Ba Thien Hau (Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau, Quan Am Pagoda), built in 1760, is regarded as one of the oldest, largest and most beautiful Chinese pagodas in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city).
Located at 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, the pagoda was built in the characteristic style of the Chinese. It is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea (“Tian Hou” as transcribed from the Chinese), who is also known as “Mazu”. This site has long played an important part in the religious life of Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh city for centuries. Ba Thien Hau pagoda was recognized as National Architectural Heritage Site in 1993.
Time has gone by for centuries and the pagoda has gone through many upgrades and repairs, but has preserved its original design and construction with the unique architecture of the Chinese people. Thien Hau Pagoda bears the Chinese traditional style with three-door entrance.
This pagoda has a stylized three-door entrance with the main one located in the centre of two corridors, which provides a clear and wholesome environment for visitors on crowded days. Three rows of houses in the centre of the building are served as the front, middle and main shrines. Between the rows, there are spaces called “heaven wells”, which help ventilate the environment and light up the back shrine, as well as releasing the incense smoke.
In the main shrine, there is a statue of Lady Thien Hau, carved from a whole log, 1 meter high. The space naturally in harmony with the magical light will probably make a strong impression on you if you have a chance to experience.
One of the most special facts about this pagoda is that the pagoda’s building materials – bricks, tile, and ceramic – were all transported from China to Vietnam and have been well preserved up to now.
One more unique feature is the bas-reliefs made of ceramics and used to decorate the roof, walls, eaves and alters. The roof, in particular, is decorated with various sizes of ceramic statues and it’ll be infinitely wonderful to take time to get further details about these statues on a travel to this historical site.
On the very first days in a new year, the pagoda welcomes a lot of people who visit and pray for peace, longevity, fecundity and prosperity.
The unique architecture of Thien Hau pagoda also attracts a number of foreigners who come to visit and explore the historical beauty of this ancient religious site.
Worshippers at Thien Hau Thanh Mau Temple are so crowded that incense is taken away every a few minutes.
Visitors to Thien Hau pagoda burn the incense to pray for talent, happiness, luck or simply a new year of peace. Visiting here, you will have chances to mingle yourself with the ancient, solemn, and peaceful atmosphere and gain unforgettable experience for your travel in Vietnam.
The pagoda is not only a valuable work of history, architecture, and sculpture but also an important religious site of the local community of Chinese and Vietnamese here and a remarkable destination for many tourists to Ho Chi Minh city.