Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda – a hidden impressive pagoda which most tourists miss in Ho Chi Minh City
Located in an alley in Saigon China Town, Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda is worth visiting for unique architecture and thousands of different buddha statues everywhere on each flour, especially fourth flour. For over 50 years, Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda is a place where Vietnamese and Chinese Buddhists come to learn Buddhist theory and do charity. Hidden in a quiet alley, this pagoda is a brilliant gem that is less-known by tourists. If you have a chance to visit Saigon and would like to learn more about pagoda, Buddhism in the city and local life, do not miss seeing Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda.
The stunning main hall of Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda.
Location: 66/14 Nghia Thuc Street, Ward 5, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. View on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 4:30 – 19:00. The main hall which should not be missed on the fourth floor opens from 6:00 to 17:00.
Land area: 600 m2; Number of floors: 4.
Names: Chùa Vạn Phật, Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda (or Temple), Van Phat Pagoda.
This pagoda is built by Thich Dieu Hoa monk and Tang Duc Bon monk in 1959. It had been the place for Chinese Buddhists in Saigon and provinces in South Vietnam to pray and worship Buddhas.
From 1998 to 9th June 2008, Thich Truyen Cuong monk (from Quang Dong, China) – the present master monk had restored the pagoda. Thousands of Buddha statues were created and placed everywhere in the pagoda.
On 9th June 2008, they organize a solemn ceremony to celebrate the completion of the restoration project.
On Ho Chi Minh City Unseen Tour by Motorbike, guests visit not only Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda but also other hidden gems of the city.
An overview of Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda
The Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda is built on a plot of 600 m2. There are 4 floors (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th floors) in the pagoda and a lot of statues on each flour. The main worshiping area is located on the 4th floor (top floor). The main gate is located at the beginning of the alley. Walking about 40 m, visitors reach the main entrance to the 4-story pagoda.
The 4-story building of Saigon Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda.
The main gate is supported by two square pillars on which there are Chinese characters. The gate has two roofs decorated with glazed green tiles, white dragon ornaments, a Dharma wheel and a lotus flower. The black signboard read the name of the pagoda in Chinese.
The main gate is located at the beginning of the 40-m alley and the building of the pagoda is at the end of the alley. There are some houses in the alley, they park motorbike in front of the houses. Here visitors can see the Saigon real local life: small food and drink stalls, residents sit in the alley, talk together while sipping some tea or coffee. Vietnam Silver House in the alley is a good place to experience making silver in Vietnamese style and buy some silver jewelry.
The entrance canopy has a beautiful roof with green tiles and granite pillars. The edges are decorated with glazed green tiles, golden patterns, dragon, unicorn, flower ornaments. The red and golden vertical panel read the name of the pagoda in Chinese. The top of the pillars are decorated with dragon ornaments.
Two lion statues are responsible for protecting the pagoda. A huge incense burner is placed in front of the main door.
A lottery stall next to the main entrance.
1st floor- Ksitigarbha Hall – Điện Địa Tạng
+ Ksitigarbha (Bồ tát địa tạng) depicted as a monk with a halo around his shaved head, carrying a staff to force open the gates of hell and light up the darkness.
+ Tôn giả Đạo Minh và Trưởng giả Văn Công on two sides of Ksitigarbha.
+ In front of Ksitigarbha is Pure Land Buddhism (Di Đà Tam Tôn): Amitabha (Amida, Phật A Di Đà) – he principle Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism, Padmapani (Guanyin, Quán Thế Âm Bồ Tát) that embodies the compassion of all Buddha, Mahasthamaprapta (Đại Thế Chí) representing the power of wisdom.
The ceiling is decorated with round patterns, the ceiling light and hexagonal lanterns make the hall cozy and mysterious.
2nd floor – Guanyin Hall – Điện Đại Bi – Điện Quan Âm
Statue of Guanyin having dozens of hands and Guanyin’s acolytes (nguời theo hầu): Sudhana (Thiện Tài Đồng Tử), Dragon Girl (Long Nữ).
In front of Guanyin is Pure Land Buddhism (Di Đà Tam Tôn): Amitabha (Amida, Phật A Di Đà), Padmapani (Guanyin, Quán Thế Âm Bồ Tát), Mahasthamaprapta (Đại Thế Chí).
