Long Son Pagoda (chua Long Son) is a multilevel Buddhist temple gracefully rising along a hill.
Stairs first lead to the main temple decorated with mosaics and a separate prayer hall, then up past a bell temple, a reclining Buddha and finally a large, white 14-metre Buddha statue. From here there’s a good view of the city.
We were lucky to hear monks and nuns chanting at 10:00 and it was a pleasure to sit on a bench in the shade and listen to their voices ring through the hall. Unfortunately Long Song Pagoda can be a less than spiritual and peaceful experience with women and girls selling incense and postcards. There have been instances where visitors are approached by a person wanting to guide or give advice for “free” that turns into an aggressive demand for money, and even a wallet or phone snatching. Politely and firmly refuse it at the beginning if you don’t want it. Entrance is absolutely free and no donation is required – if you want to donate, privately put money into the donation box and never hand it to someone claiming they are a monk or working for the temple. Watch your belongings carefully, especially while taking photos. Also, signs asking for appropriate dress in the main temple seem largely ignored by tourists — please don’t be one of them. It’s a pity that one of Nha Trang’s touted tourist attractions is not better protected or cared for.
Motorbike parking is 3,000 VND, bicycle 2,000 VND. Take a xe om or taxi. To make it a half-day of sightseeing using the 7,000 VND a ride public bus, from Nguyen Thien Thuat Street in the tourist centre, take the blue and white city bus #4 (Hon Xen – Vinpearl) north and get off at the roundabout at Thai Nguyen Street and Ly Thanh Ton. Stop to see the French Gothic cathedral (Nha tho Chanh toa Kito Vua) on the hill, completed in 1933. After admiring the elegant structure, walk west for one kilometre to reach Long Son Pagoda. Finally, find the bus stop on the same street and catch the #6 city bus (Cho Luong Son – Phia Nam) headed east. It will soon swing north, crossing Bong bridge directly to Po Nagar Cham Towers. Get off at the first stop after the bridge.