Hai Tang Pagoda on Cu Lao Cham Island – An Impressive Spiritual Destination with “4 Nos”

July 16, 2020 9 mins to read

Hai Tang Pagoda is a religious architectural structure combining Buddhist and deity worship, catering to the spiritual needs of islanders, fishermen, and tourists. It’s also an ideal destination to relax your soul, a peaceful place to forget all worries amidst the pristine and breathtaking natural scenery.

Hai Tang Pagoda is one of the famous attractions of Cu Lao Cham tourism in particular and Hoi An tourism in general. This ancient and sacred pagoda is shrouded in mysterious legends and ancient historical imprints that attract visitors from all over to come and explore with Vietnampeace.com.

1. Hai Tang Pagoda – A sacred ancient temple nearly 300 years old

Hai Tang Pagoda is located in Cau Temple, Lang Beach, Cu Lao Cham, belonging to Tan Hiep commune, Hoi An, Quang Nam. The pagoda was built in the Canh Hung period in 1758 and was founded by Venerable Huong Hai, who carved the mountain to establish it. Initially, it was just a tiny hermitage for him to reside. Later, by the fourth generation of disciples, the pagoda was expanded and named Hai Tang. Due to damage caused by storms in 1848, the pagoda was relocated to its current position and underwent extensive renovations.

On a pristine island with majestic, tranquil, and poetic natural scenery, Hai Tang Pagoda has become a famous tourist destination in Hoi An, attracting many visitors.

2. What makes Hai Tang Pagoda attractive?

2.1 Associated with Sacred Legends

Among the captivating attractions in Hoi An, Hai Tang Pagoda is known for its spiritual significance, which is associated with notable legends. In ancient times, a ship carrying wood passed by Cu Lao Cham when it suddenly got dark, so they stopped on the island to rest. But for days, an unceasing storm prevented the ship from leaving. After staying for a while, someone in the crew went to pray at the temple. Upon seeking spiritual guidance, they learned that the wood they were carrying had to be left to build a pagoda, unable to be taken away. It was from this event that the pagoda was built. It was named Hai Tang, with the connotation of gathering the three Buddhist treasures as vast and deep as the sea.

If you’re on a guided tour, you’ll undoubtedly hear this legend and receive detailed explanations about Hai Tang Pagoda from the guides.

2.2 The “4 Nos” Pagoda

Aside from being linked with mysterious spiritual legends, Hai Tang Pagoda impresses visitors with its “4 Nos”: no abbot, no gold or silver, no electricity, no resident monks. Formerly, the pagoda was presided over by Venerable Thich Hai Tang. After his passing, the pagoda no longer had a resident abbot and is still managed by the local authorities today. Perhaps these unique aspects allow visitors to fully experience the peace and tranquility here.

3. What to explore at Hai Tang Pagoda on Cu Lao Cham Island?

Hai Tang Pagoda is not only a spiritual destination but also an ancient temple with distinctive architecture, bearing similarities to the grand Buddhist structures worth exploring and learning about.

3.1 Enjoy the serene atmosphere of Hai Tang Pagoda

Separated from the mainland, nestled on a pristine island, surrounded by the natural beauty of fields, mountains, and forests, the pagoda is an ideal place to seek peace. Here, you can breathe in the fresh air, immerse yourself in nature, and forget all worries. If you’re wondering where to go in Hoi An for a day trip, consider visiting Hai Tang Pagoda.

3.2 Admire the Three-Entrance Gate

The first impression Hai Tang Pagoda leaves on visitors is its ancient and mossy three-entrance gate. Built in ancient style with three sections: a main gate and two side gates, the gate stands 5 meters tall and 1.5 meters wide, featuring a unique arched roof design with ancient-style tiled roofs. Connected to the gate is a stone wall engraved with delicate floral patterns, gracefully enveloping the pagoda, protecting it from attacks by snakes and other hazards. These exquisite details, imbued with the passage of time, create a unique and mesmerizing characteristic that leaves visitors in awe.

3.3 Pay respects to the Statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Behind the main entrance gate lies the 3-meter-tall statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, seated amidst a small lotus pond. Facing toward the East Sea, the statue symbolizes the compassion and protection of the bodhisattva for the local people, providing them with warmth, peace, and security. If viewed from the sea, you’ll immediately notice the prominent white statue amidst the vast rice fields and expansive forests, as if understanding all the worries and hardships of the islanders.

3.4 Pay respects inside the Main Hall of Hai Tang Pagoda in Quang Nam

As you venture deeper into the pagoda, you’ll encounter the solemn main hall, with tall, majestic rosewood columns creating a unique ancient atmosphere. The main hall is divided into three sections: in the middle, the altar worships the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Three Saints Guan Yu, on the right side, worships Chau Xuong and Luu Binh, on the left side, worships Earth Store King Bodhisattva. Additionally, on both sides of the main hall, there are altars dedicated to Guardian Spirits and Dragon Gods, and behind, the altar worships Master Dat Ma, holding a scroll, sitting in a half-lotus position.

All the statues in the pagoda, nearly 260 years old, are entirely carved from wood, coated with lacquer and gold leaf, rather than cast in bronze or gold like modern statues. Alongside, many decorative panels, couplets, and elaborately carved wooden beams adorned with exquisite floral patterns add a dignified, mystical, ancient, and culturally rich ambiance characteristic of Hoi An.

