Halong is bestowed with not only some beautiful landscapes but also a diverse and storied history. Along with the beautiful beaches and pristine islands, there is a plethora of spiritual cultural relics that are very popular with travelers. For the tourist interested in the history and culture of this region, here is our pick of some of the sites that are worth visiting.
If you book a Halong tour to travel and explore Halong, Hong Gai Church and Long Tien Pagoda should be the first places on your Halong tours.
Hon Gai Church
Hon Gai Church is located on Dao Mountain, and was built in 1933, before being destroyed in 1967. In 1998, the Hon Gai Parish restored it and built a new church to look out over the Poem Mountain. The Church is built on a high hill in Roman architectural style. It is 42m long, 11m wide and 33m high at the bell tower. This is the largest church in Quang Ninh Province, and overlooks the entire of city center of Halong.
The Sacrament of Confirmation often takes place in Hon Gai Church. Most Christians in this parish believe that children who take Holy Confirmation will obtain the power to say no to evil, overcome temptation and vigorously spread the faith to people who live here.
Long Tien Pagoda
Long Tien Pagoda is located at the foot of Bai Tho Mountain, and is the largest and most famous building of its kind in the region. Built in 1941 in a unique architectural style that stems from the Nguyen Dynasty, it is decorated with numerous dragon patterns, a phoenix and many stylized flowers. Attracting a vast number of both local and international visitors, it is place of calm and peace where people come to worship Buddha, sightsee, and pray for peace and happiness. It is particularly busy on the first day of the lunar month and during Lunar New Year.
At the top is a three-entrance gate (tam quan), protected by an Amitabha Buddha statue in a seated posture. The steeple is engraved with the words “Long Tien Tu”. Outside the gate stands the statue of Bo De Dat Ma – the Father of Chinese and Vietnamese Zen. Long Tien pagoda worshippers revere Buddha, the Mother Goddess (Tam Phu Thanh Mau) and pay respect to old generals of the Tran dynasty. The pagoda is home to many ancient Buddhist statues and precious relics.
In addition, it hosts a big festival on the 24th day of the third lunar month each year. The activities of that take place include a palanquin procession along with traditional folk games such as Chinese chess, wrestling, ‘Chau Van’ tribal singing and ‘Cheo’ performances…