During my last month in Vietnam, I got an invite from the Relic Management Board of the Province of Bac Ninh to do a special project. The goal was to help promote some of their amazing cultural and historical places of interest like the Phat Tich Pagoda. During the creation of the project, I got to travel to different communes within the province and explore some of their most prized wonders.
The Phat Tich Pagoda
The Phat Tich Pagoda was built between the 7th and 10th centuries. The pagoda houses some of the country’s most important historical and cultural artifacts. Additionally, it is known as a national cultural and historical treasure. Aside from being the training ground for Buddhist monks, the pagoda was also where the kings of the Ly Dynasty often prayed and held their Buddhist ceremonies.
In 2007, a 3,000 ton, 27-meter high stone statue of Amitabha Buddha was built behind the pagoda. The statue is one of the largest stone statues in Southeast Asia and the first of its kind in Vietnam. It sits on top of the Mount of Buddha which is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Vietnam.
Getting to the giant Buddha, however, is no easy feat. You would have to walk up at least a hundred steps to get to the top of the Mount of Buddha. In this photo, you can see my guide Kim in her traditional Áo dài.
On our way to the statue, we walked past the pagoda garden where several multi-level stone pagodas stood. It was beautiful.
A stone carving sits on the ground near one of the stone pagodas in the garden. It would really be interesting if someone could tell me what this means.
Finally, we came upon a very tall multi-level pagoda at the foot of the Mount of Buddha.
A Gigantic Wonder
Then, several meters later, we were finally at the foot of the giant Buddha.
Here is a panoramic view of the giant Buddha together with the stone throne and the praying platform below it.
Surrounding the Mount of Buddha are rich open fields and farmlands.
The candle holders on the concrete barriers are shaped like the lotus flower – Vietnam’s national flower.
The backside of the stone statue shows the intricate details on the Buddha’s body which took several skilled workers to complete.
The multi-level pagoda at the foot of the mountain looks very pretty from this angle. Don’t you agree?
Below the statue, several shops rent out traditional Vietnamese and Korean costumes for tourists. A lot of tourists come here for pictorials wearing traditional clothes.
One final pose before calling it a day. 😀