Situated in the Son Tra peninsula, Linh Ung – Bai But Pagoda is an attractive tourist destination and the biggest pagoda in the charming coastal city of Da Nang.
Unveiled in July 2010 after six years of construction, Linh Ung – Bai But pagoda features perfect harmony between the modern and traditional architectures of Vietnamese pagodas, especially in the three-entrance gate, the main chamber and the ancestors’ house. Tourists are also advised to spend their time admiring lively Buddha statues in the surrounding gardens as they illustrate fascinating myths and stories in Buddhism.
Walking through the Linh Ung pagoda’s main gate, you’re greeted by 18 large white stone statues representing the 18 Arhats, which are a popular subject in Buddhist art, with all of the human emotions of joy, anger, love and sadness.
The most prominent part of the pagoda complex is the highest statue of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (or the Goddess of Mercy) in the Southeast Asia at 67 metre high. Inside the statue, 21 small Buddha sculptures are arranged across 17 floors, from which tourists can look over to the boundless sea and primitive forest surrounding the pagoda. This exemplifies the “Phat Trung Huu Phat” architecture in Buddhism.
If you are lucky enough to meet and have a chat with the monks, they will tell you the many stories about the history of the pagoda. In the 19th century, the local living on the peninsula saw a Buddhist statue drifting downstream to the local beach. Considered this a good omen, they named the embankment where the statue ran aground “Bai But”, which means “Buddha’s sanctuary on earth”, and built a small pagoda there. This is also the location of Linh Ung Pagoda nowadays.
Unlike other pagodas in Vietnam, tourists can visit Linh Ung Pagoda in the evening and enjoy a spectacular panorama view of Da Nang city.
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Article and photos by Architectureofbuddhism.com writer Sophia Doan.