Nha Trang, Vietnam - Long San Pagoda
At the foot of Trai Thy Mountain, in Nha Trang, lies the Long San Pagoda. This is recommended for any visitor to Nha Trang who wants a break from the beach and scuba diving scene and understand better the grassroots life of the locals. It has a unique address of 22 October 23 Street. There is a bell pavilion, a Sleeping Buddha, a giant pink coloured container and a strong sense of tradition and heritage.
Mosaic murals and motifs are scattered around the main shrine hall, from which you can see two illustrative examples - a legendary animal above and the Chinese script for "fa" or prosperity in Mandarin, below.
Standing at 14 meters tall, the representation of the Gautama Buddha occupies the highest point in the complex, sitting on a lotus blossom with a circumference of 7 meters. The long dragons protecting them are 7.2 meters long each. This Buddha overlooks the city and the ocean, in a classic and traditional repose of 'sitting on mountain and looking at the sea". One walks up a couple of squat outdoor staircases from the main shrine hall and is rewarded by views from a vantage point.
There are visibly three levels to walk up when you approach the Long San from a busy street side in an inland part of the city. You can walk back from this temple complex back to the Nha Trang tourist and ocean waterfront in under 30 minutes, after ducking hordes of motor cycles and walking past various forms of commerce. here in Long San, you can savour the tranquility and timelessness of patience, compassion and architecture. For the latter, it is evident there are strong influences from not just China, but from Kampuchea, Thailand and India.