Sitting at the foot of the Annamite Range, Nam Son Pagoda has been a site of worship since 1962. With an architectural design typical of Central Vietnam and a serene atmosphere that can calm the mind, this holy site is a must for travelers to Da Nang who are interested in Vietnam’s spiritual beliefs.
1. Where is Nam Son Pagoda In Da Nang?
Situated in Cam Nam Village, Hoa Chau Commune, Da Nang City, Nam Son Pagoda was built with the donations of Nguyen Van Chau and some other devoted local Buddhists. Its current abbot is Zen monk Thich Hue Phong.
Opening hours are from 5 am to 9 pm, offering plenty of time for travelers to explore the pagoda’s 10,000-square-meter grounds.
2. How To Get To Nam Son Pagoda In Vietnam
It takes a 15-to 20-minute drive to go from the city center to Nam Son Pagoda. While there are a few different routes to take, the easiest to follow will have you start from 2/9 Street. Go along to Le Thanh Nghi Crossroad and head to Hoa Xuan Bridge, then turn right onto Thang Long Street. Go straight ahead and turn right onto Pham Hung Street. Cross Cam Le Bridge and make another right turn onto Me Thu Street. Keep going straight until you see Nam Son Pagoda.
3. Discover the unique architecture of Nam Son Pagoda Da Nang
3.1. Overview of Nam Son Pagoda’s architecture
Leaning onto the Annamite Range and facing Da Nang’s famous Marble Mountains, the pagoda is not as well-known to foreign tourists as to local pilgrims and travelers who come for its stunning scenery and architecture.
Nam Son Pagoda’s design is the brainchild of Abbot Thich Hue Phong himself. While the traditional Central Vietnam architecture still dominates the overall style of this holy site, contemporary Vietnamese features have also added their touches. Traditional timbers appear alongside the more modern glass windows and metal railings to give a bit of a modernized look to this otherwise quaint monastery.
The architectural beauty of Nam Son Pagoda lies in the richness of painted decorations with bright color schemes and intricate carvings.
Gilded pyramidal double-eave roofs lend a striking appearance to most of the buildings in this holy complex. Staying faithful to Vietnam’s traditional royal roof design, most of Nam Son Pagoda’s main structures feature decorative ridges and overhangs. Images of dragons, clouds, and lotuses are used generously to adorn the columns, roofs, and windows, giving an impression of grandeur and solemnity.
The pagoda’s Main Hall - the highlight of the whole complex, resembles a typical three-room house in Northern Vietnam, but with the adornment taken up a notch. There is a three-tier roof, dragon staircases, and an interior design borrowing its cues from Hue’s royal architecture.
3.2. Must-visit attractions in Nam Son Pagoda Da Nang Vietnam
- Phong Sanh Lake: Upon entering the grounds of Nam Son Pagoda, tourists are greeted by an emerald lake called Phong Sanh.
- Tam Tang Bridge: Tam Tang is part of Nam Son Pagoda’s garden. The striking orange color of the bridge is a feature that catches visitors’ eyes.
- Vong Nguyet Pavilion: As its name suggests (Vong Nguyet means moon watching), this pavilion has an open design, offering visitors a clear view of the moon and the serene water below.
- Guest house complex: Serving as a rest stop for visitors, the complex’s open space is consistent with the overall architectural design of Nam Son Pagoda.
- Main hall: The main hall’s structure is a nod to Northern Vietnam's iconic three-room house but the decoration has been enhanced with elegant upturned roof corners, ornamental columns, and intricate reliefs.
- Dong Tu Bridge: Despite its simple design, this bridge still captivates visitors with a bright color scheme and elaborate carving details.
4. Best tips for your first trip to Nam Son Pagoda
Adhering to specific etiquette rules and dress codes to show your respect is essential to a fulfilling journey to Nam Son Pagoda:
- Dress modestly, avoid revealing clothes
- In case your clothes are somewhat revealing, the pagoda also provides visitors with modern Buddhist blouses at the registration booth
- Avoid making loud noises
- It is not allowed to take pictures or film inside the buildings, but visitors are welcome to do so in the open spaces
In addition, Da Nang is a popular travel destination with no lack of attractions for tourists to visit, such as Marble Mountains, My Khe Beach, Non Nuoc Beach, etc.
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The traditional architecture of Central Vietnam and modern design go hand in hand to create Nam Son Pagoda’s grand and unique impression. While it still serves as a place of worship, nowadays, this Buddhist monastery doubles as a place for visitors to unwind and find peace, as its atmosphere is in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Da Nang City.
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