At the end of the Son Tra peninsula in Da Nang, a tall white statue of the Goddess of Mercy looks upon the sea and the port with her gentle eyes, protecting the local fishermen and giving them strength to fight the waves and winds. The statue also marks the entrance to the Linh Ung Bai But pagoda, which is one of the most beautiful temples in that part of Vietnam.
Linh Ung pagoda location
Linh Ung pagoda is located on Bai But, Son Tra peninsula, around 10km to the North East from Da Nang city center. The pagoda lies on a beautiful landscape: mountains behind, ocean in the front, with a unique, unconquerable beauty.
The perfect location of the Son Tra peninsula makes it feel like where the sea and mountains meet the sky. If you are looking for a feeling of tranquility and breathtaking views from a high angle, Linh Ung pagoda (Linh Ung Bai But) should be the top priority when visiting Da Nang.
The legend and history of Linh Ung pagoda
There is an old story that has been told for many generations about the history of the Linh Ung Bai But Pagoda. In the reign of King Minh Mang (Nguyen Dynasty, XIX century), a statue of Buddha suddenly drifted from out of nowhere to the sandbank in the Son Tra peninsula. Believing that this statue was a good omen, the coastal fishermen and residents set up a shrine. Since then, the waves gradually became quieter and softer, and this helped the coastal people to safely go out for fishing work and make a living.
After that, the sandbank where the statue drifted started to be called Bai But, which means “Buddha realm in the middle of the world”. The Linh Ung pagoda today is actually built right on top of that.
Through a long time with many historical periods, Linh Ung Bai But pagoda, after 6 years (from 2004 to 2010) of construction, has stood tall on Son Tra mountain. It is a statement for the combination between the Dharma and the Ethnic group, a bold mark of the development of Buddhism in Vietnam in the 21st century.
The structure and architecture of Linh Ung pagoda
Linh Ung Bai But pagoda stands on the 20-hectare land of Son Tra mountain with many items: the main hall, the lecture hall, the ancestral house, the road halls, the library, the cafeteria, and the Arhat statue garden. The pagoda is a combination between the contemporary style and the traditional style of Vietnamese temples.
To enter the main gate, you have to walk over 20 steps upstairs. At the gate, there stand two sentences:
Linh ứng sở cầu như ý nguyện
Sơn Trà Bãi Bụt thật hiển linh
“Linh Ung” itself means: “wishes answered miraculously”. These two sentences means that if you pray sincerely inside the pagoda, all your wishes might come true.
The pagoda was built with extremely sophisticated architecture. The main hall has a dragon-shaped roof surrounded by sturdy pillars, while the statues are meticulously carved. This is a harmonious combination between the traditional Asian architecture and the sophisticated contemporary architecture.
In front of the main hall of Linh Ung Pagoda is the three-way gate, stepping through the gate will be the main campus of the main hall. Lying on both sides of the campus will be 18 arhat statues made of stone. The roof of the pagoda is covered with tile roofs, with a cool green colour.
Inside the main hall, there are many Buddha statues, but there will be 3 main Buddha statues in the middle of the main hall. In the middle is the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, this is the founder of Buddhism, usually, Shakyamuni Buddha will be placed in the middle of the temples. The statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is sitting on a lotus platform, with the sitting posture of nirvana.
On the right is a statue of Guanyin Bodhisattva, this is a Buddha who lives forever. The Buddha statue’s right-hand holds a willow branch, and the left-hand holds a pitcher of nectar to water sentient beings.
On the left is a statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, a Buddha who saves sentient beings in the law of reincarnation.
Xa Loi tower
In ordinary temples, there are stupas and Linh Ung Pagoda also has a stupa, located to the east of the temple. At the stupa, there is a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in a sleeping position, flanked by 10 great disciples of the Buddha.
Behind the Buddha statue is a stupa with 10 floors, inside each floor will be worshipped different buddhas.
This is one of the quiet places of Linh Ung pagoda. Standing from here, you will be able to see the beauty of Son Tra mountains and vast seas in the distance.
Lady Buddha statue
Coming to Linh Ung Bai But pagoda, where it is impossible not to mention is the area with a Lady Buddha statue the tallest one in Vietnam (67m high). It is also placed on a 35m-high lotus diameter, making the total height over 100 meters, equivalent to a 30-floor building.
Inside the Buddha statue will include 17 floors. Each floor will be dedicated to the Buddhas in Buddhism.
The statue of Quan Am Buddha stands on a lotus, holding a vase of nectar and a willow branch. Many local people have believed that, since this statue was built, in Da Nang, there are very few strong storms that hit the mainland of Da Nang.
