Among many tourist places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City, the most bustling city in Vietnam, Thien Hau Pagoda is a highly recommended attraction for spiritual tourism. Here, you can have a good look at the pagoda’s ancient architecture and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere in contrast to the urban noise outside.
1. Where is Thien Hau Pagoda? How to get there?
Thien Hau Pagoda, also known as Ba Thien Hau Pagoda or Thien Hau Temple, is located at number 710, Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Regarded as one of the oldest Chinese pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, the pagoda has a significant influence on the cultural life of both Vietnamese and Chinese people living in the city.
To get to the pagoda, you can take one of the following three means of transportation:
- Motorbike: Renting a motorbike to explore Thien Hau Pagoda and other tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City is a convenient and economical option
- Taxi: Ho Chi Minh City has many taxi companies, such as VinaSun or Mai Linh, which have reasonable fares
- Ride-hailing application: Taking a car or motorbike ride using the Grab or Gojek application on your phone is also a cost-effective option
2. The long-established origin of Thien Hau Pagoda
When the Chinese people arrived in Southern Vietnam hundreds of years ago, they also brought along their culture and religion with them, which helped diversify the culture of the region. In the 17th century, a group of Chinese immigrants built Thien Hau Pagoda to worship Thien Hau (Mazu), a Chinese deity.
Since then, the pagoda has been restored several times. Worshiping Thien Hau is still a traditional custom of the Chinese people living in the city nowadays.
3. The unique architecture of Thien Hau Pagoda
Coming to Thien Hau Pagoda Ho Chi Minh City, visitors will be impressed with its Chinese-style architecture. The pagoda has three main sections as follows:
3.1. The front hall
In front of the pagoda, there is an altar of Phuc Duc Chinh Than (God of Land) on the right and an altar of Mon Quan Vuong Ta (God of Gatekeeping) on the left. There are stone steles telling the legend of Thien Hau, along with paintings of her appearing on the waves.
3.2. The central hall
In the central hall of Thien Hau pagoda, there is a set of 5 delicately sculpted urns. On the sides are a dragon boat figure and an ancient palanquin. They are used for the festival of the pagoda, which is dedicated to the day of her passing.
3.3. The back hall
The back hall is also the main hall of Thien Hau Pagoda, which consists of 3 compartments:
- The middle chamber has a statue of Thien Hau, which was carved from an ancient wood block and is 1 meter tall. Next to her statue are two other deity statues.
- The two sub-chambers have statues of Quan Thanh (Guan Yu, a Chinese general), Dia Tang (a Bodhisattva in Buddhism), and Than Tai (God of Wealth).
4. What's interesting to do at Ba Thien Hau Pagoda Saigon?
Thien Hau Pagoda is a place for visitors to come and pray for health and prosperity. Here, tourists can admire many precious relics, take photos, and participate in the pagoda’s festival.
4.1. Admire precious relics
At Thien Hau Pagoda, you will be amazed by the collection of relics here. This place currently keeps about 400 antiques. On the eaves, roofs, and walls of the houses are ceramic statues and reliefs associated with Chinese legends.
In addition, the pagoda also has many agarwood urns and incense burners. At the same time, you will see many ancient paintings, stone steles, statues, bells, couplets, etc. All were meticulously crafted with very fine patterns.
4.2. Take a photo shoot in retro style
The architecture of Thien Hau Pagoda gives a very tranquil and nostalgic atmosphere. It is an ideal place for you to take retro photos. Each corner of the pagoda has its own beauty, such as the pink paper board, the solid green fence, the two brick walls, etc.
4.3. Join the festival in the third lunar month
You can come to Thien Hau Pagoda at any time of the year. However, it will be more exciting if you visit the pagoda between the 22nd and 24th days of the third lunar month. This is the time for the annual festival of Thien Hau Pagoda, attracting a large number of both Chinese and Vietnamese people.
On this occasion, the statue of Thien Hau is placed on the ancient palanquin and carried around the pagoda. In addition, there are many interesting performances, such as lion dance or dragon dance, by the local performers, which make the festival all the merrier.
In addition to Thien Hau Pagoda, you should enrich your trip to Ho Chi Minh City by exploring other tourist attractions, such as the Independence Palace, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, Landmark 81 Vietnam, Jade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum, and so on. After exploring around, remember to enjoy Saigon cuisine with plenty of mouthwatering foods to fill your belly.
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Thien Hau Pagoda, with a long history, has impressed many tourists with its unique architecture, ancient artifacts, and spiritual values. If you want to find a moment of peace in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Thien Hau Temple Saigon is a perfect place for you.
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