Today: 19/09/2021 06:14:05 (GMT+7)

Treasure of Tay Yen Tu

(BGO) – The west of Yen Tu mountain range (Tay Yen Tu), with layers of cultural, historical and religious relics and works, has surprised many people whenever they visit it. Those relics and works, placed in the unique and diverse primeval forest, have created a treasure of the heaven and earth.

Treasure, Tay Yen Tu, Bac Giang province, mountain range,  religious relics, diverse primeval forest, heaven and earth, medicinal plants

Work on Ha (Lower) Pagoda is being urgently completed.

Not following the cable car route, we chose to climb up the mountain. The forest leaves hid the trails, some with almost no trace. Moss and rain made rocks and soil more slippery. We had to "struggle" in each step. Meanwhile, a companion we accidentally met on the way who is Trieu Thi Hoa, from Tuan Mau commune (Son Dong district), walked quickly although she carried a heavy load of medicinal plants on her shoulders.

She said: "Dao people like us have boasted close-knit relations with the Yen Tu mountain range for many generations. Trees, grass and wild animals have become familiar. We see mountains right upon getting up". 

Listening to her story, I was thinking that, on this way, for hundreds of years, there have been too many pilgrims coming to Dong Pagoda and Ngoa Van Peak to follow Buddhist King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong for "Hoang duong phat phap" (dharma practices). 

Although there are not many ancient pine trees, and pagodas and small temples which are quite intact as in the east of Yen Tu in Quang Ninh province, in Son Dong district (Bac Giang province), it is easy to see traces of the trails and places of Buddhist practice of the three founders of Yen Tu Zen Buddhism and their disciples in the past.

Nguyen Van Hieu, Director of Management Board of the Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, told us that the Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve is mainly located in Thanh Luan, Tuan Mau and An Lac communes and Thanh Son township (Son Dong district) and Luc Son commune (Luc Nam district) with over 13,000 ha of special-use forest and forest land. It has high biodiversity potential which is typical for northeastern Vietnam.

Scientists have discovered and identified thousands of plant species, including those which are particularly rare and even endangered, or has high medicinal value such as Tung la han (Podocarpus macrophyllus), Hoang dan (Cupressus torulosa or Himalayan cypress), Truc bung Phat (Bambusa vulgaris), Thong hai la det (Pinus krempfii), Tram huong (aloe wood), Ba kich (Morinda officinalis) and Tho phuclinh (Smilax glabra). There are also hundreds of mammals, birds, reptiles and many other species recorded in the Red Book of Vietnam such as Pygmy slow loris, Asian black bear, yellow monkey, yellow deer, silver pheasant, yellow turtle, king cobra, crocodile lizard, Anderson's crocodile newt and Yen Tu frog.

- Is there any way to find them? - I asked.

- It is difficult. Some staff working here often go to forests but they have ever seen those rare animals. Only a few local and international scientists who had been wandering through the jungle for many days with specialized equipment had chances to meet them. 

Treasure, Tay Yen Tu, Bac Giang province, mountain range,  religious relics, diverse primeval forest, heaven and earth, medicinal plants

Yen Tu forest attracts tourists thanks to its pristine, fresh beauty.

When catching the animals, they implanted microchips in the animals to closely monitor their numbers and range of activities. Every year, they come back to check. Doing so has helped limit illegal hunting and conserve precious and rare gene sources, thus making the unique appearance of Tay Yen Tu.

So, the precious and rare species of Tay Yen Tu have reappeared after many years of protection and preservation by forest rangers, scientists and local people. 

Standing in front of the three-door gate of Ha (Lower) Pagoda, you can see the magnificent and magical landscape of the sacred mountain area known as “the land of Vietnamese Buddhism". Connected to the spiritual path 293 and the provincial road 291, the Tay Yen Tu spiritual and ecological tourist area has been tapping its potential to become an attractive destination for tourists.

Quoc Phuong

Treasure, Tay Yen Tu, Bac Giang province, mountain range, religious relics, diverse primeval forest, heaven and earth, medicinal plants
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