Itinerary To Conquer The Sacred Mount Of Yen Tu, Quang Ninh

Itinerary To Conquer The Sacred Mount Of Yen Tu, Quang Ninh

Yen Tu is considered the Buddhist capital of Vietnam, where a thousand flows of Vietnamese people do not mind the distant road to come to this sacred place whenever the spring comes. Here we recommend to you how to have a meaningful trip to Yen Tu in your spring travel.

The history of Yen Tu religious complex

Yen Tu religious complex is hidden in the majestic arched mountain range called Yen Tu mountain in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh. The highest mount is the Dong pagoda which is lied at an altitude of 1,068 meters above sea level. The journey leads you to the variety of distinctive landscapes and terrain which give you the feeling of a stairway to heavens.

Itinerary To Conquer The Sacred Mount Of Yen Tu, Quang Ninh

Turning over the old pages of history when the third emperor of the Tran Dynasty, King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), came to Yen Tu after defeating the enemy of Mongol. He decided to give the throne to his son and begin a new life as a Buddhist monk. And Yen Tu is where he had chosen to dedicate his life to the Buddha and founded the Truc Lam Zen School, the first Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Institution.

Best time to visit Yen Tu

Yen Tu is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam in the spring. The best time to visit Yen Tu is during the spring from January to March when the weather is cool and clear. It is an ideal time for hiking up the mountains and this is also the time coinciding with the yearly Yen Tu festival.

The Yen Tu festival officially opens on the 10th day of the first lunar month and lasts for three months. It is very crowded in the first week when the thousands of pilgrims stream into Yen Tu to conquer the Dong pagoda and have a spring journey. It is an ideal time for them to show their belief and also to seek for a way to release from their sorrows and unhappiness for the past year.

How to get there

It is 125 km from Hanoi, so it is easy for you to take a bus to go to Yen Tu. You can buy a bus ticket at the counter at My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi with the price of 45,000 VND.

Itinerary To Conquer The Sacred Mount Of Yen Tu, Quang Ninh

A pilgrim’s journey

There are many places to visit along the way which marked the stops of King Tran Nhan Tong on his first pilgrimage. And there are many other pagodas built to memorize the places relating to the retired king such as where he took his rest, read books, learned herbal medicine, etc.

In order to meet the need for more and more tourists, the cable car system was built in 2002 to shorten the time and the road to reach the top of the mountain. The cable car will take you to Hoa Yen pagoda and at this pagoda, you can go around to explore the peaceful beauty of the pagoda and take a rest for a while before going trekking to the peak. However, most pilgrims, including many old women over 80 years of age, love to go by their foot because they believe that taking the challenging path is the best way of expressing their sincerity to Buddha.

The first stop is Tam stream or Bathing stream, where King Tran washed off his body as a symbol of getting rid of the filth of his earthly life before becoming a disciple of the Buddha. There is a pagoda near the stream called Cam Thuc pagoda or Fasting pagoda where the king had had his first vegetarian meal of plain rice cooked with water from the streams and vegetables gathered on the spot.

Next, you will come to the Giai Oan stream. According to the legend, this stream is where 100 imperial concubines tried to convince the King to return to the secular life but failed, because they didn't complete their mission, they drowned themselves in the stream. Feeling pity for those imperial concubines, the king named this stream as vindication stream and ordered to build the Giai Oan pagoda on the site.

The rough path will lead you to a range of small pagodas called Ngoa Van temple, Mot Mai pagoda, Bao Sai pagoda and Van Tieu pagoda which are located at 700 meters above sea level. You will be seduced by the charming landscape here and the term ‘a walk in the clouds’ is right on its literal meaning when describing this area. Continuing your walk, you will come to Heaven’s Gate, where the path passes through a high cliff.

Itinerary To Conquer The Sacred Mount Of Yen Tu, Quang Ninh

The Dong pagoda is the final place to end the journey to Yen Tu, this is a small pagoda which is made from the bronze sitting on the highest peak of the mountain. The pagoda is the place putting the statues of Lord Buddha Sakyamuni, and the three founders of Truc Lam Zen School including King Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa, and Hue Quang.

Standing in the highest peak of the region, you finally have a chance to contemplate the immense and picturesque view of the entire mountain area, it is such a reward to reciprocate the capability of yours during the long journey to conquer the top.

Thanks to Vietnam tour groups to give us the best information about the itinerary to Yen Tu, we hope that with this useful information, you will have enough motivation to have a visit to Yen Tu this spring. If you still have any questions, contact us. Thank you!