CO LE PAGODA Co Le pagoda is situated in the town of Co Le, Truc Ninh district of Nam Dinh province, about 15 kms from the center of the provincial town. As legend has it, this pagoda was built by the monk Thich Minh Khong under the Ly dynasty. It had been renovated several times during the course of history. The present pagoda was built by Buddhist reverend Pham Quang Tuyen in 1920. In front of the pagoda lies the 12-story Cuu Pham Lien Hoa (Nine colors of the lotus flower) tower; the base of the tower has the shape of a turtle. There is a 60-step spiral staircase in the tower. Visitors can climb the steps to the top of the tower for a magnificent view of the neighborhood.
PHO MINH PAGODA (The ruins of Tran dynasty palaces) Tuc Mac village is situated on the west end of Nam Dinh town, about 3 kms from the town’s center. This is the home village of the first King of the Tran dynasty, and the birthplace of General Tran Hung Dao, the most talented general in Viet Nam’s history who had defeated the Mongols 3 times. The ruins of the Tran dynasty palaces scatter in an area tens of thousands of square meters, including Thien Truong and Co Trach temples dedicated to the Tran Kings and Tran Hung Dao, and Pho Minh pagoda.
This pagoda was erected during the Ly dynasty and was expanded in 1262 under a decree by a King of the Tran dynasty. This is a large pagoda with lake pavilion, lotus pond, and many giant trees. There is an enormous bronze incense burner in front of the pagoda that weighs 7 tons. A tower in the shape of a lotus, 21 meters and 13 storied high, was built within the vicinity of the pagoda in 1305. This is an architectural wonder as the 700-tonn tower relies on a base of only 30 m2 in an area of weak land foundation but has remained where it is today for 700 years.