Even old temples can modify from time to time. Ông Núi Temple is no different. The geomancy layout of the temple is at least 300 years old. Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu is the oldest known proprietor of the temple. He was a Lord and found this spot suitable as a place for homage and prayer.
Zen Master Le Ban was around here during a similar time. He often retreated in the mountains. He lived a life of spirituality. He carved a small temple in the cave close to this temple. The spirituality of these places comes from his original work. He often came back to oversee the layout. It was expanded over time. They call him Ông Núi, an auspicious spirit.
Most of the temple has been restored or rebuilt. War destroyed a lot of its original structures. The tile roof looks like the original and the dragon statues are very imperial in style and nature. A walk down the dirt path leads to the foot of the temple. From there, a 600 step walk up the stairway brings you to the grounds.
From here, there is a courtyard with a community inside. Monks live, study and work here. The biggest sitting Buddha in South-East Asia lies at the top of the hill here. It is quite a moment to absorb. It’s a bit of a ride out of the city, but worth a trip as part of an excursion or an idle motorbike around.
Ông Núi Temple is in Binh Dinh. You need transport to visit from Quy Nhon. Admission is free at the time of writing.