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Ho Chi Minh City
Monday, July 22, 2024

Four Chinese pagodas in Saigon

By Duong Kiet

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HCMC – Chinese immigrants began to settle in the area of formerly Gia Dinh, which includes today’s Saigon, in the late 17th century. They set up their own communities in what is now districts 5, 6,10 and 11 of HCMC.

As part of the Chinese culture here, pagodas are among their most sacred precincts. Some pagodas can be considered outstanding examples of Chinese architectural structures in town.

The following are photos of four of the most well-known Chinese pagodas in District 5—Van Phat Pagoda, Thien Hau Pagoda, Ong Pagoda and Quan Am Pagoda.

Thousands of Buddha statues at Van Phat Pagoda
Van Phat Pagoda is surrounded by tall buildings. The pagoda was built in 1959
The façade of Thien Hau Pagoda. Construction of this pagoda is said to begin in 1760
The roof of Thien Hau Pagoda is decorated with patterns of dragons, birds, flowers, etc
Pieces of pink paper on a wall in Thien Hau Pagoda. On the paper are names of people who contributed to the pagoda
Thien Hau Pagoda is also a popular tourist spot in Saigon
The entrance of Nghia An Assembly Hall, a.k.a. Ong Pagoda. Nghia An Pagoda has multiple compartments in a square area
Thien Tinh yard in Nghia An Assembly Hall features large carved wood pillars. The pagoda worships Quan Cong, or Guan Yu in Chinese, who was a famous military general
The front yard of Nghia An with a big pond. According to some historical documents, the pagoda was built in the late 19th century
The entrance of Quan Am Pagoda. Statues of dragons catching a pearl are common on the roofs of Chinese pagodas in Saigon
An eye-catching corner of Quan Am Pagoda with yellow walls and red patterns. The Chinese community believes red and yellow colors bring good luck
Two wood pillars inside Quan Am Pagoda are decorated with reliefs of dragons. This religious structure is believed to be around 300 years old

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