The Linh Ung Pagoda near Da Nang, Vietnam is home to the world’s largest statue of a female Buddha – the Goddess of Mercy – also known locally as Lady Buddha.
Lady Buddha stands 220 feet (67 meters) tall in her place on the Son Tra Peninsula. There are 17 floors within the Lady Buddha, each dedicated to a different Buddha. These are not open to the public.
Construction of the pagoda began in 2004 and finished in 2010. The location of Linh Ung Pagoda was chosen because people recalled that in the time of Minh Mang King (Nguyen Dynasty, XIX century), a Buddha statue drifted ashore there, as if appearing out of nowhere. This was seen as a sign of good luck.
In a courtyard on the way on the way to the Lady Buddha, there are sculptures of 18 arhat (enlightened persons) with interesting and realistic expressions, riding various animals. In the video, I take a guess that these are animals from the zodiac but that seems to be wrong. I also refer to the arhat as monks or Buddhas. They could be monks, but they are not Buddhas. Buddhas find enlightenment on their own, while arhat are led by a teacher.
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Visitor Information for Lady Buddha in Da Nang, Vietnam
To get to Big Lady Buddha, you’ll need to hire a car or motorbike. There is no public transportation option. You’ll have less walking and fewer stairs if you park in the upper parking lot. There is no entry fee, but donations are accepted.
Wear good walking shoes or sandals. You’ll have to remove your shoes to enter any of the temples at the base of Lady Buddha. Depending on the time of year, it can get hot. It was 85F/29C and 80% humidity when I made this video in March 2021. Some cold refreshments are available on the temple grounds, but don’t hesitate to bring an umbrella and your own water.
Hey, Everyone. I didn’t know there was going to be another one of these so soon, but today it was the last day of sun before a handful of days of rain and so I’ve decided to come up to what they call around here the big Lady Buddha.
If you haven’t tuned in before, we’re in Da Nang, Vietnam, and the big Lady Buddha is on the coast, part way up a mountain, not too high up, and you can see her from everywhere – at least on the peninsula side of Da Nang.
Da Nang kind of has this, there’s a mainland area and then there’s a peninsula that is very much attached, but then there’s like seven bridges that connect the two, that cut across the river. So on one side of the peninsula you have the river, I think it’s the Han river, and on the other side you have the ocean.
So on the peninsula side, if you’re anywhere near the beach, you can see big Lady Buddha.
I decided to come up here today because we’ve been meaning to, and I wanted to get to showing you something besides just walking around town.
So I’m here, I didn’t know how far the hike would be. I’ll be honest, I have just gotten part way. I can see her from here. I’ll show her to you in a minute. I’m experiencing this with you. This is my first experience here, too, and so any surprises are true surprises.
I’m walking over and I don’t quite know what I’m going to run into. I’ll show you a little bit of the grounds and then I’m going to show you the back of Lady Buddha. I’ll tell you what I know, as I know it, so hang on.
I will apologize if I don’t respond to anything, I’ve got a lot of glare on the screen so I can’t always see when you guys wave at me, or do responses. So if I don’t respond, don’t take it personally. It’s just simply I cannot see the the screen very well sometimes, between the sun and everything else. So let me flip the camera.
Flip, there we go, and I’ll show you some of the grounds.
We’re getting a lot of shadow, so give me just a second to get in closer and get some better color for you. See, we’ve got this nice pagoda style architecture.
There is an actual pagoda over on the other side of the parking lot. I don’t know if I’m going to be showing you that today. You might have to wait for the well and proper video that I will make on today.
Oh! There is a monkey. I had no idea there were monkeys up here. I did not know there were monkeys up here.
Okay, so that’s a surprise. Not that there’s a surprise that there’s a temple with monkeys, that’s very common in this part of the world. It goes running off. It’s extremely common around here. Almost any temple you go to will have monkeys running around. I just didn’t know they were in this area.
For as much as we’ve been here a long time, we haven’t explored as much as we should have. Every time we decided to go out and explore, we had a Covid lockdown.
So as I say, I’m just showing you a little architecture before we get to the big Lady Buddha. Also giving people a chance to join, so please give us just a little bit of patience.
I’ll show you around. As I say, this is big Lady Buddha just outside of Da Nang. It takes, oh, oh, oh, there’s a peek.
There’s a little bit of the big Lady Buddha right there. I believe she is 17 stories tall.
Oh, and we’ve got a little bit of her right in there.
The pond is not running like a fountain, which looks like it should, but it’s not running right now. Oh, there’s a dog.
The dog is obviously warning me off. There’s certain territory obviously. I like dogs, I love dogs. I’m not afraid of them, but when they’re protecting territory, yeah, I let them be, you know. But don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. And as I say, it’s just that one was taking a stance of warning, and at the very least you know letting other people or letting other dogs know that I was there.
So we are coming up on a courtyard with a bunch of sculptures. I’m gonna give you another peek at the big Lady Buddha. See, right there, right there. I don’t know if you can see it. Can I zoom in? I can’t zoom in while I’m doing this, but in her back it looks like there’s there’s some rectangles in her back.
