Da Nang, not only known for its bridges, but also boasts numerous temples. Many of them have become famous tourist attractions. When visiting here, besides admiring the Linh Ung Pagoda, don’t miss Tam Thai Pagoda – a more than 400-year-old ancient temple with unique and ancient architecture. Today, let’s explore this temple with DanangPrivateCar.com’s.
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Introduction to Tam Thai Pagoda, its location, and what makes it special?
If you look at the Da Nang tourist map, you will see many temples: Linh Ung Pagoda, Quan Am Pagoda, Pho Da Pagoda, and Tam Thai Pagoda.
On the tourist map, Tam Thai Pagoda is located in Ngu Hanh Son District. The exact location is in Hoa Hai Ward, within the famous Ngu Hanh Son landscape. It is about 10 km away from the city center of Da Nang. This temple is built on a piece of land on Thuy Son Mountain, offering an ideal position for both worshiping at the temple and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Notably, at the location where the temple is situated, there is a standing rock facing the North of Ngu Hanh Son Mountain. From the top of Hon Thuy, you can see three peaks resembling Tam Thai. It is for this reason that the temple is called Tam Thai Pagoda.
Here, you can learn about the history, the unique architectural style of the temple, and admire the surrounding landscape. You will surely feel a sense of tranquility and serenity.
The history of Tam Thai Pagoda – the oldest temple in Da Nang
When was Tam Thai Pagoda built?
According to information found on DanangPrivateCar.com’s, Tam Thai Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son was built during the Later Le Dynasty, around 1630, by the Venerable Monk Hung Lien, who came from China as the abbot (in the late 17th century).
In 1695, Zen Master Thach Liem Thich Dai San visited the temple and was impressed by the Hoa Nghiem Cave behind the temple, which inspired him to compose a poem praising the Tam Thai Mountain. During the Tay Son Dynasty, the temple was completely destroyed. It was not until 1825, during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang, that the temple was restored and named Quoc Tu.
In 1901, Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang was once again damaged by the Tan Suu Storm. It was rebuilt six years later in 1907. After several renovations, in 1995, Venerable Thich Tri Giac officially completed the restoration of the temple.
Legend of Tam Thai Pagoda.
There are many legends surrounding Tam Thai Pagoda. Among them, the story of Emperor Nguyen Anh is mentioned the most. During a pursuit by the Tay Son army, Emperor Nguyen Anh sought refuge on an island outside the East Sea.
After a while, when he returned, he chose Ngu Hanh Son Mountain as a hiding place and prayed to the Buddha that if he could defeat the Tay Son army, he would restore and repair this temple. And after ascending to the throne, he ordered Emperor Minh Mang to restore the temple in his place.
After rebuilding the temple, Emperor Minh Mang erected a stone stele to mark the year of the temple’s construction.
Guide to getting to Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang.
As mentioned above, Tam Thai Pagoda is located about 10km southeast of the city center of Da Nang. The road to the pagoda is mostly straight and paved, making it easily accessible by all means of transportation.
Traveling by bus.
In a developed city like Da Nang, buses are a common mode of transportation. Buses serve routes within the city as well as to destinations like Hoi An, Tam Ky, and Hiep Duc. Therefore, you can choose this mode of transportation to reach Tam Thai Pagoda.
You can take bus route number 1 Da Nang – Hoi An, which passes through the Ngu Hanh Son complex. This option is cost-effective (priced at only 25,000 VND per trip), but you should consider that it can be somewhat passive and time-consuming.
Traveling by taxi or private car with a driver.
For convenience and comfort when visiting Tam Thai Pagoda, you can consider taking a taxi or a private car. This option is particularly suitable when traveling with a group or family. Da Nang has many taxi companies with reasonable prices. You can choose taxis from Mai Linh, Tien Sa, Song Han, Vinasun, or Da Nang Taxi.
