Home China Guide Vietnam Attractions Thien Mu Pagoda Temple Complex

Thien Mu Pagoda Temple Complex

The pagoda and the complex is now considered one of Vietnam's major tourist attractions. People who like history, the Buddhist religion, or old architecture appreciate the attraction.

  • Beautiful scenery in a quiet area
  • 360 meters by 50 meters complex
  • Famous historically
  • One of the top attractions of Hue
  • The tallest ancient pagoda in Vietnam

The pagoda and the complex is now considered one of Vietnam's major tourist attractions. People who like history, the Buddhist religion, or old architecture appreciate the attraction.

Probably few active Buddhist temple complexes in Vietnam have the combination of great scenery, the relative quiet, the size, and the cleanliness that Thien Mu has.

See this and other sites in our 15-day tour of the great sights of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Location

The Thien Mu Pagoda and temple complex is just to the west of downtown Hui. The temple buildings sit on a bend of the Perfume River on a rise of flat prepared ground. They overlook the placid greenish-brown river on two sides.

The combination of hundreds of evergreen trees, potted bonsai trees and the watery and hilly green scenery make it scenic and quiet. A breeze adds a fresh pine scent to the scene.

The Tu Nhan Pagoda

The pagoda is in front and is called the Tu Nhan Tower. It was built in 1844 when the Nguyen clan ruled Vietnam. At that time, the Citadel of Hue nearby was their capital city.

The tower is above the stairs next to the river bank. It has round windows and is composed of red brick. It is 21 meters (69 feet) tall. There are seven floors, and they are shorter as they go up.

The Temple Complex

To the left of the pagoda is another building housing a famous bronze bell that was cast in 1710 and is said to weigh 2,052 kilograms or 4,523 pounds.

The first main building you come to has a tile floor. There is a gold idol in a glass case. Past this building, you’ll find a square brick tiled plaza with bonsai trees and potted plants and two more central buildings.

Past the central buildings, you’ll find a 150 meter by 50 meter section of park. There is a shrine that looks like a miniature 1?-story 6-floor green mini-pagoda. Past this square is an area of evergreen trees. You may hear chanting and the bells being rung during your visit.

400-Year History

The first temple was built in 1601. Over the centuries, new buildings and walls were erected, and the main pagoda was built in 1844. It is a famous Buddhist complex.

During the 1960s Buddhist monks there were active politically. The famous monk shown on TV who burned himself with gasoline on a Saigon street came from this temple. His name was Thich Quang Duc. The car that drove him to Saigon is in the complex.

Essential Information

Fee: Free

Hours: 7:30 to 11:30 am and 2:00 to 5:30 pm. It is probably ideal if you can arrive in the middle of a sunny clear day. The evergreen trees and other tall trees provide cool shade.

Taxi: Taking a taxi is problematical because drivers might set meters to charge far more than they should. A trip from the downtown part of Hue should cost about 50,000 dong (2.50 USD).

Walk, jog or bicycle: If you want to, you can jog, walk, or bicycle there and see the scenery along the way.

On the Citadel side of the river, you’ll see the front gate fort as you go west. Then after a little more than a kilometer, you’ll reach Bach Ho Bridge with its railroad tracks. Pass over that, and you can go along Kim Long street along the bank for another approximately 3 kilometers to reach the temple.