Foreign Diplomats Join a Spring Walk

“Friendship Spring Tour” is a special programme which has been jointly held by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisation, Hanoi department of Tourism and Thach That district People’s Committee. The event aims to introduce Vietnam’s historic relic sites and tourist attractions to international friends and helps promote mutual understanding between Vietnam and foreign countries.

This year, about 300 delegates of the government and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations in Vietnam visited Tay Phuong pagoda, a national relic site, as part of the progamme. Here, they were introduced to the history and unique architecture of the ancient pagoda of over thousand years old in the outlying district of Thach That, 40km from Hanoi.

Legend has it that, the pagoda was built in the 3rd century AD and reconstructed by King Le Trang Tong in the 16th century. The pagoda includes three separate two storey buildings, with brick architecture featuring long roof arches. Each roof has eight apexes, showing the four supernatural creatures: a dragon, unicorn, tortoise and phoenix, among other subtle patterns. The pagoda is renowned for its architecture and elaborate carvings typical of the 18thcentury. Most notably is a collection of more than 70 Buddha wood statues in diverse sizes, each featuring a distinct posture and facial expression, which have been recognised as national treasures.

Tay Phuong pagoda, also known as Sung Phuc Tu, was restored in the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Tay Phuong pagoda is located on Cau Lau mountain in Thach Xa commue,
Thach That district, 40km to the northwest of Hanoi.

Greek Ambassador to Vietnam Nikolas Kanellos is surprised by the spectacular landscape of Tay Phuong pagoda.

Foreign diplomats offer incense at Tay Phuong pagoda.

Foreign diplomats pray in front of the alter to Duc Ong at Tay Phuong pagoda.

Indian diplomats have visited Tay Phuong pagoda for the first time.

Tay Phuong is the most popular tourist destination of both domestic and foreign tourists.

Tay Phuong pagoda was built with three separate two-storey buildings, namely the Ha (Lower) pagoda,
the Trung (Middle) pagoda and the Thuong (Upper) pagoda.

Tay Phuong pagoda is famous for its sculptures.

The trip helps foreign delegates understand more about culture of the Doai area.

The serene space in Tay Phuong pagoda helps foreign delegates feel peace in their minds.

Foreign delegates are impressed by the ancient beauty of the pagoda.

Enjoying the piece of music “Thousands of Roses” performed with a Dan nhi,
a Vietnamese bowed string instrument with two strings.

Impressed by the architecture and historical value of the pagoda,SaddiSalama, Palestinian Ambassador to Vietnam, said: “The trip to this old pagoda gives us a chance to learn more about Vietnam’s culture and heritage sites which draw much attention from international friends. The trip left us with more fine impressions of Vietnam, the country with glorious historical chaptersin the 20th century”.

Participating in the tour, foreign delegates enjoyed an artistic programme of traditional dances and songs and some delicacies of Hanoi like Thanh Tri steamed rice cakes, crab vermicelli soup and vermicelli with fried tofu.
“Friendship spring Tour” not only provided foreign diplomats with a chance to learn more about Vietnam’s culture,but also pushed solidarity and cooperation between Vietnam and other nations.

By Tran Hieu