Furthermore, if it’s your first time in Da Nang and you find it challenging to communicate with bus drivers or taxis due to language barriers, you can also rent a private car with a professional English-speaking driver from DanangPrivateCar.com. We specialize in providing transportation services for both domestic and international tourists in Da Nang. With their professional drivers and years of experience, they will ensure you have a convenient and time-saving trip. You can pre-book your trip to plan your visit to other destinations as well.
Quoc Tu Tam Thai Pagoda is located within the Marble Mountains. You can book a private car trip from Da Nang to the Marble Mountains to have a wonderful journey.
Traveling by motorbike.
For young travelers, renting a motorbike might be a suitable choice. Riding a motorbike may not provide the comfort of a cushioned seat or air conditioning, but it offers various advantages such as freedom, autonomy, the ability to choose when to go and return, the flexibility to stop and park wherever you like without depending on anyone. Moreover, it is cost-effective and saves money.
If you don’t have a motorbike, you can rent one in Da Nang for prices ranging from 80,000 to 100,000 VND per bike. Then, you can take one of the following routes to reach Tam Thai Pagoda:
- Route 1: Vo Van Kiet – Vo Nguyen Giap – Truong Sa – passing through Hon Thuy Son.
- Route 2: Ngo Quyen – Le Van Hien – Huyen Tran Cong Chua – passing through Hon Thuy Son.
The ideal time to explore Tam Thai Pagoda.
Tam Thai Pagoda is located within the Ngu Hanh Son scenic area. This tourist destination in Da Nang is open year-round, so you can visit at any time, except during major storms or floods when it may be closed.
However, that doesn’t mean any time is suitable to explore this place. It is advisable to avoid visiting during the rainy season, which falls in the months of October to December. This is the typhoon season in Da Nang, with heavy rain that can make the mountain paths slippery and hinder sightseeing. It also makes it more difficult to combine visits to other attractions, especially beach activities.
Instead, you should consider visiting in January or early February, during the mild and pleasant spring weather with moderate sunshine. The number of visitors during this time is not too high, making exploration easier, and the prices of services are also more affordable. Alternatively, the months from March to September are also suitable, especially if you plan to enjoy the beach. May, June, and July are particularly ideal for beach activities.
Is there an admission fee to visit Tam Thai Pagoda?
Ticket prices for Tam Thai Pagoda.
As Tam Thai Pagoda is part of the Ngu Hanh Son(Marble Mountains) scenic area, you are required to purchase a ticket to visit. The ticket prices for the Ngu Hanh Son area are divided into two categories:
Entrance ticket includes all attractions on Thuy Son Mountain (Tam Thai Pagoda, Linh Ung Pagoda, Xa Loi Tower, Huyen Khong Cave, etc.) and the visit to Am Phu Cave. The specific ticket prices are as follows:
- Ticket prices for visiting the attractions in Ngu Hanh Son
Adults: 40,000 VND/ticket
Students, schoolchildren: 10,000 VND/ticket
Children under 6 years old: Free
- Ticket price for visiting Am Phu Cave
Adults: 20,000 VND/ticket
Students, schoolchildren: 7,000 VND/ticket
Children under 6 years old: Free
- Elevator ticket prices
One-way ticket: 15,000 VND/person
Round-trip ticket: 30,000 VND/person
Note: If you are physically capable, it is recommended to hike up the mountain to enjoy the surrounding scenery. You can take the elevator on the way back. However, if you have young children or elderly individuals, you can use the elevator both ways.
Ticket purchase location
Simply move to the area of the scenic attraction, and upon entering the gate, you will see ticket counters on the right side. You can approach the staff there and purchase the tickets. If you have children, students, or schoolchildren with you, remember to bring relevant identification or documentation to avail of any discounts.
See More: Ticket prices for visiting Marble Mountains Da Nang in 2023
The unique architecture of Tam Thai Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son.
