Hanoi Capital is the munipacility city of Vietnam that included downtown and suburban. In the suburban, there are many beautiflul and interesting place, including: Co Loa Historical Site, Dau Pagoda, Mia Pagoda, Son Tay Citadel, Tay Phuong Pagoda, Thay (Master) Pagoda, Tram Gian Pagoda, Two Binh Da Comunial House, Dai Lai Lake, Huong Son Tourist Area (Perfume Pagoda), The Scenic Beauty of Mount Tu Tram.

   

 

   
 

 

Co Loa Historical Site

Location: This relic of an ancient urban area and military citadel is located in Co Loa Village, Dong Anh District, Hanoi.
Characteristic: Throughout history, Co Loa was nominated twice as the capital of Vietnam: the first time during the An Duong Vuong era in the late 3rd and early 2nd century BC, and the second time during the Ngo Vuong Quyen reign in the middle of the 10th century.

 

 
   

 

   

 

The three ramparts archeological relics from the Bronze and Iron ages are 16km long. The complex of religious and commemorative relics includes Ngu Trieu Di Qui Communal House, My Chau Temple, and Bao Son Pagoda. Mystical relics such as Ngoc Well, Flag Tower, and Ngu Xa Castle make of this area a culturally and historically interesting area.

 

 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Dau Pagoda

Location: Located at the end of Gia Phuc Village, Nguyen Trai Commune, Thuong Tin District, Hanoi.
Characteristics: Dau Pagoda is famous for the two bronzes' Xa Loi bodies: Vu Khac Minh and Vu Khac Truong

 

 
   

 

   

The pagoda's gate faces west; the walls are not too high, mossy green and decorated in Buddhist designs and patterns. High on the centre is a big panel with characters "Thanh Dao Tu". Beyond the gate, visitors seem to be in a care-free world and live in an atmosphere of meditation. Three - door gate is an ancient architectural project overlooking Long Tri Lake. The gate was built in a lotus design with two roofs. The upper roof is symbol of positive world; the lower roof is square-shaped as a foundation. The pillar base­-stones to support the whole roof and the lowest roof is seen as negative world. Between the positive and the negative is a bronze-bell, a symbol of centre part of the lotus flowers.
A visit to Dau Pagoda helps visitors to see rare and precious exhibits: bases and stone-bases from Ly Dynasty decorated with lotus flowers. On staircases of the main hall, there are two stone dragons, a masterpiece of Tran Dynasty. The dragons were built in round bodies, winding as waves on blocks of stone; it's really an artistic masterpiece. Visitors will be deeply interested in the ancient traditional architectures, the sculpture pictures on beams, columns or panels... all depict legendary traditions: fairies on dragons, boys fighting tigers, or four sacred animals: dragon, lion, turtle and phoenix (long, ly, quy, phuong) or 4 seasons: pine-tree, butter­cup, ivory-bamboo and apricot (tung, cuc, truc, mai). The sculpture designs look very beautiful, realistic.

All architectural works and projects: the main hall, the worship house, the temple, the male and female monks' houses... were built of rectangular­ - shaped bricks (Mac Dynasty). The typical identities on the bricks lie in patterns of sacred animals: houses, dragons, carps to turn into dragons or vegetation and flower world.
But most interesting is the story of the monks: Vu Khac Minh and Vu Khac Truong. The story has it that: after reciting prayers, the monks burnt themselves by the innermost lire of meditation, they died under the altars of statues and their followers protected their bodies in meditativeness and coated with special paint, then put on closed-­in temples. Present world science has self-affirmed that embalmment shall satisfy 3 conditions as follows:
+ There should be chemical
+ Intestine and brain shall be moved away.
+ The dead body should be kept in closed box
In 1983, science has proved by radiograph (monk Vu Khac Minh) and concluded that:
+ There is no mark of chisel.
+ No phenomenon of intestine, brain moved away and joints adhere closely as shown.
+ Weight: 7kg
This is the most special culture heritage in Dau Pagoda. It's also a product of spiritism culture, the most sacred and interesting. The pagoda is admitted by Ministry of Culture and Information as "culture historical" monument.


