Linh Ung-Bai But Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsular gave me a pleasant and peaceful welcome to a rainy summer afternoon after an horrendous bumpy plane ride to Danang City for my first-ever visit.
Located on a butterfly-shaped hill overlooking the sea and leaning to an immense primitive forest which is home to various kinds of birds and animals, the pagoda is not only a development mark of Vietnam’s Buddhism heritage but also a venue where the sacred spirit of heaven and earth gather together.
People might mention a lot about the pagoda’s record as the highest statue of the Goddess of Mercy in Southeast Asia at 67 meters high or how magnificent and beautiful it is compared to the two other Linh Ung pagodas in the locality.
One is on top of Ba Na Mountain at a height of 1,500 meters above sea level, with the oldest one on Ngu Hanh Son Range which is 13 kilometers from the city’s downtown.
Tourists inspect Arhat statues in a large yard in the pagoda complex – Photos: Kieu Giang
But to me this pagoda, which was unveiled in 2010 after six years of construction, has something special and worthy of our visit. And we completed the process of burning incense, praying under the three big Buddha statues and donating money to the pagoda. Tourists are advised to spend their time admiring 18 statues of Arhat with all of the expressions of joy, anger, love and hate as they are great pieces carved meticulously by skillful artisans.
A large yard where all the statues are located will lead visitors to a giant gate with three doors. This is where tourists can relax their minds once they look at the boundless sea below where numerous boats bubble on the water surface and Ngu Hanh Son Range in the distance or cast off all your worries as you look at the gentle face of the Goddess of Mercy statue on the right side of the gate.
Inside the statue, which is the equivalent to a 30-storey building, there are 17 levels which allow tourists to admire the view from different heights.
Local people said that the Goddess of Mercy statue, which faces the sea, takes care of fishermen and gives them the strength to deal with storms and high waves.
You don’t even have to be Buddhist or religious to be interested, you just have to come to the pagoda to find some spirit therapy for yourself as well as some strength to deal with the burden of your soul.