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Tay Phuong Pagoda - Pagoda of the West in Vietnam
8.00 AM leave Hanoi, The journey to Thay and Thay Phuong Pagodas takes you past what could be called typical Vietnamese village life. See the rice fields medieval looking villages and farming techniques. Tay Phuong Pagoda is the first one of the trip.
This busy Buddhist Pagoda is located 38kms west of Hanoi and there is a small entrance fee. It is lies just to the west, offers beautiful architecture and ancient and unique sculptures.
It was one of the first pagodas built in Vietnam. See the dragons and demons carved into the wooden roof. Visitor will climb up 237 well worn steps to reach the temple - all the way up there are stalls selling this and that. This small temple perched on the hillside was originally built in the 8th century and contains a collection of over 70 finely carved statues made of jack fruit wood.
The statues here are represent the re-incarnation of Buddha, Confucious and Buddhist Saints which are all depicted in meditation poses. There are also fine carvings of flowers and of mythical animals.
While the large bell was cast in 1796 and the temple - with it's elegant sweeping eves and double tiered roof - is beautifully decorated. On the far side of the temple steps lead way down to more temple buildings and courtyards.
Thay Pagoda - Masters Pagoda or Pagoda of Heavenly Blessing
This Vietnamese buddhist pagoda is located arond 32kms west of central Hanoi. Fronted by a lake and with a gorgeous backdrop of limestone crags, the temple is therefore situated in a beautiful setting.
Thay Pagoda was founded during the reign of King Ly Nham Tong (1072-1127) and is dedicated to Tu Dao Hanh who was a 12th century monk and a water puppeteer.
The pagoda contains over 100 statues including two of the largest in Vietnam - these 17th century giants are made of clay and paper mache and weigh more than 1000kgs each. Two covered bridges in front of the pagoda were built in 1602 and are dedicated to the Sun and Moon.
Tram Gian Pagoda
We make a stop for a picnic-lunch in the temple gardens or around the pagoda itself. Hence traveling south to Tram Gian Pagoda, dating from the 12th century the site offers incredible views of the surrounding countryside.
Tram Gian, meaning 100 rooms, was once a large temple complex and is now a popular pilgrimage site. This large and peaceful pagoda is situated on a hillside amongst large pine trees and is located around 25kms from Hanoi. There are a lot of steps to climb to get up to the Pagoda - passing several shrines on the way.
The original Pagoda was built during the reign of King Ly Cao Tong (1173-1210) who was the 7th king of the Ly Dynasty, The buildings are quite enclosed with low roofed buildings around a courtyard and inside the various buildings everything is almost pitch black.
Arrive in Hanoi around 4PM.
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Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your need, e.g.accommodation, tour length...