 

   

 

   
 

 

Mia Pagoda

Location: Situated in Mia Village, Duong Lam Commune, Son Tay Town, Hanoi.
Characteristics: The pagoda was built during the Tran Dynasty (1225-1406) and still preserves many ancient artifacts.

 

 
   

 

   

Mia Pagoda is also initially called Sung Nghiem Tu. Several years later, Lady Nguyen Thi Dong, also called Lady Mia, had the pagoda rebuilt and renamed.
The pagoda has 287 statues of all sizes, among which are famous sculptures such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities. The largest one is the sculpture of Bat Bo Kim Cang located in the upper sanctuary.
The pagoda preserves many ancient artifacts such as the great red bell made in 1743, the bronze gong (1846), and the Lady Mia stone tables, set up in 1632.


 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Son Tay Citadel

Location: In Son Tay Town, about 40km from the centre of Ha Noi City.
Characteristics: Body of the wall was built of hard sandstone with one gate on each side.

 

 
   

 

   

Son Tay Citadel was erected in 1822. The wall is surrounded by a 3m deep, 20m wide moat. Each corner of the citadel was armed with cannon. Furthermore, there is the Kinh Thien Palace - the rest house of the king, residences and offices of provincial leaders, warehouses, and troop camps. Due to time and the effects of war, parts of the ancient wall were destroyed. Measures to prevent and restore this historical relic have recently been implemented.

 

 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Tay Phuong Pagoda

Location: In Yen Village, Thach That District, Hanoi.
Characteristics: It is also an exposition gallery for many national engraving and sculpture masterpieces.

 

 
   

 

   

The pagoda was built in the 8th century and has been restored several times since. In 1632, the pagoda was rebuilt according to the Sino-Vietnamese character Tam (three), featuring three sections: the upper sanctuary, back palace, and lobby rooms.
After climbing 239 stone steps bearing the signs of the passage of time and sheltered by the shade of age-old trees one reaches a gate. The gate carries the name of the structure: Tay Phuong Co Tu (Ancient Pagoda of the West). According to the inscription on a 17th century stone stele it also has two other names: Sung Phuc Tu and Hoang Son Thieu Lam Tu.
In 1794 under the Tay Son regime, it was completely renewed, hence its present design. It comprises three successive constructions: the Hall of Prostration, the Main Shrine, and the Sanctuary, all with doubletiered roofs. It seems that this architectural arrangement is inspired by Buddhist and Confucianist thought: the three constructions symbolize the three forces governing the world.

The central construction has a directing role and is consequently raised higher than the others. It symbolizes Heaven. The construction at the rear plays the role of a foundation: it symbolizes the earth. The construction closest to the world of man stands in front. The whole structure is the symbol of Thai Cuc (the Prime Principle, from which the whole world derives). The double tier of the roof symbolizes the double principle, Luong Nghi, yin and yang. The slopes, the roof on the four sides symbolize the four elements of heaven, Tu Tuong; the sun, moon, stars and deities, while the slopes on the eight sides stand for the Eight Signs of the Sacred Octagon (Bat Quai).
All the wooden parts of the pagoda are beautifully sculpted following folk motifs: mulberry leat Ficus leat lotus flower, chrysanthemum; dragon, phoenix, etc. But the Tay Phuong Pagoda is mostly famous for the statues it contains, magnificent wooden sculptures representing Buddhas as well as Vajrapanis (Kim Cuong) and Arhats (La Han) who are middle-ranking Buddhist deities. One in particular portrays Sakyamuni in meditation at the foot of Tuyet Son (Snow Mountain). He was then leading a life of extremely severe ascetics, and his emaciated body, as represented by the statue, shows good knowledge by the artist of human anatomy. The figures of the Arhats each bear distinctive features which depict meditation in original aspects. All are impressive works of art.
A festival is held in the grounds of the Tay Phuong Pagoda in early spring each year. It features many games and entertainment: marionette performances, tug-of-war, cock fighting, chess with human chess pieces... The central piece of the festival is the Sam Hoi (Expiation) ceremony, held on the 6th day of the 3rd lunar month, which calls on all men to practise compassion and charity, to avoid wrong doing, and aim for serenity and quietude.
Tay Phuong Pagoda is not only an historical site with valuable architecture, but also a scenic spot in Hanoi.