I do believe there are 17 floors inside of the big Lady Buddha, but that they are off limits to tourists. It’s simply for the the monks that reside here to go inside of the Buddha.
So, you say Lady Buddha and I usually think, just automatically, Guanyin. But that might just flat out be the Chinese version. I don’t know if they just call her the Lady Buddha here. I say big Lady Buddha because, yeah, I can see her from all the way down on the peninsula.
So see, and we’ll get around to the front. I’m also going to show you the sculptures that are around here. You’ll notice the lotus blossom at the base. That’s very common for Buddhas.
I cannot read the signs. They do not have dual English signs here, so I’m just going to have to show you sculptures.
We’re going to have to deal with the lighting the way it is. I apologize, but that’s what the sunlight is doing.
The dangers of filming outside, because I can see on my screen it doesn’t look quite as good as I would hope, but maybe some will look better.
Oh, look at this guy. This guy’s intense. Look at this guy.
I am going to guess warrior monk on this one. I’m going to absolutely guess warrior monk on that one. You think I’m right? Let me know. Make a comment. Let me know if you think I’m right, that that’s a warrior monk.
Okay, ah we’ve got some nice columns with dragons.
Usually you have to take your shoes off to go in the into the temple, so I’m not going to do that right now.
This is no offense to anyone or anything, but I’ve been in a lot of these Buddhist temples. I don’t know if you can see in, there is a gold Buddha at the back of that chamber. But I’ve been in a lot of temples so I don’t necessarily need to go inside, or I may do so later, but sometimes photography is allowed inside, sometimes not.
Look at that sculpture. Look at that awesome sculpture.
This temple is not like ancient, hundreds of years old or anything like that. I forget the year, forgive me I did do some research on it, but it was a while back when I thought I was going to go a lot sooner.
But what it is, is at some point there was a shipwreck and ,um hold on, decline, at some point there was a shipwreck and a big Buddha sculpture washed up on the shore at this point, or like right below this point, and there was an inspirational thing that happened. It was seen as a wonderful divine thing and so they decided to build the this big Buddha and the monastery here.
Not all the sites in Vietnam are old and ancient. There’s another one, you’ve probably seen the picture of the bridge with the giant hands holding it up, I’ll be going there sometime in the next couple of weeks, I hope. They built that for tourism. I mean, they’re smart, you know. They know it’ll draw people in and so I’ll be sharing that one with you, too. Assuming that I’ve got connection, but I’m sure it will.
Look at that, look at that. Riding the tiger, riding a tiger. Awesome.
Okay, this person’s a little more peaceful on the elephant.
I am working my way towards the Lady Buddha. Okay, I lost, oh there’s the Lady Buddha. So never fear, we are getting there. And look at that very peaceful Buddha on top of, on the back of a ram.
Very nice, very nice. I love the sculptures though.
You’ll find as I go around showing you things, I love sculptures. I love ceramics. If I hadn’t, if I had gone a different route in college, or you know spent a little more time…by the time I got done with college I was just ready to be done. It took me more years than it should have to get through college, but if I had taken a little more time I might have been able to like double major with sculpture and ceramics but that didn’t happen, and that’s okay, but it means I have an absolute love for it.
When we finally settle down, if I have space where I can have a kiln, or something, I will have a kiln and do ceramics for fun. Kind of ambitious, but we will see.
Hang on a sec, oh, there’s a whole waterfall thing over there with another Buddha.
Okay, oh see, there’s a closer look at the Lady Buddha. See we’re getting closer, we’re getting closer.
Here here’s some thing scary to look at that, and this is one of those moments where I can’t entirely see what you’re seeing because there’s so much glare on the screen, so hopefully I’m giving you a kind of cool image.
Oh, this one’s fun. This one’s fun. Look, he’s riding a chicken. He’s riding a chicken! Yeah, look at that. I love that one. I’ll have to come back and get a still of that one, definitely.
Uh oh, fierce one, fierce one looks like he’s about to break out his spell riding a dragon. I dare say, of course, these are all the zodiac, zodiac figures, I assume. This is my assumption. If I’m wrong, I apologize.
Let’s see, and here’s the big entrance.
There’s a big, it’s a big Buddha sculpture up there. Is it a bell? No, it’s not a bell. It’s sort of bell-shaped, but I don’t think it’s an actual bell. Okay, so let’s now go walk over and take a closer look at Lady Buddha.
We’re gonna get, and I started this video not quite knowing how far it is, as I say, you’re experiencing this the same time I am.
So I don’t quite know what I’m doing, or what I’m getting into.
Oh, look at the nice sculpture all along the bottom. Let me see if I can give you a decent shot of this.
Look at that, clouds. I’m sure that represents clouds, the part below, the lotus flower. You see the lotus petals and then that’s riding on clouds. Again, if someone actually knows better, please feel free to correct me, but I did have a little Asian art history, so I’m trusting myself to have some decent guesses. There are some pictures, some engravings, low low relief engravings, of Lady Buddha up on that pagoda there. I’ve got some stairs to deal with.