Reliefs on the wall tell stories about Guanyin. Golden gilt “bao lam” carved wood is one of the most impressive decoration in the hall.
A painting of Guanyin on the altar.
Ancestral tablets on the altar where dead people are worshiped.
The huge incense burner in the balcony on the second floor.
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3rd floor – Medicine Buddha Hall – Điện Dược Sư.
The beautiful granite staircase leads to the 3rd floor.
3rd floor – Medicine Buddha Hall – Điện Dược Sư.
Three Eastern Buddhas (Đông Phương Tam Thánh):
+ Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha, Phật Dược Sư) known as a doctor that cured suffering using the medicine of his teachings.
+ Suryaprabha (Bồ tát Nhật Quang) whose name means sunlight that lightens the world and destroys darkness.
+ Candraprabha (Bồ tát Nguyệt Quang) whose name means moonlight and who symbolizes fulfillment and peace.
The carved wood altar is painted colorfully.
Statues of Arhats and Buddha statues in a glass book cabinet.
Reliefs on the wall tell stories about Buddhas, Guanyin, Journey to the West.
Statues of Buddha arranged on two towers.
4th floor – Main hall – Chính Điện
Worshiped on the central altar, Ty No Gia Na Buddha statue – one of the biggest statues sits on a lotus which has one thousands petals. The interesting part is that there is one Buddha statue in each lotus petal. Other Buddha statues on the central altar are statues of Thich Ca, 2 A Di Da, Duoc Su, Quan Am Bo Tat. On left and right altars, Van Thu Bo Tat and Pho Hien Bo Tat are worshiped. There are ten thousand small Buddha statues on the wall inside 4th flour.
Vairocana (Phật Tỳ Lô Giá Na, Đại Nhật Như Lai), seen as the embodiment of concept Sunyata referring to five aggregates of experiences and the six sense spheres. The statue of Vairocana is the biggest and the most beautiful statue in the pagoda. It is placed in the splendid main hall on the 4th floor. The hall is filled with countless big and small statues on the walls, in lotus petals, fresh flowers, fruits and the smell of incenses.
Smaller statues of Gautama Buddha (Phật Thích Ca), Amida (Phật A Di Đà), Medicine Buddha (Dược Sư), Quanyin (Bồ tát Quán Thế Âm), Ksitigarbha (Địa Tạng) are in front of Vairocana statue.
Buddha lotus seat.
Small statues on lotus petals.
Dharmapala statues at the foot of Vairocana.
Lanterns are hung above the statue of Vairocana.
Dragon and flower patterns make the hall more splendid.
The delicate golden two dragon decoration.
The big statue of Samantabhadra (Bồ tát Phổ Hiền) and his elephant on the left of Vairocana altar, Dharmapala statue in front of Samantabhadra statue.
Dharmapala statue at the foot of Samantabhadra.
Statue of Manjusri (Bồ tát Văn Thù) and his lion, Dharmapala statue on the altar on the right side of the main altar.
There are many big round red and golden pillars with carved dragons and dragons in the main hall.
The wall of the main hall is full of thousands of Buddha statues.
Buddhas are in golden or white robes, sit on golden lotuses in wooden wall shelves.
Big bell and drum since 2004.
There are also 26 paintings of 18 A La Han, 2 To Ca Dip, A Nan, 6 To Thien Tong hung on the wall in the corridor. The arrangement of statues and decorations of the pagoda make it solemn and beautiful.
Nine Dragon carvings (Cửu Long Bích).
Stupas on the rooftop.
Vietnamese people usually come to pagodas and temples to get their fortune told via sortilege. Traditionally, they use a cylindrical box containing bamboo or wooden sticks, each of which is numbered to draw lots. Van Phat Pagoda has taken this tradition and practice to a higher level. Now visitors can get their fortune with the help of the sortilege machine on the Buddhist souvenir and meditation tool store in the alley.
The modern sortilege machine in front of the store in the alley.
Put money (banknotes) into the donation box, then get a coin in this bowl.
Insert the coin into the slot on the machine.
Music plays, the fairy in a beautiful costume goes to the red house and returns with a tiny tube on the tray on her hand.
The tube is dropped into a tray so that you can get it from outside. The lot is in English, Vietnamese and Chinese.