 

   

 

   
 

 

Thay Pagoda

Location: Situated at the foot of Sai Son Mountain in Phuong Cach Commune, Quoc Oai District, Hanoi, and 30km southwest of Hanoi City.
Characteristics: The pagoda was built in the 11th century according to Sino-Vietnamese character Tam, managed by Priest Tu Dao Hanh.

 

 
   

 

   

Thay Pagoda, alias Thien Phuc Tu Pagoda, was built in the 11th century during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong. At first, it was a small pagoda managed by Priest Tu Dao Hanh. The pagoda was initially built according to Sino-Vietnamese character Tam - this character is formed by 3 hyphens parallel to each other.
The pagoda therefore consists of 3 sections: Ha Pagoda, Trung Pagoda, and Thuong Pagoda. The outer part, Ha Pagoda, is a place for offerings and ceremonies; the middle part, Trung Pagoda, is a place for worship of Buddha; and finally, the inner part is a place for worship of Priest Tu Dao Hanh. An automated sandalwood statue of Tu Dao Hanh that stands and sits is located in a red lacquered shrine trimmed with gold and covered with a curtain.
In front of the pagoda is Long Tri pond, in the middle of which is a stage called Thuy Dinh, where water puppet performances are held. Nhat Tien and Nguyet Tien Bridges, built by Doctor Phung Khac Khoan in 1602, are located on each side of the stage.
Interesting sites can be visited in the surroundings of the pagoda. For example, Phat Tich and Cac Co Caves are located not too far behind the pagoda. A hole in the dome of Cac Co Cave lets one see outside the cave.

 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Tram Gian Pagoda

Location:  In Tien Lu Village, Hoai Duc District, Hanoi
Characteristics: It is impressive construction and history immerse the visitor immediately: its multi-pillared temples, ornate altars, leisure areas, where mandarins would play chess with live human pieces

 

 
   

 

   

