Thích Ca Phật Đài is a famous Buddhist architectural complex not only within the coastal city of Vung Tau but also throughout the territory of Vietnam. The area divided into the following pagodas and the Buddha garden located on the northern slope of Big Mountain (núi Lớn). The beauty of this complex resides in the union of religious architecture with landscape. The campus is like a crescent moon divided into three levels in a pyramid shape, from 3m – 29m above sea level, attract not only pilgrims but also tourist come to visit and admire airy landscape from here.  

The pagodas in the campus of Thích Ca Phật Đài

There are a total of 3 pagodas located on the campus, which are Thien Lam, Ho Phap and Hoa Son Pagoda.Thien Lam Pagoda is the main one, located right at the entrance gate of the campus. From Tran Phu Street up the mountainside, the campus is divided into 3 levels: triple gates and flower garden at the lowest level, the second level includes a number of auxiliary works, the third level at the top includes Thien Lam pagoda and Buddha garden. Thien Lam Pagoda is a fairly simple, built around 1957, by a Vietnamese civil servant in the French colonial government to practice after retiring.

Thích Ca Phật Đài

The main hall of Thien Lam is simply decorated but still exudes solemnity. In the middle of the altar is a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha meditating (1.2 m high), with another small statue in front. On both sides, there are two statues of Shakyamuni Buddha holding alms bowls (1.2 m high). 

Main hall ò Thien Lam Pagoda

Second one is Ho Phap Pagoda, built in 1970, location next to the Dharma Protector Zen Hall.

Ho Phap Pagoda

And the last one is Hoa Son Pagoda was built in 1969 by the late Venerable Thich Hue Chon (1943 – 2019), basically still is a small, simple but elegant pagoda.

Buddha garden

The main statue of Gautama Buddha sitting on a large lotus blossom is the most prominent work in the garden. This white color statue was cast in reinforced concrete, surrounded with foliage, resembling a jungle, and heavily populated by birds. The statue has 11.6 meters high and can be seen from far away that why it has become a major tourist location in the city.

Thích Ca Phật Đài

Along the path from the main gate to the pagoda, there are many statues that depict important events in the life of the Gautama Buddha.

Near the top of the hill, there is a bodhi tree that was brought to Vietnam in 1960, by the Venerable Narada Maha Thera from Sri Lanka.

Thích Ca Phật Đài

Another attractive structure is the Octagonal tower with 19 meters high, surrounded by four large peaks in each direction, and inside placed 13 Buddha relics in a golden box. Each site contains soil taken from the four holiest sites of Buddhism in ancient India: Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar. The entrance to the stupa is decorated with a dragon image, flanked by a pair of lions on both sides.

Thích Ca Phật Đài

In the Buddha statue complex here, there is also a statue of Buddha entering Nirvana, 2.4 m high (from the shoulders down), 12.2 m long, placed on a 4.2 m high cement pedestal. In front, there are four statues of Bhikkhus with their hands clasped in reverence. Behind there are five statues of Bhikkhus sitting with their hands clasped facing the Buddha.

Thích Ca Phật Đài

The octagonal house is a work of elegant architecture, with a statue of Buddha sitting on a lotus flower at the top. Inside the octagonal house, there is an altar with statues of the first five Buddhist monks listening to a sermon in Sarnath. 

Thích Ca Phật Đài

Due to its perfect location, from Thích Ca Phật Đài, visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of Vũng Tàu city as well as Bến Đá port with countless ships and feel the fresh air of the sea.

Useful information

  • Location: 608 Trần Phú, Ward 5,  Vũng Tàu city.
  • Best for: Family, couple, solo
  • Entrance: Free
  • Opening Hours: Daily 04:00 – 18:00
  • Other tourist spots nearby: Nghinh Phong cape, Hồ Mây tourist area, Long Hải beach…

Source: collected by An

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