The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence

Drenched in golden light, this special pagoda resembles a magnificent palace.

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Awe-inspiring Khmer pagodas in the charming western coastal region are among the major tourist attractions in Tra Vinh.

It must take days to visit all the pagodas in Tra Vinh. So it makes more sense for tourists with a tight schedule to pick a few prominent places in the itinerary, among which, Vam Ray pagoda is definitely a must-visit destination.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
Vam Ray pagoda is located near Tra Vinh city center. (Photo: scootersaigontour.com)

Located in a large area in Ham Tam commune, Tra Cu district, Vam Ray pagoda is about 35km from Tra Vinh city.

This is the largest Theravada Buddhist pagoda in Vietnam, boasting an existence of over 600 years. Despite having been newly built on the foundation of the old pagoda, the majestic Vam Ray the ancient and traditional features of a sacred place of practice.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
The pagoda is prominently painted in shiny yellow. (Photo: Henry Duong)

From afar, tourists can see that Vam Ray pagoda stands out with its brilliant yellow color and bold Angkor architectural style.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
Vam Ray has the architectural style of Angkor. (Photo: phat Giao.org.vn)

The yellow color covering all the buildings on the premises and the majestic look of the pagoda give the feeling of being lost in a palace, where the glitter of gold can be seen everywhere, from the entrance gate, the dome, and the walls, to the columns, and the basic reliefs.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
The pagoda looks absolutely stunning from every angle. (Photo: Ly Anh Thu)
The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
The inside of the main hall is also elaborately and lavishly decorated. (Photo: phat Giao.org.vn)

That is just the first impression, as the more visitors delve into the architectural works at Vam Ray pagoda, the more they go from one surprise to another.

The center of the pagoda, the main hall, is extremely elaborate and sophisticatedly built, featuring Khmer architecture. The inner area is richly decorated with colorful paintings representing Buddhist teachings.

In addition to the main hall, scattered across the pagoda premises are multiple impressive architectural works such as the head statue of the four-faced saint Maraprum, the half-human half-beast goddess Kayno, and the god bird Marakrit.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
Scattered across the pagoda premises are multiple impressive architectural works. (Photo: Vien Vien Ngoc)

The most prominent feature is the giant Buddha statue entering Nirvana with a length of 54m. The entire statue and pedestal are also solemnly gilded. This is also one of the largest outdoor reclining Buddha statues in Vietnam.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
The golden Buddha statue is in the southeast of the main hall. (Photo: phat Giao.org.vn)

Apart from admiring and capturing unique architectural angles, visitors also have the opportunity to explore and experience Khmer culture at Vam Ray pagoda. The pagoda is not only a place where people come to worship Buddha and pray for peace but also a living place of the Khmer community.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
On the occasions of Chol Chnam Thmay, Dol Ta, or Ok-om-bok, Vam Ray pagoda is crowded with residents praying for peace. (Photo: tourdulichuytin.com)

During Tet or other festivals, an atmosphere of profoundness of religion and vibrant cultural colors of the Southern Khmer people permeates the pagoda. If you are a lover of cultural experiences and a collector of gorgeous photos, Vam Ray pagoda is definitely a place you cannot miss when setting foot in Tra Vinh.

The 600-year-old Golden Pagoda in Tra Vinh Boasts Palace-like Magnificence
Vam Ray pagoda is definitely a place you cannot miss when visiting Tra Vinh. (Photo: thucaoss)
Ann Phan