Tram Gian Pagoda, also called Tien Lu Pagoda, is built in the "noi cong ngoai quoc" architectural style which means Cong Chinese character in the inner part and the Quoc Chinese character in the outer.
The pagoda was probably originally built in 1185 during the reign of King Ly Cao Tong on its present site at the top of the low Tien Lu, or Ma Hill. It nestles snugly on that hill in a natural cushion of mature trac, or kingwood and tram, or canari trees, and watched over by giant pines.
At festivals the separate pavilions were given over to all-consuming and lavish praise, no more so than the Gia Ngu where the statue of Buddha was paraded during water puppet performances on the semi-circular lotus lake.
A visit demands a degree of effort: a climb of several hundred steps, a walk down an alley paved with bricks and stone, reveals a two-storey bell tower of eight elegantly corner-curved roofs. Known as the Bell Tower of Tram Gian, it still preserves its detailed art work, its supporting columns carved with intricate lotus shape, the wood panels in the shape of dragons, flowers and leaves, clouds and the sky. Under the roof hangs a 1.4m tall bell, made in 1794 on which is also carved a literary work by Tran Ba Hien from nearby Van Canh Village.
Then, and another healthy flight of stairs on, there�s the main pagoda � the legacy of the Tran Dynasty in the 14th century but largely destroyed by the Ming invaders in the 15th and rebuilt probably during the Le Dynasty, as much as a tribute to those times.
There the statues of two Guardian Spirits, the Good-encouraging Spirit and the Bad-punishing Spirit, preside and the Thien Huong, or Celestial Perfume, and in the inner part of the second house two Thuong Dien , or Upper Altars, for the praise of Buddha. A four curved-cornered and columned roof shelters a drum, an equally large gong, both dating from the 10th Year of Canh Hung (1750).
The pagoda is seen as one entity or 100 smaller ones. It houses 153 statues mostly made of wood, some of clay red lacquered and trimmed with gold, all to the greater glory of Tam The, the Past, Present and Future Lives. A large terracotta platform supports an ornately carved altar bearing lotus flower, legends, and dragon, tiger, horse, and elephant reliefs. Nearby stands the black-lacquer jackfruit-tree wood statue of Tuyet Son styled on one found in the Himalayas. The imagery goes on at every turn: arranged and ornate altars to worship 18 Arhats and the Ruler of Hell in the Ten Great Halls, a separate pagoda and altar to worship Saint Boi or Monk Nguyen Lu also known as Binh Yen. Legend has it the statue is actually his rattan preserved body covered by an oil cloth.
Two mighty central columns bear parallel scrolls inlaid with mother-of-pearl praising the victories of the Vietnamese people�s struggle against foreign invasion:
Up till now that northern country is still afraid of the fierce rains
And since the by gone days the southern land is still waiting for the auspicious clouds.
In the pagoda itself, a statue lauds General Dang Tien Dong, who served King Quang Trung in the historic battle of Dong Da and then in 1794 helped repair the pagoda, casting its bell and erecting stele. He too was commemorated as one of the architects, if not of the pagoda itself, then certainly of its place in history. Not for nothing have Xu Doai locals praised the pagoda through time:
So Communal House, Gia Temple and Thay Pagoda, all are beautiful
But still cannot be compared with Tram Gian Pagoda.

  

   

 

   
 

 

Two Binh Da Communal Houses

Location: On the way to Huong Pagoda, in Binh Minh Commune, Thanh Oai District, Hanoi.
Characteristics: There are two beautiful communal houses: "Noi" or Inner Communal House and "Ngoai" or Outer one.

 

 
   

 

   

There is a connection between Noi Communal House and the legendary Lac Long Quan and Au Co. Although it is often called a communal house, it is, in fact, a temple to worship the national ancestor Lac Long Quan - Father of all Kings Hung.
The two communal houses were built long ago and had been destroyed many times through wars against aggressors for national salvation. In the years of 1946 - 1947, they were destroyed to build enemy posts when the French colonists expanded their battle area far out of Hanoi. The present communal houses are the ones which were built in the year Mau Ngo - King Khai Dinh III (1918). Noi Communal House, situated on its old ground, has a magnificent posture. Several years ago, a farmer, while digging the soil, found a bronze drum and some old objects ? 500m away from it. In the past, there was a "Troi" tree whose stump must be ten times as wide as a crook of one?s arms and its was 10m high with thick branches and leaves - green all round the year. Unfortunately, it was cut down in the year of 1954 - 1955 to make tables and desks for the village chi
ldren. At present, there remain two "Troi" trees - one on the village path and the other in Oai field with low and small shapes. These are the trees which can hardly be seen in the historical and cultural places in the Northern flat area.
In Noi House, at present, there is still a painting made of wood with red lacquer trimmed with gold describing King Lac and his inferiors watching a boat race - an old Vietnamese traditional festival which is still held in Dam Village, Thai Binh Province. Besides, there are many old precious objects such as: Divine Resisters, nominations (by the Kings), a newly found Bronze bell, and stelae dated back to the dynasties of Ly, Le, and Nguyen.
At the edge of the village is Ngoai House, adjacent to Highway 22. Its main door faces South, on the position of "Luc Long trieu hoi" (having six dragon turning their heads to). This is the place where Ly Lang Cong (or Hoang Chan - Ling Lang) - King Ly Thai Tong?s son - is worshiped. The legend goes that he was a talented and virtuous man, and did a lot of good to his people and nation, fighting against Sung invaders and defeating Champa troops. He died on Nhu Nguyet River (now a part of Cau River). He also helped people out of droughts. Therefore, he was considered the patron saint of the village by Binh Da people.
According to the legend, King Lac was born on 6th day of the 3rd lunar month, so there is a religious celebration at both Noi and Ngoai Communal Houses from the 26th day of the 2nd lunar month to the 6th day of the 3rd lunar month yearly. The 5th day of the 3rd lunar month is the day of King procession from Noi to Ngoai Communal House, and the vice versa in the afternoon; and King procession back to his former place at Ngoai Communal House in the 6th day of the 3rd lunar month afternoon.
Binh Da Village Festival is celebrated in memory of King Lac (Lac Long Quan) - the Viet people?s ancestor and a conqueror of the nature - defeating Fish, Fox and Wood monsters as well, and the person who did a lot for the establishment of the nation. Also, it is the occasion to be in honour of Ly Lang Cong, the village's patron saint.