This is one of the reasons I didn’t bring Tim on this right away. Because right now he’s still recovering. He is, by the way, he is healthy. He is recovered from the pneumonia, as far as he doesn’t have anything wrong with his chest or lungs, or anything like that. So for those of you who asked, yes, he’s doing fine. But he was down for a while and his strength has diminished. So you know.
We’ve got one more fierce lion figure.
But it means that he’s not coming on all these adventures. And with his, eyes his eyes have not been very good for a while. They’ve been worse than when we started this trip, so things like that are really challenging for him. And you know, there’s no alternate way here.
So here’s our side shot of Lady Buddha. This is what we’re looking at. Okay, see. Am I going to be able to keep this all the way around? You want me to keep it all the way around, because I’ve got some cool dragon things down here. I’ll keep it all the way around first, and then I’ll come back to the dragons.
Oh, oh that’s a pretty good view. That’s a pretty good view. We’re starting to get there.
We’re gonna be in front in a moment.
Then I’ll back up and we’ll get the nice full view. Whoa.
Oh, look at that.
Okay, I’m gonna give you the full from the bottom to the top. Let’s just do it right, let’s do this right. Okay, from down here then you have the incense burner and offerings, then you have the temples that you can enter, but you would have to take your shoes off to go inside, then you have the layer of clouds, which is probably heaven, and then you have the lotus blossoms, then you have the the robes, and then you have Lady Buddha.
Look at that, look at that.
I’m gonna do a proper, edited fancy video. Let’s see, I’m looking behind me. Sorry if it shook for a second, because I’m walking backwards so we can get the full scope of this.
They say the fact that we can see this all the way from just about anywhere on the peninsula side. I mean ,we had our first hotel room. I could see it. I was like, ‘what’s that?’ and I found out it was the Lady Buddha. I asked the proper name. I asked if it was Guanyin, and they said I would just call her Lady Buddha.
Okay, check that out. That is pretty darn cool, and the shame is that on the video screen I can tell it’s not as quite as impressive as being here. It shrinks things a little bit, but it is a wonderfully tall sculpture and looking up at her is really gorgeous.
On a sunny day, too. I mean, it’s really a beautiful sculpture in the simple white and you know it’s, as I say, it’s that thing where I’m happy to show you everything, but being here is a little different you have more of a sense of the scale in that, in that realm.
Let’s see, let me see what I’ve come into. Oh, let me let me give you an idea, a quick idea of the view so you can see where I’m talking about. See, now you can see the coast.
Over here we’ve got another pond with a dragon. Oh, we have the…I might have just gotten in someone’s selfie…we’ve got chubby Buddha. I know they say technically he’s not a Buddha Buddha, but we have happy, chubby buddha.
And I love the dragons. I’m a sucker for dragons, what can i say?
Okay, and you’ll see incense burning, and since people do pray here it is an official monastery.
Whoops, don’t go down too far. Steep stairs.
I do not want to fall down those, but you should be seeing it now.
Yeah, see, we’ve got the ocean right there, and that’s Da Nang.
That’s the main part of Da Nang. I can’t quite tell you where our hotel is, or not hotel it’s an apartment, but we came up, so you see a little bit of the mountain drive there and somewhere about that region is probably about where our apartment is. We’re a little distance away from the coast about 10 minute drive. I say 10 minutes, but it’s probably five or six actually. The drive up here from down there, it was only like 15 minutes you know, 15 to 20 minutes to get up here.
Ah, cool dragon. so I will say at this point, I’ve kind of shown you most of this and the rest I’m gonna have to capture and do on a proper video so that this doesn’t just run too long and, you know, I can edit down the the stuff. Let’s take one more look at that big Lady Buddha.
via [lion sculpture detour]
You’re always going to get a lot of sculpture shots with me. Can’t help it, I’m a sucker for textures, too. I love textures.
So we’ve got big Lady Buddha and right now I think that’s going to be the end of this LIVE. As I say, over the next week or so I’ll be putting together a video on Lady Buddha, on this visit, and I’ll add in all the little extra things that maybe you didn’t get a chance to see. You can see there’s like a pagoda over there.
So we’ll let you know when that goes up, if you subscribe to us on YouTube. Shameless plug here, just subscribe to us on YouTube. Of course you’ll know as soon as it goes up as well.
So the link in our Instagram bio does take you to our YouTube channel, which is where we’re putting most of our efforts right now.
Honestly, I’d love to do this in addition to putting these on YouTube, but we need a thousand subscribers to do that, so we’re not quite there yet, so I’m doing it over here on Instagram. I’d love to do it on both and consolidate a little bit, and spread that. Spread out, actually, not consolidate, but spread out a little bit. So thank you for joining me.
Hang on, let me switch the camera back so I can say thank you properly. Okay, so thank you for joining me. I hope you have enjoyed our visit to Lady Buddha in Da Nang, Vietnam. I don’t know when the next one will be. As I say, we have four or five days of rain coming up, but that may not stop me from filming.
So see you next time. Take care.
And of course I always have trouble finding the off button so I can’t see anything so it’s gonna look really bad…okay see you next time.