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Mountains for pilgrims

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Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh Province and Cau Mountain in Binh Duong Province are ideal for globetrotters who want to make the most of nature and pray for peace at pagodas at the same time

The two mountains charming natural scenes are home to big pagodas where well-known religious festivals take place.

Ba Den Mountain

Tay Ninh Province is between South Truong Son mountainous region and the Mekong Delta. In the north of the province is vast forests and mountains while to the south is the Saigon River and the Vam Co Dong River. Moreover, the province is home to a host of traditional festivals.

The majestic 986-meter mountain is about 11 kilometers from the province’s Tay Ninh Town. To reach Ba Den mountain peak, travelers can take a cable car or walk on a wide zigzag path in a forest boasting pretty wild flowers, small cascades and streams. Moreover, travelers will be impressed with giant bamboo clumps that are as high as 30 meters and age-old trees such as long nao (Cinnamomum camphora), dau long (Dipterocarpus intricatus Dyer), to name but a few.

It takes one hour to reach the peak. All the tiredness will disappear when travelers reach Dien Ba Mountain Pagoda which is always crowded with pilgrims on full-moon days.

Behind the pagoda are Ha, Trung, Thuong and Hang pagodas and some natural caves like Thanh Long, Ba Co, Ba Tuan, Thien Thai and Ong Ta.

Ho (Tiger) Cave on the mountainside have big and small rocks stacked on the top of each other. In addition, visitors will be enchanted by picturesque views at Vang (Golden) Stream, Cham Lake, Ong Lon Tra Vong Temple and Quan Ngua Yard.

Ba Den Mountain Festival takes place in the first lunar month, around February, attracting visitors across the country. Via Ba Ceremony on the fifth and sixth days of the fifth lunar month (June) and Mother God festival on the 14th, 15th and 16th days of the eighth lunar month (September) also lure droves of pilgrims.

Ao Tien Temple features a pond full of lotuses

Cau Mountain

Cau Mountain comprises 21 mountains with Cua Ong Mountain being the highest one, 295 meters above sea level. The first destination is Thai Son Pagoda on a five-hectare precinct where visitors can see Tam Quan entrance, the 36-meter-tall Cuu Trung Tower, a 12-meter statue of Bodhisattva and Ngoc Temple boasting unique architecture. The Thai Son Pagoda is a venue where Mother God Festival taking place on the 13th, 14th and 15th days of the eighth lunar month (September). This is the biggest event on Cau Mountain every year.

Behind the main hall of the pagoda is the staircase with 1,000 stone steps leading to Cau Mountain peak. On the way, travelers will pass large forests. There is a two-story temple worshipping Jade Emperor and General Bay worked for General Le Van Duyet who was a high-ranking mandarin under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).

Ba Den Mountain Festival attracts many visitors across the country

From the temple tourists can admire Dau Tieng Reservoir beneath. The 27,000-hectare lake supplies water for Tay Ninh Province and surrounding areas. Take a boat tour around the lake or go fishing on the lake and you’ll see how worth it will be.

Ao Tien Temple, around 300 meters from Thai Son Pagoda, is sandwiched between mountains. The temple has a pond full of lotuses. In summer, these lotuses are in full bloom releasing their pleasant aroma.

By Dang Hoang

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