COMING TO CO THACH, A 100-YEAR PAGODA, TO WATCH SPARKLING SEA AND BLUE SKY
The south-central coast province of Binh Thuan is known for its stunning beaches. However, the location is also a popular destination for pilgrimages to Co Thach, a unique pagoda located on a rock cliff overlooking the immense sea below.
From Ho Chi Minh City, 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.
The steeple of Co Thach Pagoda
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 that stretches for nearly 1km along the coast.
Recently, a new Co Thach tourism village was constructed with many attractive stilt-houses available to both pilgrims and to those who come to enjoy the beautiful landscape.
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.
We can see this is a complex of tourist attractions including pagoda, beach, rocky shore, sand dunes, fishing village, … combining together to create a continually image in motion. Perhaps this is the reason why it’s like a new emotion every time we come. The sea is unchanged and its wave laps the shore playfully. Co Thach pagoda remains quiet and mixes the sound of the temple bell with the sound of the wave lapping. So is the village which is always hurried and bustling with its batches of fishes. All have not changed, but they give tourists the feeling of continuous motion in that natural picture and lively people.
If visitors have good condition, they can take local motorbike taxies to the sand hill and the nearby Ong Nam Hai temple (whale-worship temple) in Tuy Phong district. The temple is not so big as others, but it has the ancient date and keeps a lot of large and small whale’s skeleton. The temple is located in front of the mild and peaceful seashore, and behind it is a high and cool sand hill where we can view the panorama of the fishing village surrounding the temple