 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Dai Lai Lake

Location: Dai Lai Lake is situated at the foot of Tam Dao Mountain in Me Linh District, Hanoi.
Characteristics: Dai Lai Lake is an artificially created lake with 525ha.

 

 
   

 

   


Over the lake lies a 3-hectare island and the highest point of the island is more than 23m, which is Home to different kinds of birds. To the west and southwest of the lake stands Than Lan Mountain. Atop the mountain, one can get a panoramic view of the lake. Many enchanting artificial beaches line along the clear and blue water, under the foot of different hills.
Dai Lai constitutes a holiday resort for Vinh Phuc Province and its neighborhood. Dai Lai is blessed with a favorable climate, cool summers and warm winters. Fascinating extras comprise natural landscapes of stunning beauty. In its vicinity, the Ngoc Thanh Forest covers 500ha of natural forests and 300ha of newly grown ones, sheltering a diversified flora and fauna. The alluring Dai Lai is attracting more and more holiday-makers.

 

 

   

 

   
 

 

Huong Son Tourist Area

(Perfume Pagoda)

Location: In My Duc District, Ha Noi, approximately 70km from the centre of Hanoi City.
Characteristics: Huong Son Tourist Area covers an area of a thousand hectares and includes a complex of mountains, rivers and streams, villages, pagodas, and grottoes surrounded by the Huong Tich Mountain Range, north of the Truong Son Range

 

 
   

 

   

To get to Huong Son from Hanoi, go by car to Ha Dong Town, and then continue on to Van Dinh Townlet. At the Te Tieu marking point, turn right and continue to Duc Wharf. Stop here and take a boat along the Yen Stream for about 3km to Tro Wharf, from where the Huong Son Tourist Area is accessible.
Huong Son Tourist Area is divided into three lines:
Huong Tich Line: It consists of Yen Stream, Trinh Temple, Hoi Bridge, Thanh Son and Huong Dai Pagoda, Thien Tru, Hinh Bong, Tien Pagoda, Giai Oan Pagoda, Cua Vong Temple, Huong Tich Grotto.
 Yen Stream
This stream flows between two mountains for 3km. However, sitting on the boat and enjoying the surrounding landscape, tourists may feel that this stream is endless. During the festive season, the stream is full of boats carrying pilgrims who have come to enjoy the landscape of Huong Son. Traveling along Yen Stream, tourists pass by landscapes, many of which are named according to their forms. On the left is Phoenix Mountain there is also Doi Cheo Mountain, which looks like an Indian python (Tran). Also on the left are Bung and Voi, two mountains having interesting legends. On the right is Ngu Nhac Mountain with the Trinh Temple where visitors stop and burn incense for the God of the Mountain. Before reaching Tro Wharf where the tour begins, the boat also passes by the Deo and Phong Su Mountains, Son Thuy Huu Tinh Cave, Trau Cave, Hoi Bridge, and Dau Valley.
Thien Tru Pagoda
Thien Tru Pagoda is also called Tro Pagoda. Founded by Venerable Van Thuy Thien Thien Tran Dao Vien Quang, the pagoda was initially a small thatch. During the French Domination Period, the pagoda was destroyed. However, the Thien Tru Pagoda was reconstructed after 1954, and in 1991, the Three Entrance gate of the pagoda was built in its present day form. To the right of the pagoda is the tower garden where the monk bones are buried. At the back, there is Thien Thuy Thap; on the left is a semicircle lake.
Tien Son Pagoda
To reach the Tien Son Pagoda from Thien Tru Pagoda, follow a small path, turn right, and then continue for about 1km. This small pagoda to worship Bodhisattva Quan Am is located on a high mountain in Nui Tien Grotto. Inside the pagoda and grotto there are multi-forms of stalactites. Music can be made by knocking on several of these stalactites.

