There are many pagodas named “Hang” (Cave temple) across the country, but Hang pagoda located in Van Tac Mountain in Van Son Ward, Do Son District, Hai Phong City is believed to be the place where Buddhism first introduced in Vietnam.
According to research documents, in the 2nd century BC, a monk named Bần (some documents suggested that it was a monk from Indian) from Thien Truc land, the place where Buddhism was born, came to live in the cave.
The pagoda is set inside 7m wide-cave along the ridge slope at 35m height. The cave is shaped like a trapezium deep into the mountain with a length of 25m. Being located in a special terrain, plus facing the immense sea, the pagoda and surrounding auxiliary works form a unique architectural complex from distance.
The pagoda still has many valuable relics such as a stone altar of Amitabha, green stone statue of the founding monk meditating on a lotus, a stone bowl carved into the shape of the cauldron’ foot placed in front of the altar and an ancient well deeply located in the cave.
Hang pagoda makes visitors feel a very sacred atmosphere hidden in the taciturn beauty of the ancient pagoda. This is really an interesting destination to learn about the history of Buddhism in Vietnam.