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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Default Phat Quang pagoda, Phan Thiet City

Located on Tran Quang Khai Street, Hung Long Ward, Phan Thiet City, Phat Quang Pagoda was built in the early 18th century when the first Vietnamese entered the land of Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province and is the oldest pagoda in this city by the sea.

Lying on sand hills, Phat Quang is known to locals as Sand Pagoda. This is not only a cradle of Buddhism in Binh Thuan Province but also an invaluable cultural heritage. Three Chinese monks spent 28 years carving the pagoda’s Phap Hoa prayer-book and 118 Thi Huyet wood pieces with 600,000 words and many images of the preaching Buddha. This priceless prayer-book broke the record for the most ancient prayer-book in Vietnam on January 2, 2006. Not long after that, on November 7, 2006, Phat Quang Pagoda broke another record for the biggest bell in Vietnam.

After many restorations and repairs, this pagoda contains the architectural traits of Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism with in its three-door gate, bell-tower, etc. One important thing to attract people to Phat Quang is the pagoda has so many “the most” such as most dragons with 166, patterns and embossments. On October 24, 2007, Vietkings Record Company acknowledged Phat Quang as having the country’s biggest wooden bell.

Among the bustling environment of a tourist city, Phat Quang is still a quiet and peaceful place for Buddhists and travelers. When the construction of the 21 meter Phap Hoa Tower to worship the Phap Hoa prayer-book and a collection of 50,000 Mitreya Buddha is finished, Phat Quang will surely become a well-known tourist spot not to be missed.

By Khai Nguyen
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