Giai Oan Pagoda
The tour continues to Huong Tich Pagoda and Grotto (also called Trong Pagoda), and then to Giai Oan Pagoda, which was founded by Patriarch Monk Thong Dung Huy Tam II. Originally, Giai Oan Pagoda was a small thatch located on Long Tuyen Mountain. The pagoda was restored in 1928, and again in 1937. In 1995, the Tu Van Temple and the yard of the pagoda were built. Bodhisattva Quan The Am is worshipped at this pagoda. At present, the valuable statue of Tu Ty Quan Am cast in the 18th century is kept in Tu Van Temple. Inside the pagoda, there is the Thanh Tri well, which according to legend was the place where Bo Tat Quan The Am Dieu Thien took a bath before going to the Buddha. Since that time, pilgrims have come to drink the water from this well to rid themselves of their desires and sufferings of daily life.
Huong Tich Pagoda and Grotto
From Giai Oan Pagoda, the tour continues to Huong Tich Pagoda and Grotto, located 2.5km from Thien Tru Pagoda, reached by climbing some stone-steps. At the top of the stairs is the gate of the grotto, which looks like the mouth of a dragon. Visitors then descend 120 stone steps into the Huong Tich Grotto.
In the middle of the entrance, there is a stalactite called Dun Gao (meaning box of rice); deeper in the cave, there is said to be one way to Heaven and one way to Earth. A statue of Bodhisattva Quan Am made of green stone during the Tay Son Dynasty is also found in the cave. Stalagmites resembling golden trees, silver trees, cocoons, hillocks, and a group of nine dragons surround the statue.
Written on the entrance of the famous Huong Tich pagoda are the five Chinese characters "Nam Thien De Nhat Dong", meaning the most beautiful grotto under the southern skies. These were the words spoken by Lord Trinh Sam in the 17th century when he visited the grotto.   
Long Van Line: It consists of Long Van Pagoda and Grotto, Fairy Grotto, Nguoi Xua Grotto, Cay Khe Pagoda, Hinh Bong Pagoda.
Long Van Pagoda
After travelling down the Yen River, the tour then continues by boat to Trinh Temple. Next, the tour stops at the Long Van Pagoda. Long Van Pagoda, surrounded by white clouds all year round, is situated on the slope of a mountain half in An Son Mountain and half in the forest. The Long Van Grotto was founded in 1920. The grotto, though small, creates mixed feelings for its visitors. 
Tuyet Pagoda Line: It consists of Phu Yen Temple, Tuyet Son Pagoda, Ca Pagoda, Bao Dai Co Sat, Mau Pagoda, Thuong Pagoda, Ngoc Long Pagoda.
Tuyet Son Pagoda
To reach this area from Thien Tru, follow a small road, turn left toward the south, and then continue for approximately 4km. The Tuyet Pagoda Tour is a visit to the second most beautiful landscape complex. Tuyet Stream is small, but the water is green and clear and flows around the mountain like a running dragon. The first stop on this tour is the Phu Yen Temple to burn incense to the God of the Mountain. Next, pilgrims go to Bao Dai Co Sat to worship Buddha. Bao Dai Pagoda is pleasant and quiet. Inside the pagoda, there is a valuable Nine Dragon Shrine.
The tour continues to Ngoc Long Grotto, which is not very large but has a unique style. The stalactites and stalagmites look like the nests of dragons. The best attraction is a statue of Bodhisattva Quan Am with her tender and kind-hearted face sculpted in the cliff.


