Located on the side of The Big Mountain, Thien Lam Pagoda – where Theravada Buddhist temple is situated stands out with the Statue of Gautama Buddha Shakyamuni meditating. 

The gate faces Tran Phu Street and has a large campus with a garden of Buddha statues.

Around 1957, on this unspoiled mountainside, there was a small Thien Lam pagoda. In 1961, the Presectarian Buddhist Church encouraged Buddhists to donate money to build the temple. 

They thought the charming natural scenery and convenient geographical location suited worshipping activities.

More than a year later, in March 1963, the Theravada Buddhist temple project was completed. 

In 1989, The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy ranked the architectural complex a national monument.

The beauty of the temple complex is a smooth blend between the unique Buddhist architecture and the natural landscape available around the work. 

Theravada Buddhist temple

The campus of the Theravada Buddhist temple is like a crescent moon divided by three steps. 

It is about 3 meters to 29 meters in height. The lowest is Tam Quan and flower garden. 

The higher the antique house and rural houses. 

The highest is the Thien Lam Tu, and the Buddhist area, with many architectural and religious works.

The location of the Theravada Buddhist temple

Theravada Buddhist temple Is located at 608 Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province. 

The location of the Theravada Buddhist temple

Tran Phu street runs along Front Beach, so you only need to go in a straight line to find the famous temple. 

The architectural complex is on the Big Mountain’s northern slope with an area of up to 28 hectares.

The temple is opposite many prominent historical sites in Vung Tau, such as Maria pier and the Robert Taylor museum of worldwide arms. 

This place is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Ba Ria Vung Tau. It has been certified by The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy as a national historical and cultural relic.

Business hours:

Monday – Saturday: 5:00 – 10:00 and 14:00 – 20:00

Sunday: 5:30 – 10:00

Pathways to the Theravada Buddhist temple

Moving to the temple is relatively simple because the Theravada Buddhist temple is in the city center. Visitors can travel either way below:

Option 1: From the center of Vung Tau city, visitors move along Le Loi street, then continue on Tran Phu street to 608, you will see Thich Ca Phat Dai pagoda.

Option 2: From Vung Tau Front Beach, tourists turn to Tran Phu street, follow the coast, cross Dau beach, and enter the Ben Da area to reach Theravada Buddhist temple.

About the Architecture of Theravada Buddhist temple

The whole campus of the Theravada Buddhist temple has an area of ​​about 5 hectares. 

About the Architecture of Theravada Buddhist temple

The buildings in the pagoda are built on the hillside. They are divided into three levels according to a tower shape, respectively, from 3 m to 29 m above sea level.

Level 1 is the campus and green garden.

Level 2 is a residential area combined with a traditional exhibition house.

Level 3 is Thien Lam Tu and the Buddha site, including the following architectural works:

The first was a statue of Buddha when he was born, with one hand pointing to the sky and one pointing to the ground.

Next, is the image of the Buddha ordained with the Statue of Prince Siddhartha, who was going on practice with the White Horse and the servant Channa Xa Nac.

Following that, there is a statue of the Buddha, who attained enlightenment, sitting on a lotus throne. There are three jeweled relics of the Buddha. 

The statue sits on an octagonal cement platform 4.5 m high, 2 m high lotus, and 4 m in diameter. The Buddha statue is 5.1 m tall, and the monument is 11.6 m high. 

About the Architecture of Theravada Buddhist temple

Next to the figure of the Buddha transmitting the Dharma wheel sitting on a lotus, there were five great brothers, Kieu Tran Nhu Kondanna, sitting and watching sutras at the Sarnath.

Next is the statue of elephants and monkeys offering fruit to the Buddha.

About the Architecture of Theravada Buddhist temple

Then there is a 17 m high octagonal Buddha Relic Stupa, with a lotus bud on top. Inside are 13 Buddha relics donated by Venerable Narada Maha Thera from Ceylon. 

On the four sides, four significant peaks are placed inside, containing soil taken from the four sacred relics of the heart in India:

  • Lumbini garden, where Buddhism was founded.
  • Bodhgaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment.
  • Deer park, where the Buddha transmits the Dharma wheel 
  • The Sala Forest of Twin Life at Kushinagar, where the Buddha passed away.

Finally, there is a statue of Buddha entering extinction facing the West, 2.4 m high and 12.2 m long. Below the Buddha, nine bhikkhus are clasping their hands.

The Theravada Buddhist temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vung Tau. This place welcomes thousands of tourists worldwide to visit the pilgrimage annually.

Triple Gate

As soon as you step at the gate, visitors will see a stupa – a place to commemorate monk Giac Phap and the mandarin Le Quang Vinh. 

Triple Gate

The Triple Gate stands out with four solid square pillars. At the top are four familiar Buddhist symbols of reincarnation in the Buddhist legal circle. 

Eight spokes of the Middle Way and four knobs on the bottom represent the Four Noble Truths.

The Triple Gate is made from bottles, quite diverse in color and eye-catching even when viewed from afar.

Buddha statue garden

The garden of Buddha statues is very suitable for those who love history or Buddhism, with stories about the life of Gautama Buddha Shakyamuni from his birth to the time he entered Nirvana.

The Buddha’s birth statue depicts the story of the Buddha when he was born. 

He woke up and walked seven steps, each spreading a lotus flower. At the 7th step, he stood on a lotus flower and said, “Along heaven and Earth, I’m the one highest above.” 

On the other hand, the “Cat toc di tu” statue depicts the image of the Buddha going through 4 times of the royal palace with four different gates. 

He witnessed four scenes, from a baby to the elderly. He understood human life from birth to death and was determined to become a monk.

Buddha statue garden

The Golden Buddha Statue depicts the Buddha’s cultivation and enlightenment process. This is a unique statue because the body is built on-site in Vung Tau, but the head is in Saigon.

The most notable feature of Gautama Buddha Shakyamuni is placed in the same place with three jewels of Buddha’s relics. 

The statue is more than 11.6 m high and looks massive and palatial. As soon as you set foot in the temple, visitors will feel the sacredness and be prompted to pray for peace for themselves and their families.

Stupa of relics

The stupa is over 17m high, with the spire shaped like a meticulous lotus bud. Inside the stupa are attached thirteen relics of the Buddha of The Venerable Narada Maha Thera and the land brought back from four Buddhist holy places in India. 

Stupa of relics

These four places are the Lumbini garden (where the Buddha was born), Bodhgaya (where the Buddha was born), the Deer Park (where the Buddha entered the Dharma wheel), and the Sala Twins Forest at Kushinagar (where the Buddha was born).

In front of the Theravada Buddhist temple are street vendors with all kinds of food, from the sidewalk to snacks such as candy and cakes. 

Remember to bring some money so you don’t go hungry when visiting the temple.

Notes when visiting the Theravada Buddhist temple

First, visitors must pay attention to their clothes before entering the temple because it is sacred. You must dress politely and discreetly, avoiding clothes with prominent or flashy colors.

Second, maintain hygiene, do not raise your voice or play in the temple. Since this is a sacred place and many people practice, the noise can affect those around.

Do not take photos when going to the temple without the consent of the temple manager.

Remove glasses, masks, and hats before going to worship Buddha.

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