Hai Phong pagoda enshrines the Buddha in a cave

Leaning on a mountain and overlooking the beach, the Hang Pagoda in northern Hai Phong City is a spiritually and historically significant place of worship.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

The pagoda, also known as Coc Tu, is situated in Zone 1, Van Son Ward in Hai Phong City’s Do Son District. Some scholars have reportedly said that this is where Buddhism first set foot in Vietnam.
As its name indicates, the pagoda has its main altar and idol enshrined inside a cave. In the front stands a Bodhisattva statue and there’s an ancestral house on the right. The pagoda is decorated with carvings and statues of dragons and phoenixes.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

The cave, 3.5 meters tall and seven meters wide, has two ground levels. The outer level has an area of 23 square meters and the inner one, 25 square meters.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

The scenery here was material for poem themes.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

Local legend has it that a Buddhist monk came here in the second century BC.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

Buddha and Bodhisattva statues in the Tam Bao Hall on the second floor of the three-storied pagoda.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

Devotees offer their prayers in the hall.
Hoang Hanh from An Dong Ward in Haiphong City visits the Hang Pagoda every Lunar New Year. "Although people worry about the pandemic, for me, a year would not be complete without going to this pagoda. I feel safe to some extent when I see everyone wearing masks,"

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

Located in the city that borders current Covid-19 hotspots Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, the pagoda has witnessed a significant decrease in the number of visitors this year. Duc Thanh (L), an employee, said the number of visitors this year was just one third of the previous year.

Hai Phong, Do Son, pagoda, cave

On the sidewalk outside the pagoda, a red buffalo with a lotus leaf and lotuses on its back and a gift balanced on its head welcomes the Year of the Buffalo.

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