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Ong Bon Temple: Into the oldest Chinese temple in Ho Chi Minh City

09/07/2023 5.118

In this article, we will unveil the spiritual traditions, architectural splendor, and remarkable highlights of Ong Bon Temple, which is considered a cherished symbol of Chinese culture in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Ong Bon Temple

Ong Bon Temple, also known as Nhi Phu Temple, is a sacred Chinese temple located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. With its rich history, profound cultural significance, and stunning architecture, this temple represents the vibrant multicultural landscape of the city.

1. Location and opening hours of Ong Bon Pagoda (Nhi Phu Temple)

  • Location: 264 Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Ward 14, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Entrance fee: Free

Ong Bon Temple was constructed by the Chinese community in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Chinese settlers from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou arrived in Gia Dinh (the former name of Ho Chi Minh City) and built this temple at the end of the 17th century. The primary deity worshiped here is Ong Bon, also known as Phuc Duc Chinh Than, revered for their role in safeguarding the land and its people following Chinese beliefs.

Ong Bon Temple

2. History of Ong Bon Temple in Ho Chi Minh City

In the late 17th century, immigrants from China migrated to Gia Dinh in search of better opportunities. To establish a place for worship, customary practices, and community gatherings, they constructed Ong Bon Temple around 1730. Since then, this temple has undergone three significant renovations, specifically in 1875, 1901, and 1990. Despite these renovations, the temple has preserved its ancient architectural and decorative features, reflecting the heritage of the Chinese people.

>>> Read more: Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City: Top popular attractions

Ong Bon Temple

3. Highlights of Ong Bon Temple

3.1. The stunning architecture of Nhi Phu Temple

The temple premises cover an area of approximately 2,500 square meters. It boasts a square-shaped architectural layout, featuring four rows of houses surrounding a central courtyard.

The temple building resembles a house, characterized by wooden frames, tiled roofs, and brick walls. The wooden frames are adorned with intricate carvings of lotus flowers, painted in a vibrant red hue. The roof is covered with curved tiles and embellished with colorful ceramic depictions of fish, apricots, orchids, bamboo, dragons, and phoenixes.

Inside Ong Bon Temple, the interior is simple yet solemn. The main hall houses the altar of Ong Bon positioned at the center. On the sides are dedicated spaces for worshiping other deities. At the rear of the temple, a shrine is devoted to the Jade Emperor, the Buddha, and the Bodhisattva.

Ong Bon Temple

3.2. Cultural activities at Ong Bon Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City

In addition to being a famous tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City, Ong Bon Temple holds significant importance in the daily lives of the local Chinese community. The temple serves as a gathering place for community meetings and various events. It plays a crucial role in preserving and upholding the customs and traditions of the Chinese community, contributing to the rich cultural diversity of Ho Chi Minh City.

Furthermore, Ong Bon Temple houses a valuable collection of precious artifacts. These include ancient bells dating back to the 18th century, intricately crafted lacquered boards, pairs of ornate wooden panels, and statues depicting various animals, among other relics.

>>> Explore: Unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City: A-to-Z travel tips

Ong Bon Temple

4. Tips for your trip to Ong Bon Temple

  • You can get to Ong Bon Temple by taking buses numbered 08, 139, 56, or 68. For those seeking a quicker journey, traveling by motorbike is an ideal option, with a direct route along Vo Van Kiet Boulevard and Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, taking approximately 20 minutes.
  • You should also explore nearby attractions such as Ong Pagoda, Thien Hau Pagoda, and Hai Nam Pagoda. Each sacred site offers a unique cultural experience and insight into the local community's religious traditions. 
  • It is recommended to dress modestly and respectfully. You should opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees as a sign of reverence and to adhere to cultural norms.

Besides visiting Ong Bon Temple, Ho Chi Minh City is home to several renowned temples and pagodas, including the Jade Emperor Pagoda, Thien Hau Pagoda, Xa Loi Buddhist Temple, Guandi Temple, Mariamman Hindu Temple, Hoang Phap Buddhist Temple, etc. Visiting these stunning attractions, you can explore their intricate architecture, experience the peaceful surroundings, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage.

Ong Bon Temple

Additionally, to complete your travel experience in Vietnam, you should not miss out on famous tourist destinations such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. These destinations offer stunning natural landscapes, exciting activities, delicious food, and friendly locals that will leave you in awe.

When planning a Vietnam trip, you should consider experiencing the luxurious accommodations and world-class amenities of Vinpearl hotels and resorts. Here, you can indulge in relaxation and enjoy exclusive access to pristine beaches, exquisite dining options, rejuvenating spa treatments, and a variety of recreational activities. 

While you are at Vinpearl, don't miss the opportunity to explore VinWonders, a fantastic park with many thrilling rides and entertaining shows that will delight both children and adults.

Ong Bon Temple

 

Ong Bon TempleOng Bon Temple

 

Ong Bon Temple

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A visit to Ong Bon Temple offers a captivating journey into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's cultural and spiritual heritage. Its architectural beauty, serene ambiance, and cultural significance make it a must-visit for travelers seeking a deeper connection with Vietnam's vibrant traditions. As you explore this sacred place, let the tranquility and profound spirituality guide you, leaving you with a lasting impression of Ong Bon Temple's timeless allure.

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