Besides Ong Bon Pagoda and Ba Thien Hau My Xuyen Pagoda, Soc Trang also has another beautiful and famous Chinese pagoda called La Han Pagoda. This Chinese pagoda has an ancient and majestic beauty like a massive castle on the land of the Mekong Delta river, where indigenous people often come to make pilgrimages and pray for peace, luck, and fortune.
General information of La Han Pagoda
La Han (Vietnamese: La Hán; English means Arhat) Pagoda located at 131 Dien Bien Phu Street, Cau Den Hamlet, Ward 8, Soc Trang City. This is one of the pagodas in Soc Trang that possesses an extremely unique architecture with spacious space and green grounds, very suitable for people to visit and make pilgrimages on full moon occasions, major holidays or festivals.
This pagoda was built by the Chinese community living in Soc Trang to provide a sacred place for indigenous residents as well as Buddhists to visit and pray for luck, peace, favorable weather and happy life.
According to remaining records, La Han Pagoda was built in 1952 and managed by Chinese people in Chaozhou region. Initially, this place was just a simple thatched house with paneled walls to worship Buddhas, the most prominent of which were the images of 18 Arhats. For that reason, gradually, the pagoda was often called by people in the area after the Buddha statues, so it got its current name.
Around 1956, La Han Pagoda was severely damaged by a storm. After that, local people contributed their efforts to rebuild the pagoda with wood and bricks. By 1990, La Han Pagoda was completely built, becoming much more spacious and solid thanks to the contributions of Buddhists and people everywhere.
What’s an unique at La Han Pagoda?
Equally famous as Ong Bon Pagoda and Ba Thien Hau Pagoda, the ancient La Han Pagoda has beautiful harmonious architecture, pure and elegant scenery amidst a spacious, cool space.
Overall, the pagoda is built into 2 separate floors with 4 overlapping roof systems. Especially on each corner of the roof, there are decorative patterns according to the traditional artistic architecture of the Chinese people. The upper floor worships Shakyamuni Buddha, Eighteen Arhats, Daode Tianzun and Bodhisattvas.
The main worship space of the pagoda is the front room of the upper floor. In the most solemn position is the “Dai Hung treasure hall” worshiping Shakyamuni Buddha and 18 Arhats standing on both sides.
The Buddha statues here are carefully arranged, exuding the majestic beauty of the place of practice and meditation. The downstairs area worships Mazu; some other gods and fairies, solemnly decorates, making anyone who admires it feel the solemnity and sacredness inside the ground.
And yet, the ancient La Han Pagoda in Soc Trang also has a special highlight in the design of the walls. This area is not painted in the traditional yellow color but is built of stone, it gives the impression of solidity and grandeur. That’s why, if viewed from afar, the pagoda looks exactly like a fairy tale castle located in the middle of the peaceful and prosperous.
Particularly, the front yard of the pagoda is a statue of Guanyin Buddha. There are also scenes and decorations that add to the poetic beauty of the pagoda such as: lotus pond, mountain, turtle lake with communal house. Besides, the system of details and items such as precious bowl lamps, pair of unicorn pearls, and statues of flying dragons and dancing phoenixes. Specifically, in the pagoda grounds, on the left side is a phoenix bird shaped by combining natural stones and colored stones, the tail is made of colored stones spreading out to form a stone niche for worship Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
Above are engraved words “Putuo Mountain” – one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism. On the right is a giant dragon shaped with reinforced cement but decorated with very unique and sophisticated stone pieces.
Next to it is a pavilion with eight-sided model that the ancient Chinese built for passers to stop by…
All contribute to creating one of the famous landscapes of Soc Trang. The pagoda has a large campus, with many unique architectural styles, especially the image of “Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle, Phoenix” shown next to a tower mountain.
In the pagoda grounds, there is also an architectural work simulating the Great Wall that has beautified the campus more beautifully and majestically along with lakes planted with many lotus flowers…
It can be said that the pagoda space is very airy thanks to the large grounds. When traveling to Soc Trang and visiting La Han pagoda, remember to walk in the area in front of the courtyard and then enter the main hall to pray for peace and luck. This is truly a great place for tourists from all over to visit and make pilgrimages during the Spring Festival holidays.
Especially on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the pagoda often organizes a procession of lanterns, treasure towers, and blessed cakes with the meaning of bringing good things to every home and encouraging the spirit of hard work throughout the year. And on the Ghost Festival (7th lunar month), the pagoda also organizes distribution to poor local households.
- Best for: solo, family, student, Buddhist…
- Entrance: Free
- Tourist spots nearby: Four Faces Pagoda, Bat Pagoda, Kh’Leang Pagoda, Chen Kieu Pagoda, Nga Nam Floating Market, Khmer Museum, Clay Pagoda, Som Rong Pagoda…
Source: collected by An