A Trip to Saigon Churches, Pagodas and Temples

Although people live in the hustle bustle of Saigon (HCMC), they can still have an opportunity to stop by temples, pagodas, and churches to enjoy such peaceful and revitalizing moments. Not only served as a historical treasury, these structures also represent ideal travel attractions for tourists.

PAGODA

Giac Lam Stupa - the “oldest” pagoda in Saigon

Established in 1744, Giac Lam Pagoda preserves valuable materials related to Vietnam's history, culture, architecture, sculpture, and especially, religion. The statue of “Thap Bat La Han” alone is the clearest example of Buddhism’s development in the South of Vietnam.

A distinct feature of the pagoda is the fact that approximately 7500 decorative plates have been displayed and thus, gained the title of “The pagoda that uses most decorative plates in Vietnam”.

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Chùa Giác Lâm (Giac Lam Pagoda)
Address: 565 Lạc Long Quân, Phường 10, Tân Bình, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone: 028 3865 3933

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda - Vietnam’s highest stone stupa

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is one of the most prominent Buddhist structures of Vietnam, which has witnessed the final battle of hero Nguyen Van Troi in 1964. Tip: That’s why, just across the road from the Pagoda, you can see and visit Nguyen Van Troi temple immediately!

With seven floors, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda has been recorded as the highest stupa in Vietnam. One outstanding feature of this stupa is that it has been decorated with extensive ornate sculpture and pattern which all share one thing: deeply inspired by Ly-Tran Dynasties Cultural Style.

Photo via vncgarden.com
Photo via thumbnails.trvl-media.com

Chùa Vĩnh Nghiêm (Vinh Nghiem Pagoda)
Address: 339 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường 14, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone: 028 3848 3153

Hoang Phap Pagoda

Located in Hoc Mon, Ho Chi Minh, Hoang Phap Pagoda has a history of half a century! Until now, Hoang Phap Pagoda has been famous for its teen summer program, aimed to improve mainly teenagers’ behaviors and train them with mindfulness meditation.

Especially, thanks to its location in the suburb of Ho Chi Minh City, Hoang Phap Pagoda is expanded vastly and thus, able to house many important Buddhism events in Vietnam. Its peak in splendor with be during Phat Dan Ceremony (Vesak), usually taking place on April 8th, Lunar Calendar, as the whole temple is lightened up by magnificent lotus lanterns.

Photo via panoramio.com

Address: Tân Hiệp, Hóc Môn, Ho Chi Minh City
Website: chuahoangphap.com.vn
Phone: 837130002

Xa Loi Pagoda - highest bell tower

Not only fascinating as an architectural achievement, Xa Loi Pagoda is also famous for historical traces of Buddhists movement against the dictatorship of former South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was believed as discriminated against different religions.

Xa Loi Pagoda is the first temple of the city to be built according to modern archiecture: presbytery upstairs, amphitheatre downstairs.
Besides, it is country-renowned for its highest Bell Tower with seven floors and 32 meters in height, inaugurated in 1961.

Photo via chuanoitieng.com

Address: 89B Bà Huyện Thanh Quan, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone: 028 3930 7605

Nam thiên đệ nhất trụ - Southern “One Pillar Pagoda”

Aside from the widely known “One Pillar Pagoda” in Hanoi, there is also one pillar pagoda in HCMC. Nam Thien De Nhat Tru also follows the structure of its Hanoi counterpart but as a smaller recreation. Outlooking over Tam Quan, Nam Thien Nhat Tru is erected in the middle of Long Nhan lake (Dragon Eye lake), embellished by floating lotus flowers.

A must-see here is Duc Dia Tang Statue with a weight over 61kg, molded with top-notch metal.

Photo via chuanoitieng.com

Address: 100 Đặng Văn Bi, Bình Thọ, Thủ Đức, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 3897 2143

CHURCH

Notre Dame Cathedral - Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

The scale of constructing Notre Dame Cathedral was tremendous with all of is materials and tools imported from France. Its main composite is Marseille brick, embellished by panels of colored glass. The Romanized curved window panels and Gothique arc domes conjure up the image of its main Paris counterpart. There is no room for candles here as lights have been utilized since the very beginning. Nowadays, Notre Dame Cathedral serves as a prominent spot for Catholics as well as an iconic symbol of Saigon.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Address: 01 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Website: giothanhle.net
Phone: +84 28 3822 0477

Huyen Si Church

Constructed in accordance with the design of French churches. Influenced by Gothic style, the church is among the few constructions making use of Bien Hoa granite at the facade and pillars. This type of granite is too hard to inscribe pieces of art into it, so people made use of it to display wealth.

Photo via tripadvisor.com

Address: 1 Dương Tôn Thất Tùng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Website: giaoxugiaohovietnam.com
Phone: +84 28 3833 0820

Tan Dinh Parish Church

Located on bustling Hai Ba Trung Street, Tan Dinh Church is among the most magnificent architectural pieces of HCMC. There is a sense of Gothique and Roman, mixed with a little Baroque on decoration. Pink is the dominant color of the church, setting it apart from the azure of the sky.

Photo via asiawebdirect.com

Address: 289 Hai Bà Trưng, phường 8, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 3829 0093

Cha Tam Church

Cha Tam Church is special for its blend between Eastern and Western architecture. Similar to European Churches, Cha Tam Church was constructed based on Gothique style. However, Chinese culture was still incorporated harmoniously such as the church’s name is written in Chinese characters and lunisolar roof tiles.

Photo via citypassguide.com

Address: 25 Học Lạc, Phường 14, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Website: chatamvn.com
Phone: +84 28 3856 0274

Chua Cuu The Church - The Most Holy Redeemer Saigon

Chua Cuu The Church is famous for its spacious courtyard and simplicity. This is a notable social place for young people at the weekend and Christmas when bazaars are taking place. Surely, you can find yourself immersed in the merry and warm atmosphere that is pervasive over the church!

Photo via lavieasaigon.fr

Address: 38 Kỳ Đồng, phường 9, district 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Website: trungtammucvudcct.com
Phone: +84 839319835

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