When Da Nang city lights up, from the Linh Ung pagoda you can easily see the shimmering beauty of Son Tra peninsula and the far side of Da Nang city.
At night at Linh Ung pagoda, there will be lights shining on the statue of Quan Am Buddha and will cast shadows on the clouds. If you encounter a grey cloud, you will easily see the shadow of the Buddha statue in the cloud. This incident has many people believe that Guanyin Buddha appeared, but, due to the high-powered lamps shining on this statue, the above phenomenon happened.
Best time to visit Linh Ung pagoda
Because the pagoda is located outdoors in a large space, surrounded by mountains and forests, the best time to visit Linh Ung pagoda is from March to September.
It’s also the dry season in Da Nang, and the weather is quite dry, with no rain and a clear blue sky. This period is excellent for sightseeing, and the area is covered in lush green color.
However, Da Nang also sees the highest tourist rate this time. Therefore, you should book your accommodation in Da Nang in advance, at least two weeks, to get the best deals.
If you plan to go from October to December, expect heavy rain, fog, and even storms. The roads can be pretty slippery, and it’s not ideal for sightseeing.
Linh Ung pagoda entrance fee
It is 100% free so there is no entrance fee for this holy place. However, the parking fee is up to you, and you can put it in the donation box at the entrance gate.
Interesting experiences at Linh Ung pagoda
If you are a person of religion, or simply someone who’s looking for a quiet and tranquil place, then Linh Ung Bai But pagoda might be the perfect place waiting for you.
Pray for life better
Coming to this sacred pagoda, the most important thing that you should do is to visit the main hall and show your respect by bowing to the Buddha and burning an incense stick on the altar.
The pagoda is also famous as a sacred place to pray to your family and friends for their health, happiness, and success in life. If you do have something to wish, you can think about that in your minds while bowing, but it is not guaranteed that Buddha would understand your language.
Admire beautiful natural landscape
After completing the rituals, you can go around to explore and enjoy the breathtaking view around the peninsula. From the towers of the Buddha statue, it is possible to see the whole landscape of the city, mountains, forests in the most perfect way. Zooming out further, you can also see the Marble mountains and the beach surrounded by long white and smooth sand.
If you visit the pagoda in the early morning, you will be impressed by the stunning view with the sunrise, while listening to the sound of the seawind and natural sounds of the birds, staying away from the busy city.
It is more delightful if you can go to this place at night, from 6 pm – 8 pm when you can see the endless light stripe from Da Nang to Hoi An and many fishing boats catching seafood.
Reviews Linh Ung pagoda on Tripadvisor
It has the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam and a very neat and clean pagoda. It has many beautiful bonsai plants as well which will be good to see.
Nitin Tulsian (Noida, India)
Beautiful Buddha statue and temple. They have wraps for you if you need to cover your legs. The drive there from the city is also really pretty with lots of photo ops and scenic views.
Curious265314 (New York City, NY)
Beautiful, quiet, holly place, you should visit that area and not only, put on your program to visit all peninsula of Son tra, on my opinion the most beautiful spot in Da nang…
George (Athens, Greece)
Getting to Linh Ung pagoda
Because this pagoda is located on a peninsula, so there is no bus stop or train station nearby. The only way to go there are by car, motorbike, bike, taxi.
- Motorbike: This is a convenient means of transportation. You can easily rent a motorbike for $5 a day. So just go to My Khe beach on Vo Nguyen Giap street first (you even see the statue from there) then turn left (if you turn right, you will go to Hoi An), go straight along the beach (about 8 km) and turn right to the mountain side, then you just keep going about 1.5 km further. Finally, you can see the entrance to the pagoda. It takes about 30 minutes in total to get to the pagoda.
- Car: Booking a private car or a taxi to the Linh Ung pagoda would be the easiest way, since most of the taxi drivers are used to the way, and they can take you there in the least time. The price ranges from 200.000 VND to 300.000 VND (~$9 – $12) depending on where you live.
- Tour: Taking a tour is an excellent way to explore Da Nang. You’ll get to see famous attractions hassle-free. You can check more info on the Da Nang day trip here.
Tips for visiting Linh Ung pagoda
When visiting a spiritual destination such as Linh Ung pagoda in Da Nang, you should wear a polite outfit. Avoid shorts or tops, which are offensive when visiting the relic site. Also, please refrain from smoking or talking too loudly inside the temple.
As time goes by, Linh Ung pagoda has become a famous place of worship, a place for the monks and nuns living and studying, as well as an interesting and peaceful sightseeing place. Once you come here, this spiritual destination will leave an unforgettable impression. You will have a chance to understand more about Vietnamese belief and rituals, as well as fully immerse yourself in the culture as a remarkable experience in your life.