Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam

Bà Thiên Hậu Pagoda

710 Nguyễn Trãi, D. 5 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
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Bà Chợ Lớn Pagoda, also called Thiên Hậu, "the Lady of the sea" due to a story of her kindness to help Chinese immigrants crossing the ocean. Constructed in 1760 by Chinese from Guangdong, the pagoda with astonishing porcelain dioramas attracts a lot of visits.

Bà Thiên Hậu Pagoda
Bà Thiên Hậu Pagoda
Bà Thiên Hậu Pagoda

One of the oldest pagodas in HCMC

Reviewed on 2013-11-09 (Updated on 2017-04-04)

Commonly known as Chùa Bà, Thiên Hậu Pagoda was built by the Cantonese congregation in the early 19th century. This place is one of the oldest and most popular temples in Ho Chi Minh City. It is dedicated to “Thiên Hậu”, known as a sea goddess or protector of sailors.

In the main hall, you will find the altar next to three bronze statues of Thiên Hậu sitting under incense coils hanging from the rooftop. The large coils of incense on give off aromatic smoke and make this pagoda sacred. Coils of incense have an attached red tag; these tags contain the praying notes which will be sent to Thiên Hậu when the incense burns out. You can purchase incense cones (30,000đ) and attach your names to the coils then hang them for good luck. As the incense smoke curls upwards in the air, the pilgrims believe their prayers are transmitted to the deity.

The walls of this pagoda are also covered with prayer flags, red strips of paper on which worshipers write their prayers. It is believed that when the breeze rustles the paper, the prayers are sent to Thiên Hậu.