You are hesitating to take a trip because you have no clue for looking for somewhere tranquil and ancient or simply for getting away from your busy life. Leave the hustle and bustle of the life, come to hidden temples in Saigon, you would find Saigon no longer busy and chaotic.
Thien Hau Temple – The Most Stunning Chinese Temple In Saigon
- Address: 710 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
- Time open: Every day
According to the historical documents, Thien Hau Temple (or also known as Lady of the Sea or Mazu) was built in the mid-18th century by a group of Chinese immigrants. The temple is regarded as one of the most highlighted Chinese-style temples in Saigon. Also, it has had an important influence on the life and culture of the Chinese living in Saigon for a long time. Despite the ups and downs of history, the shrine has remained a common home for the Chinese community living away from their homeland. Thus, it could be the first venue for tourists.
In 1993, Thien Hau Temple was recognized as a National Architectural Heritage site. Once arriving at the temple, visitors may feast their eyes on the typical Chinese architectural style and the tranquil ambiance. Prayers are able to write their names on the red paper attached to incense. They believe that their prayers and wishes would fly into the heaven followed by the incense smoke, and then be conveyed to gods.
Mariamman Hindu Temple – The Prominent Indian Temple in Saigon
- 45 Truong Dinh Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Everyday, from 7 AM to 8 PM
Located on Truong Dinh Street (District 1), the Mariamman Temple is an Indian Hindu one possessing unique architectures and mysterious stories for visitors to find out. In the late 19th century, a group of Indian traders who immigrated to Vietnam built the temple. Mariamman was originally known as a village goddess associated with fertility and rain. Apart from serving as a worshipping place for the Hindu religion nowadays, the temple has attracted numerous Saigonese non-Hindus. These people believe in the magic power of Mariamman in giving blessings to them.
At present, Indians guard the temple every single day. They consider it the most sacred place and a stop for people far away from home. On the other hand, there are plenty of visitors from various countries including Indians, Vietnamese and foreigners. They come to visit it and pray blessings for themselves and their families. Setting foot in the temples’ door, you would have a sense of peaceful in your soul by the burning incense’s aroma. This is truly one of the best temples in Saigon for those wishing to seek somewhere colorful but not less sacred.
Jade Emperor Pagoda – The Ancient Pagoda With Chinese-Styled Design
- 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- 8 AM to 5 PM daily
Built from 1892 to 1900, the Jade Emperor Pagoda (also called Tortoise Pagoda) lies peacefully in the city’s heart. Being the 2,300-square-meter pagoda with its ancient architectural features, the pagoda is a popular destination for tourists. A Chinese man who came here to pray for luck in his business established it. Hence, it is not hard to understand why picturesque wooden works and Chinese characters adorn the walls and hallways. One of the most popular sights that catch much attention from visitors is the Hall of Ten Hells. More interestingly, 10 intricately carved wooden panels represent the 10 layers of hell.
Especially, the pagoda has allured increasingly local and international tourists since former U.S. President Barack Obama visited this site on the occasion of his official visit to the country last year. Therefore, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is well-known for one of the best stunning shrines in Saigon for practicing the belief and escaping from the bustling life outside.
In conclusion, coming to pagodas in Saigon, not only can tourists find a sense of peace, but they have a chance to contemplate the beauty of their colorful and ancient features.