Thay Pagoda - an interesting attraction to visit in Hanoi

Thay Pagoda - an interesting attraction to visit in Hanoi

Trip to Thay pagoda offers you a great sense of local Buddhism belief & practices, a chance to enjoy the pagoda's ancient architecture as well as its surounding landscapes of mountains & caves.Let's come and ecperience...!

Thay Pagoda - an interesting attraction worth your visit in Hanoi

Last Sunday morning, I did a trip to Thay Pagoda by motorbike.In general,I love this pagoda very much because of the myths that people rumored about a famous monk Tu Dao Hanh with his reincarnation in real life as well as the papoga’s beautiful scenery & its ancient architectures.

Thay Pagoda Nguyet Tien Bridge

Long Tri Lake & Nguyet Tien Bridge

The myths and legends of famous monk Tu Dao Hanh in Thay Pagoda

The monk Tu Dao Hanh was born in 1072 under Ly dynasty.His life was attached with two famous pagodas in Hanoi : Lang Pagoda ( early time of his life) & Thay Pagoda ( his religious life & his death).On the date of lunar 7th March annually –the death day of the monk, both pagodas celebrated big festivals to pay tribute to him :

“ Remember the date of lunar 7th March.

People both take part in festivals in Lang & Thay pagoda”

His reputation did great memories in local people’s mind by the stories about his great magic and kindness. He travelled around the region helping people without asking for return. Finally, in order to lead his religious life profoundly, Tu Dao Hanh chose Sai Son mountain (its colloquial name is Thay mountain) to build up a small pagoda named Huong Hai (it was then changed into "Thầy" pagoda ). He passed away here in 1116,and coincidentally in that year, King Ly Than Tong was born. The myth that King Ly Than Tong was the afterlife of Tu Dao Hanh has been rumored from this event. You can view two famous statues of Tu Dao Hanh monk in Thay temple : one of his real body mummified, another one is said to be his afterlife of reincarmation-the King Ly Than Tong.

Beautiful ancient architectures & natural scenery in Thay Pagoda

Thay Pagoda is not only interesting by the myths, but also attracting for its ancient structures & natural beauty of mountains & caves.You will feel relaxed and be stunned by the perfect harmony of the surrounding landscapes and Vietnamese traditional architecture.

Thay Pagoda-High Temple

High Temple in Sai Son Mountain

On arrival, I bought an entrance ticket of 10.000 vnd, free walking around to get the general view of the pagoda. There are two main areas you can pay a visit : the lower pagoda- located in the foot of Sai Son mountain and the higher pagoda situated inside Sai Son mountain!

The lower pagoda ( main one) was built up in 12thcentury, on the foot of mountains, including three temples : front pagoda, middle pagoda & back pagoda, which are interconnected by the roof system.The outer part ( front pagoda) is a place for offerings & ceremonies; the middle part (middle pagoda) is a place for worship of Buddha; and finally the inner part ( back temple) is a place to worship the monk Tu Dao Hanh with his famous statutes:one of his real mummified body, another one is said to be his afterlife of reincarmation-the King Ly Than Tong.

Thay Pagoda1

Temple to worship gods

These fine wooden constructions are believed to be the head of the dragon.In front of them , there are a big lake called Long Tri (the dragon’s lake) and a big yard as the dragon’s jaw. From this yard, you can view Thuy Dinh- the oldest water house you can find for famous water pupet show (the art invented by the monk Tu Dao Hanh in 11th century) and wark through two small tiled bridges (built 400 years ago) on the left and right wing of Long Tri lake : Nhat Tien  & Nguyet Tien ( considered as the dragon’s beards).

Finish with a visit to the lower pagoda, we follow Nguyet Tien bridge and trek 250 steps up to the higher pagoda on Sai Son mountain to worship Buddha. Behind the pagoda, is Thanh Hoa cave, where Tu Dao Hanh did religious practices and passed away in 1116.Amazingly that you still can see the vestiges of footprints available on stones that locals try to touch for good luck & good health.On the cliff,there are many poems in Chinese carved and written by many poets of old times.On the top of the cave, standing a big banyan tree, whose roots drop down naturally as a screen to the cave’s door.

Thay pagoda-Thanh Hoa cave

Entrance to Thanh Hoa cave

If you like to do some more adventure, Cac Co limestone cave is a destination that you should spend time on discovering. Just from the high pagoda, you follow the steps along mountain side in 15 minutes to reach the cave's's entrance.Local people are famous with their saying : “the single girls should spend time visiting Cac Co cave, the single man should not forget Thay pagoda’s festival” as Cac Co cave was the place where men & women met and loved eachother.

The path leading to the cave is quite narrow, tight, slippery & dark, you need to use a torch to go inside (renting at the entrance).I must say it is worth paying a visit to this cave.The deeper you go inside, the more beautiful and surprised you will get thanks to its mystery and wonderful shapes of stalagmites & stalactites. Locals normally come here to praise for love & happiness for their family

How to get to Thay Pagoda?

Just 20km far from Hanoi center in the west , follow Lang-Hoa Lac highway until you view on the right a number of mountains jutting out from the farmland, likened to the body of a dragon, you just make a right turn about 2km to reach Thay temple (in Sai Son mountain, Quoc Oai district, Hanoi city)

Thay Pagoda- Entrance to high pagoda

The gate to the highr temple in Sai Son mountain

You can take part in our day tour to Thay pagoda & Duong Lam ancient village with private tourguide & car.If you do it on your own, you can get a motorbike or rent a private car with driver to Thầy Pagoda, Tay Phuong Pagoda, Van Phuc silk village & Duong Lam ancient village.It is a nice journey to enjoy peaceful villages, ancient architectures & friendliness of locals you meet on the way. In need of travel support, feel free to drop us emails to or contact us at +84.988451530 (whatsapp).We wish you an enjoyable trip to Thay pagoda

Need local support, please, let us know!

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