Da Nang – a must-visit destination in Vietnam is famous for its Han River with a unique set of well-designed bridges, stunning My Khe beach, beautiful natural landscape and its distinctive local cuisines. Instead of having a peaceful walk on the white sandy beach, enjoying fresh cool sea breeze or satisfying our appetite with delicious local dishes; however, today I will take you to three famous pagodas in Da Nang while visiting three main attractions of the city. These three pagodas interestingly have the same name – Linh Ung, located in Son Tra Peninsula, on the Marble Mountain and on Ba Na mountain. So, let’s start our journey!
1. Linh Ung pagoda on Marble Mountains
The first stop is Linh Ung pagoda on Marble Mountains – the oldest one among three, which was first built more than 200 years ago at the time of King Le Hien Tong.
The pagoda is located on the eastern side of Thuy Son (Water Mountain) – the most famous mountain of the Marble Mountains, which is about 8 km southeast of Da Nang city center. Climbing up 108 steps from the east gate or 156 steps from the west gate to this pagoda is a should-try. Alternatively, elevator service for VND 20,000 is available for those with physical disabilities. Inside the main sanctuary, there are three Buddha statues: Sakyamuni in the middle, Maitreya on the right and Amitabha on the left. It also has a 7-level tower named Xa Loi Thap (Relics Tower) built in 1977. Xa Loi Thap has 200 stone statues of Visvabhadhra Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Ksitigartha Bodhisattva, and the eighteen arhats, which was recognised as the relics tower has the most stone statues in Viet Nam.
Was destroyed by the wars and natural disasters, Linh Ung pagoda has been changed and re-built many times. But its historical and cultural values remain unchanged. If you are lucky to be in Da Nang on 19th of the second lunar month (normally in March), do not miss out Quan The Am festival (the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva festival), which is annually celebrated to show respect for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and pray for peace, prosperity and happiness for the nation.
Not just for this pagoda, Marble Mountains is a well-known pilgrimage site with a number of pagodas and temples which hold great historical and cultural values, especially traditional Vietnamese pagoda architecture and Vietnamese Buddhist culture, waiting for you to discover. Moreover, you can also explore Non Nuoc village – the stone village located on the foot of mountains, where locals create exquisite stone sculptures by their skillful hands and experience passed down from generation to generation.
2. Linh Ung pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula
Leaving Linh Ung pagoda on Marble Mountains, taking a ride on Da Nang’s most beautiful road to Son Tra Peninsula with verdant jungles and tranquil atmosphere, we head to second Linh Ung Pagoda.
Linh Ung pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula is the biggest pagoda among three and one of the most attractive destinations in Da Nang for both locals and tourists. It is about 15 km from the city center to the northeast.
The most striking part of this pagoda is a white Lady Buddha statue leaning on the mountain, facing the sea, that can be seen from any place in the city. The Lady Buddha (Guanyin) Statue – the Buddha of Mercy is a white statue with 67 m in height built on the top of the lotus-shaped base, which is considered as the highest Buddha statue in Vietnam. Especially, there are 17 floors within the statue and each floor has 21 Buddha statues with different shapes, facial expression and posture. Most of Da Nang people believe that Lady Buddha is kindly looking after and protecting the city from storms and fisherman during their rough passage.
Not just for worshipping and praying, Linh Ung pagoda offers the best panoramic view of the city with vast ocean, blue sky and mesmerizingly white sandy beach or the city shimmering at night.
Having a day tour to Son Tra Peninsula with motorcycling or biking on the winding road with the verdant jungle on the left and the vast ocean on the right side, enjoying the fresh and tranquil atmosphere of the primitive forest and visiting Linh Ung pagoda are the thing you surely should not miss in Da Nang.
3. Linh Ung pagoda on Ba Na Mountain
The last one is Linh Ung pagoda built on Ba Na mountain on 6th March 2004 at the height of 1400 m, which is the highest pagoda among the three. This pagoda is a part of Ba Na Hills, which is the top attraction in Da Nang with its famous cable cars above the primary forest and fascinating Golden Bridge. So this is the right spot for you to stay away from the crowd in Ba Na Hills, calm yourself and seek the peace of mind in harmony with nature.
Located on the eastern side of Ba Na mountain, this pagoda is an excellent place for you to have a spectacular panoramic view of the whole city, Da Nang Bay, coastline with stunning white sandy beaches stretching from Hai Van Pass to Marble Mountain. And of course, you can see Lady Buddha Statue.
There is a pine tree with three different types of leaves, which is in the Red List of Threatened Trees in Vietnam, planted in front of the large stone yard. What is more appealing about this pagoda is a concrete statue of Sakyamuni Buddha with 27 m in height meditating on 6m high lotus-shaped base, which was crafted a story about the 8 stage of the Buddha’s life.
So, that’s enough for today. I hope that you are enjoying today journey with me. And these three Linh Ung pagodas should be given a try when you are in Danang. I am sure there will be more interesting stories and things about these places that are waiting for you to explore. And I am more than happy to be your guide on your journey.