Sun, 25 May 2014. Last updated Fri, 19 Oct 2018 16:00
In my trip to Nha Trang last summer, my friend took me to all famous attractions there from beautiful beaches, Vinpearland, to culinary streets that only local people knew. In the morning of the last day, he told me that he would show me a unique Nha Trang attraction which was totally different from modern attractions I had visited. It was Tu Van Pagoda.
We drove nearly hour to reach Tu Van Pagoda. Despite of being located rather far away from Nha Trang City, about 55 kilometers, the pagoda attracted a large number of tourists to visit here. The thing made me more surprise was that Tu Van Pagoda was a Buddhist pagoda but the number of tourist from the West where Catholic was the main religion overwhelmed the domestic tourists.
Entering the pagoda gate, I suddenly felt the tranquil atmosphere different from bustling streets in Nha Trang City. I had never ever seen so many Buddhist statues like that before. There were a huge number of statues of different Buddha, many of which I did not even know their names.
The architecture of the pagoda was truly amazing. For me, the most impressive work was Bao Tich Tower which had been built with coral stones, snail shells and pearl shells piled one another. It was said that Bao Tich was recognized as the highest tower in Vietnam. The tower had two floors which designed according to sophisticated architecture style. The upstairs was for worshiping Buddha, Bodhisattva Manjushri and Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. The downstairs was used as an attraction for tourist to visit and contemplate the beauty nature. The dome of the tower was patterned with multicolored shells which made it sparkling under the sunlight. Outside Bao Tich Tower was several pyramidal towers in which there was a statue of Budda: Buddha Sakyamuni, Amitabha, Bodhisattva, Buhhda Maitreya and so on. On top of each small tower was a smaller stupa. The entire tower was like a magnificent palace in the ocean but featured the ancient and peaceful beauty of a Buddhist place.
After visiting Bao Tich Tower, my friend and I continued exploring “18 floors in hell”. The special feature of this attraction was that all caves and stairs here were built of coral and seashells. The road to enter the “hell” was in the ground so it was narrow, winding and dark. There were sections so narrow that I had to crawl to go through. Along the path were signs to record crimes in earth and corresponding punishments in hell as a reminder for humankind to live benevolently.
The experience exploring the hell was also the last point in my trip to Tu Van Pagoda. After several days busy with a modern Nha Trang, Tu Van Pagoda helped me fell the calmness in my mind to continue new journeys in my future. If you have a chance to visit Nha Trang, let’s visit Tu Van Pagoda for unforgettable experiences.