A pilgrimage to Tay Thien Pagoda on the hill of Thach Ban in Tam Dao District, Vinh Phuc Province is recommended for those wishing to find inner peace. It is a national historical and cultural heritage site recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 1991.
The site covers around 148 hectares in a biosphere of nearly 500 plants and 300 species of wildlife. At Tay Thien, tourists can experience four seasons within a day, including spring breeze at sunrise, warm summer sunlight at noon, pleasant autumn atmosphere in afternoon and cold air at night.
Truc Lam Tay Thien, one of the biggest monasteries in Vietnam, is located next to the ancient Tay Thien Pagoda, a cradle of Buddhism in the country.
The Great Precious Tower, a spectacular piece of architectural art of Buddhism, is on the left of Tam Quan Gate leading to the Tay Thien site. The three-storey tower is 37 meters tall. In Buddhism, the tower is important as it contains the spirit of enlightenment and five elements of peacefulness, namely earth, water, wind, fire and air.
The next destination in the area is Thong or Trinh Temple, an entrance to Thuong (top) Temple on the mountain’s peak. The temple was built in 1998 on the foundation of an old pagoda overlooking an imposing banyan tree with a huge root. The temple has four stone steles established in 1723 and a bell made in 1842 and a bronze plague and lacquered boards and parallel sentences. Next to Thong Temple is Cau Temple where people can come to pray for wealth, luck, prosperity and longevity and blessings for marriage and pregnancy.
Other tourist attractions at the site are Co Temple, Giai Oan stream, and Tay Thien zen chamber. On the peak of Thach Ban Mountain, people can have a panoramic view of Tam Dao mountains and forests, and enjoy fresh air.
Tourists should take a cable car ride to get to the site quickly. A return ticket costs VND200,000 per adult and VND140,000 per child. The price of a one-way trip is VND130,000 per adult and VND80,000 per child.
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