   

 

   
 

 

The scenic beauty of Mount Tu Tram

Location: In Phung Chau Commune, Chuong My District, Hanoi. 

Characteristics: Nature has endowed Mt. Tu Tram with picturesque caves and caverns. Long Tien is the most beautiful cave.

 

 
   

 

   

About 20km southwest of Hanoi, along Highway 6, stands a limestone mountain amid a prosperous plain offering relic of Tu Tram Mountain.
When visiting the spot, the traveller is usually told the story of Mt. Tu Tram. In ancient times, the brightest and finest star of the heavens, Tu Vi, suddenly fell from the sky and has transformed into a mountain. The local people named it Mt. Tu Tram. In the Le Dynasty, in the seventh year of Canh Tri, 1669, a text was carved in the stone half way up its walls. The mountain was then called Mt. Long Chau or Mt. Phat Tich (the mountain embracing relics and traces of the Buddha).
Mt. Tu Tram is indeed a precious gift of nature. The landscape with its mountain and water is a Holy Land. Enamored with the beautiful landscape of Mt. Tu Tram, in 1516 King Le Chieu Tong had a royal stopover pavilion built and ordered the digging of canals and clearing of streams around the mountain for dragon-boat rides whenever he was free from national affairs. Quite a few religious structures such as altars and shrines, temples and pagodas were built during following dynasties. As a result, today, many architectural vestiges of different times are found, such as the Pagodas of Long Tien, Quan Yin, Vo Vi and Ba Lang, the Cao Son Temple, Mother's Temple, stone-slab pavilions and towers. Due to the wear of ages and the devastation of wars and nature, some of the architectural relics could not be kept intact and others lie in ruins such as the tower and little temple on the southwestern slope of the mountain.
Long Tien Pagoda, also called Tram Pagoda, was erected in the 7th year of Canh Tri 1669. It has been repaired and restored several times. In the middle of its high stone floor perron stands a stone slab with a relief carving of two lizards. According to some Southeast Asian agricultural people, the lizard symbolizes the fire genie. A group of Buddha statues in the pagoda bears the style of 18-19th century art with very delicate and sophisticated curving lines.
Nature has endowed Mt. Tu Tram with picturesque caves and caverns. Long Tien is the most beautiful cave. Its mouth is not so large but its vault is immense. Hundreds of stalactites in every exotic and eerie form flow from the roof and the walls of the cave. In the 17th year of Chinh Hoa (1696), King Le Hy Tong had dozens of statutes of Buddha, giant guardians and sacred deities carved in the cave. This treasure trove is of immense historic and artistic value, particularly the statute of Amitabha. It portrays him in a zen position on a lotus, with a round, chubby upright face and half-closed eyes, in deep meditation and wearing a sympathetic and savory smile. The piece was masterfully carved with delicate lines in detailed animation. The roof and the walls of the cave still bear the autographs of more than ten famous scholars from the Posterior Le to the Nguyen dynasties. Present are 20 pre-eminent essays in prose and poetry in classical Vietnamese script (Han Nom) heaping praise upon the beautiful landscape of Mt. Tu Tram. This may be seen as a cavern of literary coterie, thud rendezvous of generations of poets. This treasure trove is of a historic and cultural value rarely seen in Vietnam.
In the area of Mt.Trao, very close to Mt. Tu Tram, a little shrine is found on top of a mountain: Vo Vi Pagoda built in 968 AD. Today, on the stone walls around the pagoda are found slabs with scriptures of great historical and artistic value. Each year, when spring comes round, the local people around Mt. Tu Tram hold the Tram Pagoda Festival on the second day of the second lunar month. In the festive atmosphere, village elders recount for the young generation the myths and legends of Mt. Tu Tram.