Tay Phuong Pagoda
The Tay Phuong Pagoda — aslo known as Sung Phuc Pagoda — was built in the 7th century, and has undergone several reconstructions since that time. The pagoda is at the top of a climb of 240 steps, but worth it for the view, peaceful surrounds and shade from centuries old trees.
What is unique about the Tay Phuong Pagoda is its wooden structure and tiles. Made from lacquered jackfruit wood, it is a masterpiece of wooden artisanship, with likenesses of monks that have been carved into wood in the 1800s. The roof is curved and decorated with dragons. The bricks were made in Bat Trang village and are unglazed. The round windows are symbols of Buddha, and the wooden pillars, altars and statues are placed on stones carved into the shape of lotus flowers.
The Pagoda is also the repository of a number of ancient and valuable wooden statues. Besides the 16 statues of Arhat, the Tay Phuong Pagoda also has 62 statues of other Buddhas. Each is red-lacquered and shows a different character, with a different expression.
For these reasons, the Tay Phuong Pagoda is a national treasure that should be both celebrated and conserved.
The Thay Pagoda is a Buddhist temple located at the foot of Sai Son Mountain, around 30 kilometres south-west of Hanoi. The pagoda, which is also known as Thien Phuc Tu pagoda, was built in 11th century during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong. The site is a drawcard for pilgrams — and also to a lesser extent tourists — because of its history, culture and beautiful landscape.READ MORE
Che Lam in Thach Xa Commune
The Tay Phuong Pagoda is not only famous for its stunning design and Arhat statues, but also for che lam made by the Thach Xa community. Even though there are many villages across Vietnam, Thach Xa is the most well known for Che Lam — a delicious kind of sweet porridge that was originally used to worship ancestors during Tet.READ MORE
Water puppetry's design in Phu Hoa village
According to village history, water puppetry orginated at the Thay Pagoda, where it was introduced by Tu Dao Hanh in the 11th century. The centuries old traditon still thrives in Phu Hoa, where them puppet guild — consisting of 20 members — meets to perform water puppetry in the annual village festival.READ MORE