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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 Quintessence of Tonkin

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