Contemplating the beginning of spring and worshipping the Buddha to wish for New Year’s peace is a beautiful and typical spiritual culture in Vietnamese tradition. Besides the familiar spiritual destinations, there are spectacular spots located in the mountains that not many people know about.
The famous Perfume Pagoda
Perfume pagoda is located in Hương Sơn Commune, Mỹ Đức District, Hà Nội. This pagoda has long been a place for millions of Vietnamese people to visit in the first days of the Lunar New Year. Every year, the Perfume Pagoda festival takes place from January 6 to the end of March in the lunar month, attracting many visitors.
When arriving at the famous landscape of the Perfume Pagoda, visitors will be able to take a boat along the Yến stream to go to "the realm of the Buddha".
Visiting Perfume pagoda, people have the chance to visit 18 temples and pagodas. Every year, travelling to the Perfume Pagoda has become a habit of Vietnamese people, especially those living in the North.
Sun World Fansipan Legend spiritual architecture
Located on Fansipan summit at 3,143m, this is the highest spiritual cultural complex in Việt Nam. In order to reach this complex, visitors will experience an exciting cable car journey, passing through the vast green forests of the beautiful Mường Hoa valley, before making a pilgrimage to the Buddha’s realm on the top.
Stepping out of the cable car station, through the cloudy yard is the Vọng Lĩnh Cao Đài, walking over the steep stone steps to Thanh Vân Đắc Lộ - which is described as ‘heaven’s gate’.
From Vọng Lĩnh Cao Đài, visitors will go through ‘heaven’s gate’ Thanh Vân Đắc Lộ to arrive at Bích Vân Thiền Tự at a height of 2,000 metres.
Then follow the Arhat road, where 18 Arhat statues measuring 2.5 metres tall are placed, under the hundred-year-old rhododendron roots, as beautiful as the road to the magical Buddha realm…
… to reach the Great Amitabha Buddha Statue made of bronze and standing 21.5m high. Majestic on the great peak and directing a compassionate gaze towards humanity.
The most spectacular among the spiritual works in Fansipan is perhaps Kim Sơn Bảo Thắng Tự complex. In front of Kim Sơn Bảo Thắng Tự is the place of worshipping Buddha, behind is the worship of the Holy. At the centre of Kim Sơn Bảo Thắng Tự is Đại Hùng Bảo Điện. This place gathers many Buddha statues created by famous Vietnamese artisans.
Every year, there is a Spring Festival of Opening Fansipan Heaven’s Gate, taking place from the beginning of the first lunar month.
At this time, at the spiritual complex on Fansipan Mount, a peace ceremony takes place, giving mantras to receive the fullness of virtue and wisdom. Festive activities feature the colours of the northwest.
Yên Tử mountain
Referring to spiritual places, it is impossible to ignore the Buddhist capital of Việt Nam - Yên Tử spiritual complex, especially the scenic area in Eastern Yên Tử (Uông Bí, Quảng Ninh). This famous architectural complex consists of many temples, statues and towers interspersed with majestic natural landscapes. The highest peak is Yên Tử mountain at a height of 1,068m above sea level.
Yên Tử spiritual complex stretches from the foot of the mountain to Yên Tử peak, originating from Giải Oan stream, going up to Lò Rèn slope to Hoa Yên pagoda, then a series of landscapes such as Một Mái Pagoda, Bảo Sái Pagoda, Vân Tiêu Pagoda and An Kỳ stone statue.
To reach this scenic complex, visitors can choose to take a cable car from Giải Oan Pagoda to Hoa Yên Pagoda, and then take a cable car to heaven’s gate (Đồng Pagoda) or take a 6km-long road reinforced with thousands of stone steps through the green pine forest to Buddha’s door.
On the highest peak of Yên Tử is Đồng Pagoda, emerging as a giant lotus flower in the midst of the cloudy sky. The architecture, pattern and motifs of the temple are exquisitely decorated, bearing a characteristic style of the Trần dynasty.
In particular, Yên Tử relics also possess a 15m-high statue of King Trần Nhân Tông, weighing 138 tonnes, located on An Kỳ Sinh peak. Under the sunshine, the golden statue shines with sparkling light.