Vung Tau


The pagoda street

Photo of Entry:  The pagoda street

At a glance, Phu My Town in Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province is just an ordinary southern urban settlement.

The dusty town lies along Highway 51 and is a jumbled mix of old and new houses.

Connecting Phu My Town with the Thi Vai Mountain is Van Hanh Street, and it is this 3.5 km long stretch of road, filled with hidden delights, that is the real draw in the area.

Van Hanh Street and its vicinity have changed a great deal in recent decades, but it still remains a peaceful boulevard.

The street is lined with gardens filled with cashew and eucalyptus trees, stretching out to the faraway mountains.

Hidden in the shade of these trees are more than 200 Buddhist pagodas and monasteries.

It is said that most of these constructions were built after the US-led war in Vietnam in 1975.

At that time, Van Hanh Street was a very remote area, with few inhabitants, making it the ideal location to build a religious temple.

The pagodas along Van Hanh Street are spacious and come in all shapes and sizes.

Modern architecture makes them comfortable places to either visit or reside in.

The deco-rations are lively and colorful with Bat Nha Pagoda having some of the most vivid decoration, with patternsof lotus flowers, daisies and dragons in bright colors.

All the pagodas enjoy a large area – some extending over an entire hill – and they are usually surrounded by flower or vegetable gardens, orchards and large yards.

Linh Buu Pagoda, at the beginning of the street, has a large garden and even the fence is covered with yellow flowers.

The garden at Pho Thien Pagoda is especially beautiful with many kinds of vegetables.

One can climb up to visit the pagoda on Thi Vai Mountain at the end of the street.

As well as the peaceful garden, the lotus pond makes this remote pagoda a favorite visiting place for locals and visitors, especially during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Often on your trip to pagodas, the monks will receive you with some homegrown fruits.

During the first and the middle of the lunar month, there will be vegetarian food offered to visitors.

Many pagodas on Van Hanh Street provide a home for orphaned children.

They are brought up and taught at the pagodas by the monks, and their laughter adds another element of serenity to these places.

The area around Van Hanh Street is still thinly populated but more people are relocating here in order to work at the Phu My Industrial Zone or provide services for such workers.

Meanwhile, new pagodas are still being added along the street.

To get to Van Hanh Street from Vung Tau, drive north-west along Highway 51 for about 40 km, until you see the Tan Thanh People's Committee Office on your left hand side.

Van Hanh Street lies opposite this building.

For those traveling from Ho Chi Minh City, travel for about 65 km towards Vung Tau, and the street will be on your left hand side, 200 meters before the Phu My Industrial Park.

Source ThanhnienNews

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