Compared to Linh Ung Son Tra Pagoda or other large pagodas in Da Nang, Tam Thai Pagoda is not as grand in scale. However, the architecture of the pagoda has many notable features worth exploring.
The pagoda’s architecture consists of three solemn and splendid levels. The first level, located in the west, is called Thuong Thai. The second level, called Trung Thai, is in the south, and the third level, called Ha Thai, is in the east. In addition, Tam Thai Pagoda also has other auxiliary structures, including:
- Tam Quan Gate: Located on the outermost part, it is designed in a bell tower style with an ancient-looking roof. You will pass through this gate to enter the pagoda.
- Statue of Maitreya Buddha: Just beyond the gate, there is a spacious courtyard. In front of the courtyard stands a meticulously crafted statue of Maitreya Buddha made of sandstone, exuding a sense of dignity.
- Inside the pagoda: There is a main hall for worshipping Amitabha Buddha, a statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and the Great Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Along with these structures, there are many ancient trees that provide a cool shade for the pagoda. They contribute to the overall sense of antiquity, tranquility, and serenity of Tam Thai Pagoda.
In general, the pagoda’s design follows the shape of the letter “Vuong” (King) with artistic and intricate lines. On the pagoda’s roof, there are two dragon statues under the moon, which are considered distinctive architectural features of the Nguyen Dynasty period.
What makes Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang special and worth visiting?
Admire the ancient architectural features of the pagoda.
As a temple over 400 years old, this architectural masterpiece in the Nguyen architectural style still retains many ancient features worth marveling at. Despite the somewhat tiring climb of 156 steps, everyone is willing to make the effort to visit this place.
Apart from the intricate lines and decorations, the pagoda also houses the calligraphy writings of Emperor Minh Mang, praising the compassionate teachings of Buddhism and its salvation of sentient beings.
Enjoy the vast and majestic mountains.
Although the journey to Tam Thai Pagoda may be challenging, it is well worth it. Along the way, you can immerse yourself in the peaceful surrounding scenery, breathe in the cool air, and marvel at the rows of trees that line both sides of the road leading up to the pagoda.
And once you reach the highest point of Thuy Son Mountain, you can admire the magnificent mountains and hills. In the distance, you can see the Han River or the Cam Le River. Further away, there is the Cham Islands. At the foot of the mountain is the Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village.
Pay homage for peace, luck, and health.
Tam Thai Pagoda is known as a sacred temple and a spiritual tourist attraction that attracts many locals and tourists. Besides sightseeing, people come here to pay respects, pray for peace, health, and well-being for themselves and their families. They also seek blessings and good fortune in life and business.
Capture artistic photos.
With its ancient architecture and the beauty adorned by moss and the passage of time, Tam Thai Pagoda promises to create many artistic photos. It seems that every nook and cranny of the pagoda, from the entrance gate and staircase to the Tam Quan gate and the surrounding scenery, is worthy of being captured.
Therefore, if you visit here, don’t forget to capture some photos. You don’t have to go far; the surroundings of this pagoda are enough for some great Instagram-worthy shots.
Should you buy anything as a gift when visiting Tam Thai Pagoda?
As mentioned before, Tam Thai Pagoda is located within the Ngu Hanh Son scenic area. Right next to it is the famous Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, which has been known for stone carving for over 300 years. That’s why almost everyone who visits the scenic area also stops by here.
In addition to learning about the history of stone carving and observing the process of craftsmen working with stones, many tourists also have a desire to choose some products for decoration, personal use, or as gifts for their loved ones.
The products from the stone village are incredibly diverse, including bracelets, stone necklaces, feng shui stones, sculptures, and daily household items such as mortar and pestle, tea sets, incense burners, and vases.
The prices will vary depending on the product and weight. All of them are crafted with great skill, attention to detail, and are very beautiful. Feel free to take a look and consider them!
Suggestions for tourist attractions near Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang.
The Ngu Hanh Son scenic area not only has Tam Thai Pagoda but also many other attractions that you can explore.