3.5 Explore the giant red bell with the inscription “1-0-2” in Vietnam

Hai Tang Pagoda also houses a large red bell with the inscription “song long trieu Duong” and carved images of dragons with four-toed feet, scales, curved bodies, and graceful dragon heads with long mustaches. The engravings on the bell are sharp and clear, bearing the style of the early Le Dynasty, indicating that this bell existed before the construction of the pagoda.

4. Tips for visiting Hai Tang Pagoda in 2024

4.1 How to get to Hai Tang Pagoda on Cu Lao Cham Island?

You’ll have to travel in two stages to reach Hai Tang Pagoda.

– Travel to the island: You can take a taxi or rent a motorbike from Hoi An to Cua Dai port. It takes nearly 2 hours to reach Cu Lao Cham Island by wooden boat and about 20 minutes by speedboat. The ticket price for the speedboat is around 350k VND per person (round trip).

– From the port to Hai Tang Pagoda: After disembarking, follow the small path for about 300 meters to Xom Cam village, where the pagoda is located. Though the

path is narrow and winding, it’s easy to find. You can follow the guide (if on a tour) or the directions given by the locals. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to observe the daily life of fishermen: processing seafood, bustling seafood markets, and lively scenes.

4.2 Things to note when visiting the pagoda

  • When visiting the pagoda, wearing proper attire is advisable, avoiding overly revealing or inappropriate clothing. You can also refer to what to wear in Hoi An for more ideas on suitable attire. If you unintentionally dress inadequately, you can use a cloth to cover up before entering the pagoda.
  • Though the pagoda doesn’t have an abbot, the atmosphere remains solemn and respectful, so you should maintain a respectful attitude, avoid making noise, and maintain order.
  • When visiting Hai Tang Pagoda, you’re free to explore, and don’t forget to light incense for the deities and Buddhas to pray for peace and good fortune.
  • If you’re traveling independently and need directions, don’t hesitate to ask the locals; they’ll gladly assist you. However, since traveling to an island, keep an eye on the Hoi An weather forecast to stay informed and avoid being stranded on the island.

In conclusion, Hai Tang Pagoda stands as a timeless beacon of spirituality, history, and cultural richness, nestled amidst the serene landscapes of Cu Lao Cham Island. Its ancient architecture, intertwined with sacred legends and traditions, invites visitors to embark on a journey of tranquility and enlightenment. As one of the esteemed landmarks in Vietnam, Hai Tang Pagoda continues to captivate hearts and minds, drawing pilgrims and tourists alike to its hallowed grounds. With its association with spiritual serenity and historical significance, it embodies the essence of peace and harmony that resonates throughout Vietnam. For more information about Hai Tang Pagoda and other cultural gems in Vietnam, visit Vietnampeace.com. Explore the depths of Vietnam’s heritage and immerse yourself in the timeless allure of its sacred sites. Let the tranquility of Hai Tang Pagoda be a testament to the enduring spirit of peace within the hearts of all who tread its sacred paths.

Ngôi chùa tọa lạc giữa đồng xanh bát ngát và núi rừng trùng điệp (Ảnh ST)

The temple is located between immense green fields and identical mountains (Photo ST)

Từ Bãi Làng trên đảo Hòn Lao, men theo những con đường nhỏ ngoằn ngoèo chừng 300m là đến xóm Cốm, nơi có chùa Hải Tạng trầm mặc cổ kính (Ảnh ST)

From Bai Lang on Hon Lao Island, follow the small winding roads about 300m to Com village, where the ancient Hai Tibetan pagoda is worn down (Image ST)

Ngay từ phía xa của chùa Hải Tạng, du khách đã nhìn thấy một bức tượng Phật Bà Quân Âm được thờ ngay trước cổng chùa (Ảnh ST)

Right from the far side of the pagoda, visitors saw a statue of Buddha Ba Quan Am worshiped in front of the temple gate (Photo ST)

Tượng Bồ Tát Quan Âm cao 3m đứng trên đài sen ở ngay giữa hồ sen (Ảnh ST)

A 3m high Bodhisattva statue stands on a lotus in the middle of a lotus pond (ST Image)

Trước hiên chùa là hệ thống cửa với 3 bộ cửa lớn, mỗi bộ có 4 cánh cửa ngăn cách không gian giữa bên trong chùa và ngoài sân (Ảnh ST)

In front of the pagoda is a door system with three large sets of doors, each with four doors separating the space between inside the temple and the yard (Photo ST)

Bên trong chính điện (Ảnh ST)

Inside the main hall (Photo ST)

Chùa Hải Tạng là nơi mọi người thường xuyên lui tới để cầu mong về sức khỏe, tài lộc (Ảnh ST)

Hai Tang Pagoda is a place where people often frequented to pray for health and fortune (Photo ST)

Những họa tiết chạm khắc theo lối kiến trúc xưa (Ảnh ST)

Ancient architectural carvings (Image ST)

Trong sân bài trí cây cảnh tạo không gian thoáng đãng, trong lành (Ảnh ST)

In the yard, ornamental plants create an airy and fresh space (Photo ST)

Nơi đây chính là một trong số ít địa danh của Đà Nẵng còn lưu trữ được nhiều nét văn hóa từ thời xưa để lại (Ảnh ST)

This place is one of the few places in Da Nang that still preserves many cultural features from ancient times (Photo ST).

Chùa còn lưu giữ một quả đại hồng chung lớn, trên chuông có điêu khắc “Song long triều dương” (Ảnh ST)

The pagoda also holds a sizeable red persimmon tree on the bell with the sculpture “Song long Duong duong” (Photo ST)

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