Historic Site of Yen Tu

   The area of Yen Tu is made up of a system of pagodas, shrines, towers and forests, belonging to the village of Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi Town. It is about 40km from Ha Long City and 14km from Uong Bi Town.

   Situated within the immense arched mountain range of north-eastern Viet Nam, Yen Tu Mountain bears at its peak the Dong Pagoda: at an altitude of 1,068m above sea level. The beauty of Yen Tu consists in the majesty of its mountains mingling with the ancient and solemn quietness of its pagodas, shrines and towers.

   Under the Ly Dynasty, Yen Tu held the Phu Van Pagoda with Yen Ky Sinh as its warden. However, Yen Tu only really became a centre of Buddhism when King Tran Nhan Tong surrendered his throne to establish a Buddhist sect called Thien Truc Lam. He ordered the construction of close to 100 buildings of various sizes on Yen Tu Mountain. After his death, his successor, Phap Loa Dong Kim Cuong (1284 – 1330), ordered the building of 800 pagodas, shrines and towers throughout the country.

   During the Le and Nguyen Dynasties, Yen Tu became the focal point of Vietnamese Buddhism and was often subject to restoration. Consequently, Yen Tu conjugates different styles from various historic periods, visible in the many different designs and decorations that ornate its constructions.

   You can get to Hoa Yen Pagoda at the altitude of 534m by the cable car system recently put into operation and will see on this peak two 700-year-old frangipane trees. From there you will continue walking up stairs to pagodas of minor note lined up along the path leading to Dong Pagoda. There you will feel like walking on clouds. If the weather is agreeable, from this summit you can admire the dramatic landscape of the northeast of Viet Nam.

   In spring, Yen Tu attracts a large number of tourists going on pilgrimage and sightseeing. Yen Tu Festival begins on the 10th day of the first lunar month and lasts until the end of third lunar month.

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