VIETNAM

Buu Long Pagoda- An offbeat surprise in Ho Chi Minh

The modern Ho Chi Minh city is synonymous with shopping, great cuisines and contemporary buildings. Whoever thought of an offbeat place in this busy city? Buu Long Pagoda is one such lesser known spot that hypnotized us with its soothing charm.

Why this is unique?

Vietnam has lot of religious places and pagodas. After a certain point in time, they all seem to be the same. However, Buu Long Pagoda stands out because of two reasons. First, unlike traditional Vietnamese architecture in pagodas, this one has a blend of Thai and Indian style. And second, due to its location, it is sparsely crowded and astoundingly quiet.

Let’s take you around

Built in 1942 and spread over an area of 11 hectares, this Buddhist temple stands across an emerald green pond with a beautiful fountain and dragon statues.

Ornate stairways carved with dragons lead you to the main shrine on the first floor. The circumference of the first floor houses a giant wind chimes that bring positive and soothing vibes. The reverberating sound lifted our spirits.

The surrounding forest and other smaller temples offer a spectacular view from the first floor.

This floor also had a doorway to main prayer hall’s balcony. The prayer hall is perhaps open only to monks or the residents of the pagoda. Visitors are allowed to peep from the balcony where they can spend some quiet time reconnecting with their self. Yeah you are supposed to maintain silence here.

The surrounding

We made our way to the garden behind the pagoda. A walk in nature was a refreshing experience. To add to our excitement was a large structure that resembled a termite mound. Walk carefully on the slippery stones and duck through mini caves. The top of the golden pagoda is visible from one spot at this termite mound, and that makes a beautiful frame.

It was peak afternoon by the time we finished touring the garden. Since we did not want to go out in the scorching heat, we decided to check out the premises further.

Our curiosity led us to another holy site, quite popular among the locals. The sight of a small buddha statue and a golden pagoda were sheer delight. We took this opportunity for our couple photoshoot against the gorgeous gleaming backdrop.  

Beyond the pagoda

Wandering further, we discovered another area close to the monks’ residence. This area houses sleeping Buddha, water lilies and Buddha’s sermons on a wall.  

The premises has a vegetarian restaurant as well which was closed during our visit. We settled with another eating joint right outside the premises where we sipped refreshing coconut water before bidding goodbye to Buu Long Pagoda.   

Location

On the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh, 20 km from the city. Follow the route on Google map. The roads are pretty smooth, though the map directed us through a dirt road in the last one kilometer. (Google often messes up with us ! haha).

Timing

8am to 6pm

Dress code

None. However, we advise you to dress-up decently.

P.S- Or trip to Vietnam was in February 2020 just before the pandemic had spread worldwide.

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