There are roughly 17 000 pagodas and religious buildings in all of Vietnam. Now that’s a lot of pagodas. And although I’ll definitely never visit them all I have been able to tick off a couple of beautiful local spots from my ever growing pagoda-bucket-list in Saigon.
District 5, a.k.a. Saigon’s Chinatown is home to some of the most beautiful and ornate pagodas around. If you’re looking for a fun Sunday afternoon, take your motorbike over to District 5 and checkout some of their amazing pagodas dating back to over 100 years ago. To start you off on your District 5 adventure, here are 3 of my favorite pagodas that will definitely leave you wanting more!
1. Ba Thien Hau Pagoda
It’s easy to spend an afternoon wandering through Ba Thien Hau Pagoda. This beautiful Buddhist temple, lined with pretty pink donation notes was built in 1760 to honour Mazu the ‘Lady of the Sea.’ When you enter through the mighty iron gates you will be greeted with the beautiful stone incense burners. Follow the smoke up to the traditional curvy roof which showcases the intricately carved figures symbolizing various Chinese legends.
Location: 710 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2. Quan Am Pagoda
This pagoda is easily one of District 5’s most active and colourful temples around. I mean, it’s absolutely stunning from top to bottom. Founded in the early 19th century and built by Fujianese visitors, it was named after the Goddess of Mercy, which has a literal translation to 'the Bodhisattva Who Listens to the Cries of the World.’ As you wander through the beauty of Quan Am Pagoda, its gorgeous wooden features and golden panels are sure to leave you in awe.
Location: 12 Lão Tử, Phường 11, Quận 5, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
3. Tam Son Pagoda
The hues of pink and rich ornamentation at Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda are not to be missed if you’re galavanting around Saigon’s District 5. Although a quieter pagoda, its beauty is worth a peek. Built in 1839 by the Fujian Congregation this pagoda was dedicated to Mother Sanh, the Goddess of Fertility. Over the ages many women have come to Tam Son Hoi Quan in hopes of conceiving a child.
Location: 118 Triệu Quang Phục, Phường 11, Quận 5, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
For all things Vietnam and travel related you can find me over on Instagram @AlyshiaTurchyn! Let me know if you've visited any of these pagodas or if you have any pagoda recommendations for me to check out!