu. The pagoda was starting constructing on August 5th1956, the First Republic of Vietnam in South and completed on May 2nd, 1958. The pagoda was built to worship the bone of the Buddha. The Pagoda is designed according to modern architectural style but still has traditional architectural character.
The pagoda was the headquarters of the Nam Viet Buddhist Association from 1951 until 1981. From 1964 to 1966, the pagoda was also the teaching base of the Van Hanh University. From 1981 to May 1993, the temple was the headquarters of Buddhist Association of Vietnam (Office II). This place witnessed some historical events struggling against policy suppressing religion of Ngo Diem regime in South Vietnam before.
7. Hoang Phap Pagoda in Ba Ria – Vung Tau
Hoang Phap Pagoda has an area of 6ha and is located in Tan Hiep Commune, Hoc Mon District, Ho Chi Minh City. The Pagoda has existed for over a half-century now. IT is not only beautiful about the landscape but also beautiful about the morality of the founder. Pagoda is also the place attracting the Buddhists in Saigon and nearby regions. Besides, every year Hoang Phap Pagoda organizes training courses for adults and students in order to develop their mentality and physicality. Each course has thousands of people attending. The pagoda has arranged scientifically from eating drinking, taking a rest, studying doctrine to meditating. Nowadays, Hoang Phap pagoda is considered the biggest Buddhist training studying Center in Vietnam.
8. Dai Tong Lam Pagoda in Ba Ria – Vung Tau
Dai Tong Lam Pagoda (Full name is Van Phat Quang Dai Tong Lam Pagoda) located in Quang Phu Hamlet, Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province is one of the famous pagodas in Vietnam. The pagoda has a very large space (100 ha) and has so many green trees, bonsais, and flowers. Dai Tung Lam Pagoda has 2 Buddha Hall: a small one and a new one.
The small Buddha Hall was built in 1958 and restored in 1982 having the area of 112m2 (The width of 7m, the length of 16m). The big Buddha Hall was started building in 2002 with the length of 91m, the width of 46m. The big Buddha Hall has 2 floors in which there are 9 statues made from granite. Around walls is designed 10,000 small statues of Buddhas. The big Buddha’s Temple was predicated record by Vietnamese Record Book Center on 02-01-2006: The biggest Buddha Hall in Vietnam and on 31-5-2007: The pagoda having the most statues in Vietnam. In front of the Big Buddha Hall is the statue of Maitreya. The statue is made from the monolith granite took from Mountain Cam Ranh (Khanh Hoa). The statue is 40 tons heavy, 5.1 m high and finished in 2002. The statue was predicated record by Vietnamese record book Center on 31-5-2007.
9. Doi Pagoda in Soc Trang
Bat Pagoda (Vietnamese: Chùa Dơi) is a beautiful pagoda and is the only Khmer pagoda worshipping Shakyamuni Buddha in Soc Trang Provine. It is called Bat Pagoda because the Pagoda campus is the place where there are very many bats living.
The highlight of the pagoda is bat flocks. Around the pagoda is a forest with mainly hopea odorata trees and dipterocarpaceae trees in which there are ten thousands of bats living. Every late in the afternoon, they rush back to the pagoda yard cover whole sky. The monks here think that rushing back to the pagoda is a good thing for the pagoda, so they have protected bat flocks actively. The bats in the pagoda are of big bat kind, the weight of from 1kg to 1.5kg and the width of the wing of from 1m to 1.5m. They have 2 colors – dark yellow and black.
10. Vam Ray Pagoda in Tra Vinh
Vam Ray Pagoda is the biggest Primitive Buddhist pagoda in Vietnam. The pagoda is built according to Angkor architectural style. It is located in Vam Ray Hamlet, Ham Tan Commune, Tra Cu District, Tra Vinh Province. It has existed for over 600 years. To conserve the relic, Mr. Tram Be – a Buddhist of the pagoda financed to restore and build newly for 3 years with a total expenditure of one million dollars. The highlight of Vam Ray Pagoda is the Buddha statue going to the nirvana with the length of 54m put on a base as a long two-floor building. Whole statue and base are painted yellow.
Temporarily leaving the noisy and busy city, going to a church or a pagoda with spacious space, green trees, shade, standing in front of the statue of the Christ or the Buddha with compassion face, we will feel ourselves living in the heaven or in the nirvana.