Belong to the Central Coast of Vietnam, Hue is a popular destination among tourists who travel to Vietnam by cruise trip. This former imperial capital of Vietnam is home to many top attractions including the famous imperial city, royal tombs, as well as sacred temples religious sites. Known as one of the oldest and prestigious pagodas in Hue, Thien Mu pagoda is a must-see included in Hue Shore Excursion Tour
Situated atop Ha Khe Hill in Huong Long Ward about 6 kilometers from the city center, Thien Mu Pagoda offers spectacular views of the charming Perfume River. As its riverside location, it is ideal to reach the pagoda by a relaxing boat trip and see daily life along the riverbanks.
Originally found in 1601 by the first Nguyen Lord, Nguyen Hoang, who was the governor of Thuan Hoa province nowadays known as Hue, Thien Mu Pagoda and its features have been destroyed and rebuilt many times. As approaching the pagoda on the steep staircase, Phuoc Duyen Tower located in front of the pagoda would seize your attention first. The 21-meter high tower is visible from distance and considered an unofficial symbol of Hue city. Constructed under the reign of King Thieu Tri in 1884, this seven-storey octagonal tower is the most prominent structure in Thien Mu Pagoda. Inside the brick tower, there’s a spiral staircase leading to the highest storey where a gold Buddha statue was displayed. On either side of the tower, there are two small pavillions recording the architectural history of the tower and housing a giant bronze bell, known as Dai Hong Chung cast in 1710.
Passing the Tam Quan gate, you will see 12 wooden sculptures of fearsome temple guardians, and then crossing the courtyard to the middle area where Dai Hung Palace is located. The palace is the main sanctuary of Thien Mu pagoda and worships Maitreya Buddha, who has enormous ears to listen to all the sufferings of beings, a big paunch to tolerate inappropriate doings of the people, and a big mouth laughing generously. The palace also enshrines three Buddha statues which symbolize past, present, and future lives as well as various important relics.
Thien Mu Pagoda was also the home monastery of the monk Thich Quang Duc, who had burned himself in 1963, in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. The Austin car carried the monk to the intersection in Saigon where he self-immolated to death, is displayed in the building near the rear of the complex of the pagoda.
Besides admiring the typical traditional architecture works, visitors can enjoy the scenic landscape and gardens with bonsai, pine trees, and exquisite ponds in the pagoda, which bring a peaceful and calm feeling.
Coming to contemplate this prestigious Thien Mu pagoda is a thing you should not miss out, which is an integral part of our Hue Shore Excursion Tour exploring Hue ancient capital within other top highlights.