Location: Yen Tu Mountain is in the Uong Bi city, Northern coastal of Quang Ninh province, about 40km from Halong city.
Characteristic: Situated within the immense arched mountain range of Northeastern Vietnam. Yen Tu Mountain bears as its Dong Pagoda at an altitude of 1068 above the sea level. Yen Tu mountain is known as a Buddhist capital of Vietnam and famous for its beautiful landscape, historical relics and ancient pagoda
Yen Tu Mountain – a center of Buddhist
“Trăm năm tích đức tu hành
Chưa về Yên Tử chưa thành quả tu.”
This is an traditional custom of Vietnamese and it means that you may be charitable and lead a religious life for a hundred years but if you have not made it to come here, you haven’t reached the highest religious bliss.
In addition, Yen Tu Mountain is considered the cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam, especially, it bears as its peak the Dong pagoda , which is situated at about 1000 meters above the sea level. To reach to the Dong pagoda, the breathless climb leads one higher and higher till you find yourself to the top of the pristine of white cloud surrounding. The journey seems to give anyone the feeling of a stairway to heaven, go away from the hustle and bustle city, worries about the world and find the peace of mind and heart.
History said that more than 700 years old, King Tran Nhan Tong left his royal palace to go to Yen Tu mountain to lead an ascetic religious life. He dedicated his life to the Buddhist monk.Then he founded the Truc Lam Zen school, the first Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Institution.
The best time to visit Yen Tu Mountain
Every year, from the 10th of January according to the lunar calendar and through three spring months, thousands of visitors from everywhere flock to Yen Tu Mountain to attend the Yen Tu festival to commemorate Buddhist King Tran Nhan Tong, worship Buddhist and contemplate scenery in spring. There are ten of thousands pilgrims and visitors alike stream to Yen Tu, the worshiper take it as a time to show their belief and piousness, seek release from their sorrows and unhappiness for the past year. Visitors take a chance to holy atmosphere of the festival and get up close with locals.
How to get Dong pagoda
There are many places to visit along the way to explore Yen Tu. To get to the top of mountain, you will climb 6000 meters stony steps. Nowaday, to the relief of many, the cable car system was introduced in 2002 and it’s stop is Hoa Yen pagoda from which you can enjoy the sights and hike up to the peak. However, there are many people choose to walk along the path to the peak because they believe that taking the challenging path is the best way to express their sincerity to Buddhist.
Hoa Yen is the biggest pagoda among the pagoda complex of Yen Tu mountain in the height of 543 meters. Here there are 2 old trees which are about 700 years. Climbing further to the height of 700 meters is Van Tieu pagoda lying inside layers of white cloud and Dong pagoda on an expressive height of more than 1000 meters. Both of pagoda is dated back thousand year ago.
The ultimate goal of anyone is the Dong pagoda, sitting on the peak of the mountain. From the peak you can easy to take over view of pagoda complex of Yen Tu mountain and contemplate to picturesque view of the entire coast area up to Ha Long bay. Yen Tu Mountain has attracted both of domestic and international tourists more and more.
How to get Yen Tu Mountain
From Hanoi, you can get a bus to go Ha Long from My Dinh station, all kind of these buses pass over Yen Tu. It is very easy for you to go to Yen Tu Mountain with a lot of bus company as: Kumho, Viet Thanh, Duc Phuc, Ka Long,… Fare is about 90.000VND/ person.
Tips for travelers
- Depend on the season. In the winter, you should bring jacket
- Do not buy something along the journey
- You should wear soft shoes for hiking
- If you go in high season, you should buy return ticket of cable car or else you have to wait to buy the back ticket
- Put garbage in the trash