Upon entering the grounds through a looming gate, you can see a large rock painted with calligraphic poems that have profound spiritual meaning, according to the monks and nuns who live on the pagoda grounds. Once you are inside the area, you feel engulfed by the serenity and simple majesty of its scenery. Thanks to the care of the monks and nuns, the gardens near the Huyen Khong Pagoda are wonderfully unregimented, reflecting the traditionally subtle garden architecture of Hue. Many rare species of flowers perfume the entire area. There, orchids, old roots of apricot trees and elegant conifer bonsais contrast with the moss-covered ground. Birds can be heard singing in the forest behind the area, where a centuries-old tree stands near a statue of a Buddhist monk standing in deep contemplation. Near the path to the main pagoda is a lake covered with water lilies and lotus flowers. Small one-floor cottages made of bamboo and rattan along the lake display hundreds of poems, proverbs and philosophical sentences written in calligraphy. Most of these works were reportedly composed by the pagoda monks, guest monks and even a few visitors inspired by the area natural beauty, pure air and seclusion.
Bas-reliefs featuring images of the four supernatural creatures dragon, unicorn, tortoise and phoenix in two main colours of blue and white, demonstrate typical cultural features of the Hue Imperial Palace. Visitors can see calligraphy works by many other calligraphers in Hue, which are displayed at a thatched cottage named May Tia (purple cloud, sometimes called Phong Truc Am). Poets and calligraphers meet at the cottage to recite poems and create calligraphy works.
Surrounded by such an atmosphere, visitors feel lost in a world of poems and art. They are especially impressed after seeing the many beautiful calligraphic works of the pagoda's verger, Most Venerable Gioi Duc (his Buddhist name is Minh Duc Trieu Tam Anh), displayed at the Pagoda.
Minh Duc Trieu Tam Anh whose pen-name is Monk Gioi Duc, is one of the founders of Huyen Khong Pagoda. He is an expert on literature and poetry, and has published poems and articles on Buddhism in the Song Huong magazine and other local newspapers. He has also become well known as a famous Vietnamese calligrapher during the late 20th century and the early 21st century.