Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex or Tam Chuc Buddhism Culture Centre is located in Kim Bang district, Ha Nam province, about 1.5 hours driving from central Hanoi.

It draws pilgrims and tourists who come to contemplate the unique architecture, enjoy the spectacular landscape and learn more about Buddhism.

The site sits on the foundations of an ancient Tam Chuc Pagoda dating back to the Dinh Dynasty more than 1,000 years ago.

Some parts of the new pagoda complex are under construction. The three-gate entrance looks imposing with architecture akin to an old citadel.

From the wharf, tourists get on boats with roofs designed like traditional temple roofs to reach the main area.

On the way, they can enjoy the view of Luc Nhac (Six Bells) Lake. The lake comprises six islands, which legend has it are six bells brought down from heaven.

The Tam Chuc complex covers 5,100ha, of which the pagoda takes up 144ha divided into many parts, such as the Jade pagoda on the peak of That Tinh (Seven Stars) Mountain, Tam Chuc Temple and Tam The Pagoda (The Main Hall of Buddhas of the Three Times).

Apart from three giant Buddha statues weighing 80 tonnes each carved with gold inlaid bodhi leaves behind, the pagoda displays 12,000 murals depicting legends of Buddha carved on volcano rock by Indonesian artisans.

Visitors can use electric cars to discover the whole complex, or go kayaking at Tam Chuc Wharf, as well as enjoy afternoon tea on a boat between 4.30pm and 6.30pm everyday./.