Linh Ung Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son.
Linh Ung Pagoda, also known as Linh Ung Non Nuoc Pagoda, is one of the three pagodas with the same name in Da Nang. Here, you can admire the meticulously crafted Buddha statues, which exude a vivid and majestic presence.
In addition, you can enjoy the picturesque beauty of the surrounding mountains and water. It is one of the highlights that attracts visitors.
Huyen Khong Cave.
Huyen Khong Cave is located in the highest mountain peak here. It captivates visitors with its shimmering and mystical lights. Along with that, the unique beauty of the flowing stalactites creates peculiar shapes.
Am Phu Cave.
Located at the foot of Thuy Van Mountain is Am Phu Cave. It is one of the caves within the scenic area, attracting visitors with its mysterious beauty and folk legends that carry significant spiritual meanings.
Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village.
Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village is a famous and unmissable destination in the journey of exploring the Ngu Hanh Son scenic area. It is the oldest and most developed craft village in Da Nang, with a history of over 300 years.
This village is where you can learn about the art of stone carving and the process of creating a complete product. The stone products made here are highly artistic.
Some important notes to know when visiting Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang.
Whether it’s Tam Thai Pagoda or any other pagoda, they are all sacred places. Therefore, if you want to visit, you need to pay attention to the following important points.
- First, remember to dress modestly, avoiding wearing short skirts above the knees or revealing clothes that may be considered inappropriate. Especially when entering the temple during ceremonies, to ensure the sanctity and respect for the Buddha’s place.
- In addition to clothing, you should also be mindful of your speech. Avoid using vulgar language or engaging in conversations or jokes that may disturb the serenity of the place and the people around.
- If you want to take photos at Tam Thai Pagoda in Da Nang, it is recommended to only take photos in the outdoor areas and refrain from photographing in the prayer halls. Remember to seek permission from the monks and nuns before taking any photos.
- The Ngu Hanh Son scenic area has five mountains, and the paths to the mountain peaks are quite narrow, steep, and rocky in some sections. You need to be extremely careful and choose low-heeled shoes with good grip to ensure safety while moving and climbing the steps.
- This tourist spot does not have strict rules against bringing food and drinks. Therefore, you can bring some light snacks and drinking water to keep yourself nourished when hungry.
- To preserve the surrounding landscape and the beauty of the pagoda, it is important not to litter during the visit. If you have any waste, dispose of it properly in designated areas or take it with you.
Questions from tourists about Tam Thai Pagoda.
Here are some common questions that tourists have when preparing to visit Tam Thai Pagoda in Ngu Hanh Son, Da Nang.
Do I need to prepare offerings when visiting Tam Thai Pagoda?
It depends on each individual’s beliefs. If you wish to be respectful, you can prepare some offerings such as fruits, flowers, and incense for worship. However, if you prefer, you can simply offer incense. Since this is a tourist attraction, it may not be convenient for visitors to bring offerings.
What should I prepare before going to Tam Thai Pagoda?
This location is quite convenient and attracts a large number of tourists. Therefore, you don’t need to prepare much in advance, sometimes you don’t need to bring anything. However, if you plan to explore the nearby caves, it is advisable to bring a flashlight as the paths inside can be quite dark. Also, bring some light snacks and water in case you get hungry.
Is photography allowed at the pagoda?
Photography is not prohibited for tourists at this pagoda. However, if you have the desire to take photos, it is recommended to do so only in the outdoor areas. Limit photography in the main hall and prayer areas as these spaces require tranquility and reverence. Also, avoid wearing revealing clothing while taking photos.
Tam Thai Pagoda is not only a spiritual destination for seeking blessings, good luck, and health but also a place to enjoy the beautiful scenery and nature. Surrounded by majestic mountains and located far from the bustling city center, the atmosphere here is always peaceful and serene. Take a break from the busy outside world and relax with DanangPrivateCar.com’s services here!