Hue is a Buddhist town, as 90% of Hue population is Buddhist. That is why Hue pagodas are always must-see destinations when you come to Hue. Among thousand of pagodas, Tu Hieu Pagoda is one the most significant one. It has a long history and a meaningful background story which play an important part in Hue Buddhism. Therefore, Tu Hieu Pagoda is a Hue famous attraction.
A getaway right in the city
One of the best things about this pagoda is its location. It is just 5km from the center of the city, which is not too far, but enough to get out of the hustle bustle of the city. In addition, this hue famous attraction is inside a pine forest, so you will be surrounded by nature when coming here. This is what makes this famous building of Hue Buddhism extraordinary. Even it is still in the city, it feels like a different world.
A convenient destination
In addition, the pagoda is near other Hue famous attractions, which is very convenient to go. Some nearby destinations that you should explore are Nam Giao Altar, Vong Canh Hill, Tu Duc Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb, and Thuy Tien Abandoned water park. So it is much easier for you to plan your tour around Hue. If you are interested in vegetarian food, there is also a very famous vegetarian restaurant nearby.
History of Tu Hieu Pagoda – the story of Hue Buddhism
Tu Hieu Pagoda was built in 1843, during Tu Duc King era. In fact, Tu Duc was the one who ordered to build this pagoda, since he wanted to contribute for Hue Buddhism. The pagoda also received supports from the eunuchs of the citadel. And after they retired from their jobs at the palace, they lived in this Hue famous attraction till the end of their life. In 1940, the Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh studied at this pagoda’s monastery before going abroad.
The origin of Tu Hieu pagoda
In the past, there was a legend that has made this pagoda so famous. It was the first monk of this pagoda, a person who love and respect his mother so much that he could do everything he can to make her have a better life. And one day, his mother was so weak that she could not even get out of bed. The monk worried a lot, he invited the doctor to help his mother. The doctor later told the monk that his mother was too weak because of her old age, there was no medicine can cure her, the only way was to feed her with lots of nutritious food like fish and meat. The monk had no choice, buying meat and fish went against his own religious, as being a monk in Buddhist mean you have to be a full-time vegetarian.
However, the monk still went to the market to buy non-vegetarian food for his mother. Every day, he walked 5 km from his small pagoda to the nearest market to buy food, as normally he grown his own vegetables. People at the market despite him as they did not know the whole story. They even insulted him whenever he walked by. But this means nothing to the monk, as he kept on trying to take care of his mother. Until one day, when the king came and know the reason, he felt so touched that he decided to help the monk by building the present pagoda.
Structure of this Hue famous Attraction
There are three main parts of the pagoda, the garden area, the worshiping area, and the living area. In the garden area, there is a half moon lake which is full of kat fishes. The garden is surrounded by hundreds of bamboos. Standing here, you will feel calm and peaceful, as this is also the place where the monks meditate during the day.
In the worshiping area, you will she the main altar, with a big golden Buddha statue in the middle. Other altars are used for worshiping the previous monks. They are always decorated with flowers, usually Yellow Chrysanthemums, as gold is the main color of Buddhism.
The last area is where the monks live. It was in the back of the pagoda, far away from the noisy main street. The area is simple and neat since the monks do not want to show off. Just remember to keep quiet when entering this area, you would not want to disturb the monks.
What to do in Tu Hieu Pagoda
This pagoda is famous for his spiritual vibe, that is why many local people come here to pray for their health or their career. When coming here, if you believe, you can try and pray for your life. Just put your hand together in front of your chest, close your eyes and whisper what you wish for. It is a highlight of Hue Buddhism
A quiet pagoda is a perfect place for a good relaxation or a nap to relax. There is a lotus lake which is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can relax there, under the shade or inside the wooden house. It will definitely aesthetic and picturesque, you can even do a photography tour.
Things you should aware of when coming to Tu Hieu Pagoda
Your clothes to this Hue famous attraction
Wearing the suitable clothes is very important when going to a pagoda in Hue. It is quite easy, the dress code is just polite clothes. Shorts and tank top is not allowed. It is also an unspoken rule of Hue Buddhism. Then how to dress the right way? Just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans will be suitable to get to any Hue famous attraction.
The aggressive sellers outside the pagoda
In front of the pagoda’s gate, there are some ladies who may follow you to sell water, crackers, and incense. Even this may make you feel annoyed, the seller would not do anything to harm you. So the best solution is just to ignore them, as their products may get quite expensive than usual if you intend to buy anything.
In conclusion, Tu Hieu Pagoda is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about Hue Buddhism and see hue famous attractions. You can take our Hue city tour or Hue Buddhism tour to get here and have a more detail view.