Visiting pagodas every Tet holiday is a unique cultural tradition for Vietnamese people, expressing their wish for peace and fortune. Vietnam, especially Ho Chi Minh City, is always famous for its sacred and attractive temples. It is a must-see destination for locals and tourists when coming to Vietnam’s second-largest city.
1. The Jade Emperor Pagoda
Nestled in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, Jade Emperor Pagoda, also known as Phuoc Hai, is the quintessential convergence point of Vietnamese-Chinese culture, built in 1892. The pagoda’s architecture stands out with its colorful tiled roof and poetic lotus pond design, attracting countless beauty-loving souls to visit and seek a peaceful space, thereby admiring exquisite Buddhist works of art. The pagoda’s reputation spread even more widely after the visit of former President Barack Obama in 2016, affirming its position as not only a sacred space but also a popular destination for young people to pray for good chances in love during the Tet holidays.
2. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
Located on the bustling Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street of District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is not only an outstanding spiritual symbol of Saigon but also a profound cultural mark. Built in 1964 and inspired by the ancient pagoda of the same name in Bac Giang. With traditional Vietnamese architecture, curved tiled roofs, and soft, delicate sculptures, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is like a mysterious feng shui painting, telling stories about rich history and culture. Not only is it a place to admire enlightened beings, but the pagoda also owns a soaring 7-story bell tower, a majestic three-entrance gate, and the sacred Avalokiteśvara Tower. This is not only a place of worship with many precious Buddha statues but also a vibrant Buddhist center with courses and practice activities, attracting tourists and Buddhists everywhere.
3. Buu Long Pagoda
Buu Long Pagoda is known as an “architectural gem” built in 1942 and is a harmonious combination of Thai and European styles. Located about 25 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, the pagoda is attracted by its soaring dome, sophisticated motifs, and the Gotama Cetiya stupa bearing the mark of Angkor, Cambodia, built in 2007. The combination of yellow and white reflects royal beauty; it is a peaceful destination with lakes and landscaped gardens. Being honored by National Geographic as one of the 10 most beautiful Buddhist works in the world, Buu Long Pagoda is a destination that attracts millions of visitors every year thanks to its architectural beauty and sacred space.
4. Ba Thien Hau Pagoda
Ba Thien Hau Pagoda is located on Nguyen Trai Street in District 5. This is a unique Chinese-style architectural heritage, built in the late 19th century by the Cantonese community in Saigon. The pagoda stands out in the heart of the city with its ancient beauty, yin-yang tiled roof, and vividly colored ceramic statues. Entering here, the space is filled with the scent of flowers and bright light coming from rows of lanterns as if taking visitors into a space from ancient times. With ancient Chinese architecture and such a long age, the pagoda was recognized as a National Architectural and Artistic Monument on January 7, 1993. For people living in Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Thien Hau Pagoda is not only a spiritual destination but also a place to preserve and reflect the richness of Vietnamese-Chinese culture and an ideal photo spot during the Lunar New Year.
5. Ong Pagoda
Ong Pagoda, also known as Quan De Temple or Nghia An Hoi Quan, is a colorful architectural heritage of the Teochew-Chinese community in Saigon, built in the late 19th century. With its ancient architecture, the pagoda exudes traditional beauty through every delicate detail, especially the bright red color and the layout of the letters “Quốc” and “Khẩu”. The main hall of the pagoda is a sanctuary with images of Quan Cong and Buddhas, creating a sacred and mysterious atmosphere. Recognized as a National Architectural and Artistic Monument in 1993, Ong Pagoda is not only a spiritual place but also a rich cultural symbol of the Chinese people in Vietnam.