Co Thach Pagoda, or Hang Pagoda, located 105 kilometers north of Phan Thiet City in the central coastal province of Binh Thuan, is well-known for its elegant architecture and its perfect location.
The pagoda was originally a thatch-roof hut constructed by the venerable Master Bao Tang in the middle of the 19th century and was rebuilt more majestically by Ho Cong Diem who named it Co Thach. It was recognized as a national landscape in 1993.
Nestled amidst grottoes on a four-hectare rocky hill 64 meters above sea level, the pagoda is a complex of temples and towers that mingle with a pile of weird shaped boulders that form a natural work of art.
The path and stairs leading up to the pagoda are made of stone and the balcony is decorated with dragons. On a nearby hill is a statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and the pagoda has a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha.
Hang Pagoda is surrounded by primitive trees and mysterious caves. On the winding way to the pagoda, tourists can see paintings depicting the life of Buddha and Buddhists and buy souvenirs such as teapots, flowers vases, jewelry and Buddha statues made of coral, sea snails and rock.
Near the pagoda is Ca Duoc, a multicolored rocky expanse that stretches for nearly 1 kilometer along the coast. Recently, the new Co Thach tourism village was constructed with many attractive stilt-houses available to both pilgrims and to those who come to enjoy the splendid landscape. The top of the hill is the perfect place for a panoramic view of the area. Local fruit vendors here are a welcome sight in the tropical heat.
The ambiance here is animated during festivals, but most visitors are sincere in their prayers to Buddha for good health and good luck. At festival time, the pagoda often prepares vegetarian food for pilgrims and visitors.
Hang Pagoda has preserved many artifacts including bells, musical stones, documents and horizontal lacquered boards engraved with Chinese characters dating from the early nineteenth century.