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Entries in Thay Pagoda (4)


Thanh Hoa's Dragon

The entrance to Thanh Hoa cave at Thay Pagoda in Vietnam (see Thay Pagoda) is guarded by a scary stone dragon. The founder of Thay Pagoda, Tu Dao Hanh, meditated for long periods in this cave and he is reported to have died here as well. Just so you know. [NOTE: The green eyes are a nice touch...].


View from Thay Pagoda


Of all the wonderful things to experience at Thay Pagoda (see Thay Pagoda), the most sublime of all may be the view from the summit looking back to Hanoi. The karst formations appear magically from the surrounding ricefields. [NOTE: Thay Pagoda, also known as Thien Phuc (Heavenly Blessing), is dedicated to the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama]. 


Guán Ân Shrine at Thay Pagoda

Up the hill from Tu Dao Hanh's meditation cave (see Thay Pagoda) is a large shrine with an exquisite statue of Guán Ân, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.


Thay Pagoda

Thay Pagoda was founded in the 11th century by ascetic Zen monk Tu Dao Hanh, who was also the founder of water-puppetry in Vietnam. A ten-minute climb up the mountain behind the pagoda brings you to the cave (Dong Thanh Hoa) where Tu Dao Hanh meditated.  

The entrance to the cave is guarded, of course, by a fierce dragon,

protected by a tiny porcelain Quán Âm (Guan Yin),

and lined with four Plumeria trees that, I am told, were planted in the 15th century. The latter were probably my favorites.