Unique four-sided pagoda
Update: Nov 01, 2017
Built nearly 500 years ago, Buol Pres Phek Pagoda, also known as the Four-sided Pagoda, has a unique architecture and typical cultural values of the Khmer ethnic minority people in the South.

Four-sided Pagoda (Photo: Internet)

Recognized as a provincial-level cultural and historical heritage by the Soc Trang provincial People’s Committee, the pagoda covers 6.5ha  in Phuoc Thuan Village, Phu Tan Commune, Chau Thanh District.

It consists of a number of structures, including a nave, towers where remains of the dead are kept, houses for monks, a reception hall and more.

This pagoda is closely associated with the legend of a Buddhist statue having four sides to four directions and with five Buddhas on  each side. The statue was found during a land clearance by Khmer ethnic minority people.

Considering it a lucky sign, local people installed the statue to this pagoda in 1537 for worshipping. Visiting the pagoda, it is easier for visitors to see for themselves the statue placed in the nave.

The 225sq.m nave of the Four-sided Pagoda venerates some 40 Buddhas, including Shakyamuni Buddha. In front of the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is an old five-sided, five-layered Buddha statue which is made of stone and over 1m tall. The nave’s roof has three levels. A four-sided statue is placed on the top layer and around the lowest one are placed statues of the fairy Keynor and the sacred bird Krud.

The pagoda has been upgraded many times and contains more new structures. Among the newly-built facilities, Mach Cha Linh Pond was constructed in 2016 at a cost of over VND 2.4 billion. In the middle of the pond is a tower of over 20m which houses Shakyamuni Buddha who sits on a giant seven-headed snake and statues of 12 animal designations of the Khmer ethnic minority group. Of the 12 animal designations, Cat and Buffalo of the Viet people are replaced by Hare and Ox of the Khmer people.

The Four-sided Pagoda has become a tourist attraction in Soc Trang Province. It is near the Fairy Well which symbolizes diligence and innovation at work. The fruits of this well are lowlands covering thousands of square meters  

Once the ongoing project of a Ritual Cultural Area of the Fairy Well is completed, tourists will be entertained with unique artistic shows of the Khmer ethnic minority people when they tour the pagoda and the holy well.

With its significance in educating culture, scripts and other moral principles, it is hoped that the pagoda will be further preserved with its values to be brought into full play.