Co Thach – 100-year-old pagoda by the sea

Kieu Giang

A tourist sees paintings carved on stones

A tourist sees paintings carved on stones

From the statue Goddess of Mercy, travelers can admire the panoramic view of the immense sea below

From the statue Goddess of Mercy, travelers can admire the panoramic view of the immense sea below

The pagoda is surrounded by some giant rocks under shades - Photos: Kieu Giang

The pagoda is surrounded by some giant rocks under shades - Photos: Kieu Giang

From HCMC, tourists should head towards Phan Thiet City. From the north of the city you should head on National Highway 1A for about 95km before turning right to reach Lien Huong Town in Tuy Phong District. By going a further 10km tourists will reach Co Thach (ancient stone) pagoda, one of the most popular national relics in south-central Vietnam.

The pagoda, also known as Chua Hang (cave pagoda), was acknowledged as a national relic in 1993. Legend has it that it was established in 1835 by monk Bao Tang and it has been renovated several times since.

It is located in between some caves on a mountain which is 64m above sea level. The pagoda’s temple, main palace, bell tower, zen house and ravine are on stone ground of some giant rocks on a four-hectare area.

Tourists might be surprised to see some giant rocks of different shapes overlapping each other to make mysterious caves. From the statue Goddess of Mercy people can admire a wild beach and a colorful stone ground named Ca Duoc below featuring thousands of stones in black, white, yellow, brown and dark purple.

Each year the pagoda lures tens of thousands of pilgrims and travelers. Visitors can buy local herbs and fruits for souvenirs like trom fruit to make tea to cure aches and pains or they can eat the dried fruit with water to cool down their bodies. There is even the option of buying one of the province’s popular fruits such as dragon fruit, banana, grapes, mango and pineapple.

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