847 steps -- count 'em!
Published/Last edited or updated: 16th April, 2016
The statue stands with outstretched arms perched on the hill overlooking the ocean.
Some 847 steps and a gauntlet of tourists taking selfies lie between you and the statue, with no shade to protect you from the scorching sun – take water and try to set out before 09:00 to beat the heat and the crowds.
The view from the base of the statue is partially obstructed by tree branches – you can actually get a better vantage from the Vung Tau lighthouse. For that great view you need to climb up the statue, 100-plus stairs to the top where you can literally stand on Jesus’ shoulders. The stairs are narrow and short for a larger Westerner. Also, as it gets more and more crowded, it begins to bottleneck and you may have to wait for a few minutes before you get a spot in the lookout. Not everyone can say they’ve climbed a 32-metre tall Jesus.
The statue is treated like a church and there is a long list of do-nots, most of which get ignored by the tourist hoards. The dress code, however, is strict: your shoes must be removed, knees and shoulders covered, no tank tops are allowed or you will be turned away. If you haven’t come prepared, you can purchase a dirt cheap T-shirt from the gift store.
The entrance to the statue is located on the coastal road Ha Long Street, right at the very southern tip. There is no official admission fee, more like a forced donation for entering the statue and for parking at the bottom. 10,000 dong should suffice for each.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.