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    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year


    This Vietnamese saying goes “You may be charitable and lead a religious life for a hundred years, but if you haven’t made it to Yen Tu, you haven’t reached the highest religious bliss".

    Yen Tu, Buddhist capital of Vietnam, is famous for its beautiful landscapes, historical relics and ancient pagodas thus making it uniquely positioned in the hearts of the Vietnamese. Situated within the majestic arched mountain range of north-eastern Vietnam, Yen Tu Mountain in northern coastal Quang Ninh Province bears at its peak the Dong Pagoda. At an altitude of 1,068m above sea level, the breathless climb leads one higher and higher till you find yourself at the top in the pristine of white cloud surroundings. The journey seems to gives one the feeling of a stairway to heavens – away from worries of the world, a peace of mind and heart.  

    So, Tourists should not miss one of Vietnam Popular Destinations like this place, especially in festival which occurs every spring from the tenth day of the first month to the third month of Lunar New Year. In spring and summer many pilgrims go to Yen Tu to pay homage to Buddha. Yen Tu, nestled in the middle of ancient pine trees is a special place, enjoying a deep stillness that allows visitors to forget about their daily cares. From Hanoi, it is a 115 kilometers drive to Quang Ninh Province, passing Uong Bi District, then turning onto Vang Danh Street for 9 more kilometers, and then turning left to the street leading to the region. And Today VietNam Typical Tours takes you on a tour of Yen Tu.

    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year
    According to historical books, about 1,000 years ago Yen Tu was considered “the fourth blessing land of Giao Chau” and “in the third year of Tu Duc’s reign, Yen Tu Mountain was listed in the book of well known beautiful places”.Because of its mystic beauty and sacredness, Yen Tu was chosen by Vietnamese Buddhists as their place for prayer. Before Christ (B.C), An Ky Sinh (Yen Ky Sinh) went there to practice his religion and reached the peak of the mountain. After that, generations of Vietnamese kept coming to Yen Tu to practice Buddhism and build pagodas, towers and other types of constructions.The Tran dynasty especially invested in an architectural complex of large scale pagoda temples in this area. This was implemented by King Tran Thai Tong (Tran Canh) 

    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year

    Yen Tu is also regarded as an ecological museum. Next to the complex of pagodas, temples and towers are forests filled with pine  bamboo and apricots trees. Along the way, architectural masterpieces can be seen in different ways: one might be hidden in the old forest, another is situated obviously in a wide open space and the next would be hidden by the clouds. At the top of Yen Tu, visitors can look down to the East and enjoy Ha Long Bay with thousands of stone islands forming a sort of diamond necklace; or they can look to the South and observe Hai Phong city along with the Da Bac and Bach Dang rivers flowing gently like a sparkling ribbon. To the West they can look over the green fields of Hai Duong and Bac Ninh, or to the North they can oberve endless ranges of mountains. Every year, the Yen Tu festival begins on the 10th day of the first lunar month and takes place throughout the three months of spring.
    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year

    In the past, tourists to Yen Tu had to climb the six-kilometer track, on steps made from rock, through the bamboo and pine tree forest leading to Yen Tu. Today they have the option of going by cable car, which has been operating since 2002, which will carry tourists to the Hoa Yen pagoda, and from there they can walk to visit other landscapes in the region. The cable car makes its stop at Hoa Yen Pagoda from which you can continue to explore the sights and hike up to the peak. However, most pilgrims if they are able to, including many old women over 80 years of age, will choose to walk as they believe that taking the challenging path up is a way of expressing their sincerity to Buddha.

    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year

    According to historical books, about 1,000 years ago Yen Tu was considered “the fourth blessing land of Giao Chau” and “in the third year of Tu Duc’s reign, Yen Tu Mountain was listed in the book of well known beautiful places”.
    Because of its mystic beauty and sacredness, Yen Tu was chosen by Vietnamese Buddhists as their place for prayer. Before Christ (B.C), An Ky Sinh (Yen Ky Sinh) went there to practice his religion and reached the peak of the mountain. After that, generations of Vietnamese kept coming to Yen Tu to practice Buddhism and build pagodas, towers and other types of constructions. The Tran dynasty especially invested in an architectural complex of large scale pagoda temples in this area. This was implemented by King Tran Thai Tong (Tran Canh).

    The first stop is Suoi Tam (Bathing Brook), where King Tran washed off the filth of his earthly life symbolically before embarking on his life as a disciple of the Buddha. Nearby is a pagoda called Cam Thuc (Fasting) where the king was said to have had his first vegetarian meal of plain rice cooked with water from the streams and vegetables gathered on the spot.

    Next you will come to the Giai Oan (Vindication) Stream. Legend has it that as many as 100 of the imperial concubines tried to convince the King to return to the secular life but failed and thus drowned themselves in the stream. In order to give the wandering souls a home and a place for others to remember them by, the king built the Giai Oan Pagoda on the site.

    Yen Tu Pagoda - One of the famous destinations in the Lunar New Year

    And the next stops being the Ngoc (Jade) Mount and Hoa Yen Pagoda. On the way climbing up the mountain peak, Hue Quang Tower Garden, which is made of marble, features King Tran Nhan Tong in a meditative pose. In 2015, some of the towers inside Hue Quang Tower Garden were restored in a national scale project, but the ancient look is well maintained.

    On the way to Dong Pagoda, which is the highest pagoda in Yen Tu, there are more than 20,000 constructions with small and large relics. Near Hoa Yen Pagoda is a street called Tung (pine tree) street because it has two rows of ancient pine trees, dating back 600 to 700 years.  Passing this street, tourists will see an ancient rock tower, To Tower, rising to the mountain with the name “Dragon’s Forehead”. A short distance from To Tower is Ngu Doi waterfall. The more adventurous can go up 800 meters to visit Bao Sai Pagoda, one of the earliest pagodas here. And going even higher brings visitors to the Vong Phu stone, which resembles a mother embracing a child, standing out from the view of forests and mountains. The last stop is Dong Pagoda on the Peak of Yen Tu Mountain, it also called Bronze Pagoda, is on the top of the Yen Tu Mountain, at 1068m above sea level. The peaceful and quiet spirit sets this historic site apart from others in Uong Bi city. Dong Pagoda has been rebuilt at a cost of more than VND21bil. The copper pagoda is 20 meters square in area with a height of 3, 35 meters.


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