Pagoda with largest number of ancient clay statues in Vietnam

Going through countless number of crises due to natural disasters as floods, yet almost all ancient clay statues at Nom Pagoda (Hung Yen Province) remain undamaged with their outer layers of red lacquer trimmed with gold even remain at whole.

 Nom Pagoda is located about 30 kilometers distant from Hanoi centre to the East, existing as a part of “Nom Village” relic population in Dai Dong Town, Van Lam District. The pagoda is recognized popularly as an ancient pagoda of Hien Town whose ancient features are well-preserved.
 Legend has it that Nom Pagoda was originally built in the middle of a high-pine tree forest, which might be likely to explain why the pagoda has another official name of “Linh Thong Pagoda” (Ancient Holy Pine Pagoda). Nobody is able to recall when exactly it was built, yet according to the two oldest stone steles remaining, it was re-constructed the first time in 1680, and going through a few restorations afterwards.
 As soon as you set foot in the pagoda’s ground, you would be deeply impressed with its unique ancient sights, including old-style designed dwelling places, thick moss-grown domes, banyan trees with probably hundreds years of existence and old wells… Conformable to the villagers’ custom, visitors of the place usually firstly come over Tam Giang Ancient Temple, burning an incense to wish luck. After that, visitors are likely to walk across a bridge made from nine 200-year-old flagstones linking Nguyet Duc River and the Pagoda to get to the pagoda’s area. Visiting Nom Pagoda, you would be deeply enchanted by its peaceful, quiet, greenish sights along with mysterious beauty of ancient clay statues remaining here.
 Nom Pagoda is a pagoda of Lam Te Denomination (a meditating denomination), it includes about 122 clay Buddha statues in all sizes, locating in various ways around the area describing the Buddha’s path. The clay statues are sculptured with diversified postures and facial expressions, including statues of Tam Thánh, Tam Thế, A Di Đà, Bát bộ Kim cương, Thập bát La hán... Some of clay statues are over 3-meter high, some are only the fist-size. Researchers have shown that, according to the typical features in the statues’ postures and the wrinkles remaining on their clothes, these statues represent typical sculptural patterns in 18 century.
 Having been suffered from countless floods throughout history, few neighborhoods had been plunged deep in the water, the pagoda’s dome had even been swept away once, however, when the water had withdrawn, all the clay Buddha statues remained undamaged, standing boldly regardless of nature’s harshness. 

 Some experts began to research in order to explain why and how could the statues remained that strong. They reckoned that it was because of the very refined and professional skills of the past generation sculptors, who had been meticulous in every stage of making the statues, from building moulds, shaping clay to covering the statues with layers of red lacquer trimmed with gold.
 Visitors are likely to contemplate the peaceful, “feng shui” beautiful sights inside the pagoda or enjoying the warm, ancient ambience when walking around the area, catching sights of the bell-tower reflected beautifully in the water, green branches of banyan trees reaching out the space. Across the small path located one side of the pagoda, appears the garden with towers made from laterite, exposing themselves to the early morning light. These laterite towers are probably hundreds years old and are meticulously preserved.
 With its beautiful natural sights and the hidden depths in spirituality, Nom Pagoda recalls the authentic atmosphere of a significant spiritual age and is an ideal visiting place for those who are interested in quiet, meditative destination. Coming to Nom Pagoda, visitors would be likely to experience the old cultural features of Nom Village particularly – one of Vietnam’s ancient villages that are well respected and preserved till recent days.

Extra information: 

- Route: Hung Yen bus trip departs from Luong Yen Bus Station which is in operation during 5AM – 10PM. A new bus trip starts every 20 minutes; a ticket costs 50 cents. If you wish to travel by motorbike, you can take the route of 5 Highway, 39 Street or Phap Van – Yen Lenh Motorway to get to Hung Yen.
- Additional tourist destinations: Ung Temple Relic Population, Cao Thon Trade Village (incense making village), Phu Ung Trade Village (silver-plated village), Hien Town (famous for the Longan Holy Tree and Chuong Pagoda).
- Specialties: Thang noodles, anabas soup, Beng cake, Phuong Tuong frogs, Dong Tao (or Dong Cao) chickens… Foods to bring home: Ban sweet soya sauce, Rang Bua cake (a kind of rice cake, filled with browned onion), honey, longans…
If you want to book tour go to Hung Yen. Please send email to [email protected]
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