THIEN HAU TEMPLE (Chùa bà Thiên Hậu) Located in the Chinatown area (District 5) of Ho Chi Minh City and built back in the 19th century, Thien Hau Temple is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea (source).
From the outside, the pagoda honestly didn’t look amazing.
The entrance wall face was well weathered, rather unmaintained (but this did also give it an ancient feel), and it had almost a haunted feeling to look at.
However, as soon as you step inside, the beauty of the temple, mostly through the intricate details and carvings, is revealed.
One of my favorite parts of going to Thien Hau Pagoda in Saigon were the incredible sculpture reliefs carved on the upper roof section of the temple, depicting scenes of daily life.
They were colorful, but weathered, and had accumulated years and years of incense smoke, making the sculptures look ancient and dusted in black soot.
Another highlight were the giant coils of incense that burn slowly, hanging from the ceiling, and filling the temple and atmosphere with smoke.
Ho Chi Minh City has a very strong Chinese presence, and when you’re at Thien Hau Pagoda you’ll feel like you’re actually in China. The pagoda is well worth visiting when you’re in Cholon (Saigon’s Chinatown).
HOW TO GET THERE
Thien Hau Temple (Chùa bà Thiên Hậu), 710 Nguyễn Trãi, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh,
Vietnam Open hours: 8 am - 4:30 pm daily
Entrance price: Free
By Taxi: The temple is located in Cholon, District 5. It’s easiest to get there by taxi.
- From LaLuna Saigon walking to 01 Nguyen Trai Street
- Take Bus No.11 on Nguyen Trai street, District 1
- Go with bus No. 11 to Hung Vuong Plaza
- Get off bus at Hung Vuong Plaza then Walk to Thien Hau Temple (Chùa bà Thiên Hậu).