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We’d been in Da Nang for several days including Christmas Day but had negated to check the weather before we travelled, so we didn’t realise we were in the midst of ‘rainy season’ (not the best time of year to visit Da Nang). Every morning, we’d walk out onto our balcony overlooking My Khe beach and stare longingly at the large ‘Lady Buddha’ statue we could see looking over the bay in the distance. We had always seen it mentioned in many Da Nang itinerary posts so we really wanted to check it out.
After several days of grey skies and looming clouds in Da Nang, we saw a glimmer of sun on Boxing Day and decided to visit. Given the sunshine was so limited and every minute likely counted, we opted to forgo the 90 minute walk from our hotel and got a Grab taxi instead using our app (105k VND fare or roughly £3.50). In hindsight, it is also probably best not to walk all the way to the statue as the final stages of the approach can only be reached by a steep road with no proper pavements and a continual stream of large buses and fast moving mopeds.
As we approached the statue (also known as the ‘Bodhisattva of Mercy’) in our taxi, we were taken aback by the sheer size of it and just how beautiful the surrounding temples and pagodas were. Indeed, she is the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam, with a height of 67 metres, standing proud on the Son Tra Peninsula. One of the biggest statues we had seen during our one month Vietnam trip!
The statue is positioned on the side of the mountain and near to the sea in such a way that you can see her presence from almost anywhere in Da Nang city. As you look up, you’ll see that one hand holds a bottle of holy water, and on her head, there is another smaller Buddha statue.
Inside, there are 17 floors (with each one paying respects to a different Buddha) although we couldn’t see a way to access them on the day we visited so they may be closed to the general public.
Located next to the Lady Buddha statue, Linh Ung Pagoda was opened in 2010 although the original complex was constructed in the 18th century under the watchful eye of Emperor Minh Mang, and has been restored in recent years, along with several other large temples, statues and wonderful gardens (complete with monkeys and dogs lounging in the sun).
In fact, this is a such a sublime site to visit that it is almost a shame you have to fight for your space amongst all the large tour bus groups. There are some quiet and tranquil spaces but the main area directly below the Lady Buddha can get incredibly busy – if you want to encounter the statue with a degree of solitude or quiet, it is best to visit early or late in the day, when the tour buses are not on the road. Entrance to the site is free – wear modest dress.
Heading to Marble Mountains?
Please read our crime in Da Nang blog post about how we got robbed to ensure it doesn’t happen to you!
Travelling around Vietnam?
Other South East Asia blog posts
- Highlights of Hanoi, Vietnam (plus a few lowlights)
- The ultimate guide to Hoi An
- Top things to do in Hoi An on a rainy day
- A morning cooking class in Hoi An, Vietnam
- The best street foods to try in Hoi An, Vietnam
- Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Hoi An, Vietnam
- A luxurious stay at the Avani Riverside hotel in Bangkok
- Exploring Bangkok at night by Tuk Tuk
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