Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) has many religions including Caodaism, Buddism, Christianism, Islam, Fascism, and Confucianism. It is true that there are hundreds of big and small pagodas and temples in the hustle and bustle city. Admiring beautiful architecture works, some of which last tens of years and calming yourself at the religious sites are worth doing in Saigon. Followings are the most popular pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Giac Lam Pagoda – The oldest pagoda in Saigon
Giac Lam pagoda was built in 1744 by Chinese Buddist Ly Thuy Long. It is one of the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh city. The pagoda is famous for containing many precious documents of history, culture, art, architecture, sculpture. One of the reasons you should visit Giac Lam pagoda is impressive architecture which is an example of pagodas’ architecture in South Viet Nam. Its surface has three-letter (三) shape. There are 98 pillars and 113 ancient statues with many different materials inside the pagoda.
Address: 118 Lac Long Quan, Ward 10, Tan Binh district, HCMC.
2. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda – Place having the highest tower built of stone in Viet Nam.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the biggest pagodas in Saigon. The highlight of this pagoda is that it has the highest tower built of stone in Vietnam. The tower has 7 floors with a total height of 14m. It is covered with nice patterns and motives. The construction was started building in 1964 and finished in 1971. Its name and model are the same as a pagoda in Bac Giang province, North Vietnam built in the eleventh, in Ly dynasty.
Address: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC.
3. Hoang Phap pagoda – Famous for Buddhistic training courses
Hoang Phap Pagoda attracts many Buddhists coming for sightseeing and attending the Buddhistic training courses. The courses are about how to look after themselves, love and undergoing hard trials. In courses, everything is cut such as phone, TV, internet…The courses make you forget sadness, give you good lifestyle. Courses are completely free for everybody. The minus of this pagoda is that it is rather far from the city center.
Address: Tan Hiep Commune, Hoc Mon District, HCMC.
4. Xa Loi pagoda – The pagoda having the highest bell tower in Vietnam
Inaugurated in 1961, Xa Loi Pagoda is famous for beautiful architecture and landscape. Its bell tower is the highest in Vietnam. The tower is 32 meters high and has 7 floors. The bell is 2 tons weight and hung on the highest floor. Its sound propagates very far.
The pagoda was built to worship “xa loi” of the Buddha. So that it is called Xa Loi pagoda. It is the first pagoda which has new architecture. The front of the pagoda is used for worshiping and the back is used for teaching the reasons for Buddha.
Address: 89 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC.
5. Nam Thien Nhat Tru pagoda – one pillar pagoda in South Vietnam
Besides the famous One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, there is a similar place in Saigon. Nam Thien Nhat Tru pagoda in Ho Chi Minh city is considered One Pillar Pagoda in South Vietnam. It is built by the monk Thich Tri Dung in 1958. Nam Thien Nhat Tru has the same model as Thang Long Nhat Tru (One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi), but it’s lower and smaller. Looked from the gate of three, Nam Thien Nhat Tru stands in the middle of Long Nhan Lake with lotuses bobbing on the water. Coming there you can see the Bodhisattva having the weight of 61 kg, molded from precious metal. People feel quiet in spirit when being there.
Address: 511 Dang Van Bi, ward Binh Tho, district Thu Duc, HCMC.
6. Van Duc Pagoda – The pagoda having the highest main worship place in Vietnam
The main worship place of the pagoda is 43,5 high. It is the highest one in Vietnam. It took 60 builders for 2 years to make. The construction is a model of shaping art in modern architecture.
Address: 23/4 To Ngoc Van, Tan Phu Ward, Thu Duc District, HCMC.
7. Ngoc Hoang Pagoda – The ancient pagoda built after Chinese pagoda’s style
Ngoc Hoang Pagoda or Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City perhaps thanks to the unique architecture and the visit of President Barack Obama. It was built by a monk named Luu Minh. He is from Quang Dong, China and came here in the early century 20. Jade Emperor Pagoda is an ancient temple built after Chinese pagoda’s style with brilliant decorative motifs. It is made of bricks and tiles. It has an area of 2.300 square meters. Its front has a small shrine put Daharmapala statue. The triple gate has two sinuous dragons. Inside there are many works of art. The main shrine worships the Creator and other gods. Coming Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, you will know about Chinese architecture and understand the credence of people coming here. And you will seem to go into the fairy world.
Address: 73 Mai Thi Luu, District 1, HCMC.