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Efforts to Make Huong Son a World’s Heritage

Huong Son is a famous vestige community and a beauty spot which was ranked national unique vestige and specialized visit attraction of Vietnam. With grandiose antique and solemn caves, temples pagodas, sheltering in the forest and among flowers and trees, Huong Son is also honored for its location in unique cultural home with typical festival, customs, life style of Vietnam rural villages. Historical experts, local authority, the vestige’s management board, domestic and international tourists coming for Buddhism worshipping, visiting and touring Huong Son all have the same opinion: Huong Son deserves listing in the world’s heritage.
Venue of history, religion and natural wonder
Domestic and international visitors, especially the later when coming to Huong Son all pay attention to worshipping Buddhism, ecstatically enjoying system of caves, temples, pagodas because of their antique, solemnity and historical, cultural and religious value through dynasties of Vietnam such as Trinh Temple, Thien Tru Pagoda, Giai Oan, Long Van, Thanh Son Pagoda etc. Besides, the landscape and caves are still untouched and natural.  
Trinh Temple is located on Ngu Nhac Mount, with pen-name of “Ngu Nhac Linh Tu”. In the temple there is a family annals book recording the legend that the mount’s General who was precursor of a Hung King in 6th dynasty Hung Huy Vuong, was credited to fighting against An enemy, bringing the peace and prosperity to the nation. As for ancient architecture, Trinh Temple is a small shrine among green mountains and blue water. Until the dynasty Le Thanh Tong, Hong Phuc first year (1572), Ministry of Rites composed legend annals and conferred the title for the temple.
After presenting to saints in Trinh temple, tourists will continue their journey of Buddhism worshipping and touring in Thien Tru Pagoda – which was initiated in 1467 on Le Thai Tong dynasty Quang Thuan 8th year. In addition to historical and religious value, the pagoda is a masterpiece marking the outstanding development in architecture of Le dynasty with sophistication in each vignette, line and composition.
Also antique and solemn like Thien Tru Pagoda, Giai Oan, Thanh Son, Long Van, Bao Dai Pagoda are located in the harmonious places, forming religious and mysterious attractions with pen names such as: “Ky Son Tu Thuy”, “Bach Tuyet Mon”, “Ngoc Long Dong” etc.
Of the most miracle and mystery is Long Van Pagoda – Cave. Long Van Pagoda is on the mountain side with the towers and roofs looming in the cloud and veil. Passing mountain strait of the pagoda, there comes Long Van Cave with many stalactites featured fairy and mystery. Long Van area also has Sung Cave, forming vestige community: “Long Van tuy tieu – Duoc tuc ky quan”. (Long Van is small but so wonderful)
However, Huong Tich Cave is still the irreplaceable destination in the journey back to Buddhism home of each tourist. Known as “Nam Thien De Nhat Dong” (the most beautiful cave in the South), Huong Tich Cave owns numerous stalactites in varied forms from mountain of rice, golden and silver trees, buffalo, pond etc. In Huong Tich Cave, Buddhism religion and people’s consciousness have formed a folk festival of long history and Vietnamese typical cultural features.
Coming to Huong Son in tours visiting caves, pagodas, temples on boats along Yen stream is also an interesting journey. Tourists sit on boats along Yen stream, Long Van, Tuyet Son stream winding along mountain sides to enter Huong Son area. Enjoying natural harmony and hearing sound vaguely from pagoda’s bells, each one can feel the peace and restfulness.
Concerns of management
Concerning historical, cultural and religious values of Huong Son vestige community, Mr Nguyen Van Hau, Deputy Chairman of My Duc District’s People Committee shared about preservation and promotion of heritage’s values. So as that Huong Son becomes the world’s heritage, it takes long time and coordination of many authority departments. As for locality, My Duc District’s People Committee has guided Huong Son’s Management Board to attempt to take management in 27.8 kilometer square with 18 national vestiges. As for preservation and restoration activity, the Board has tightly coordinated with masters in the pagodas to make plan of preserving and restoring, investing reasonably into the attraction. Especially, Huong Pagoda festival is the one last longest and of largest scale, attracting the largest number of tourists in all national festivals, the activity of ensuring safety, security, politeness and environmental treatment is given the best priority. The district has coordinate and guided departments, organizations to communicate with people and members to protect and ensure security in festival season, raise awareness of people about polite life style and actions with tourists coming to the festival, regularly investigate stores to avoid goods of low quality being sold at unreasonable price etc. Thank to good organization, Huong Pagoda festival welcomed over 1.3 million tourists in 2010 and over 1.4 million ones in 2011.
Added Mr Nguyen Van Hau: Temples and pagodas’ historical and religious values and Huong Pagoda festival’s unique features are profound and require research, evaluation and assessment from cultural, historical and archaeological departments, Therefore, in addition to effort of the district’s People’s Committee, so as that Huong Son is honored in the world heritage list, there need join from authorities, related departments such as the City’s People Committee, Ministry of Culture, Department of Heritage and Vietnam Federation of UNESCO Associations.
Huong Son becomes the world’s tangible and intangible cultural vestige, which is not only hope of citizens in My Duc district but also the target of Hanoi People’s Committee and opinion of many domestic and international tourists coming to Huong Son. Thus, based on activities and functions of Vietnam Federation of UNESCO Associations, it is expected that Vietnam Federation together with World’s Federation of UNESCO Associations will boost up study and evaluation so that historical, cultural and religious values and natural wonders granted to Huong Son will be honored, preserved reasonably.