19th century temple
Published/Last edited or updated: 19th October, 2017
Ong Pagoda (Chua Ong) is a brief diversion that is well worth popping into for eye popping photos.
Squeezed in on the river road (Hai Ba Trung St) along the tourist strip in downtown Can Tho, Ong Pagoda was built at the end of the 19th century by Chinese descendants, part of the Kuang-Tsao Assembly Hall. Chinese Assembly Halls were important for the Chinese as they became community centres and centres of worship and governance.
Information at the entrance explains that much of the materials, from pillars to the rafters, came from Kuang Tong, China and the copper incense burners embossed with Chinese characters date back to 1896. The temple honours Kuan-Kung, a deity that symbolises cleverness, loyalty, reason, justice, intelligence and honour, but like all temples, there are shrines for many other deities including the Goddess of Fortune on the right and the General Ma Tien on the left.
Upon entering visitors will be overwhelmed by the smokey sight and smell of burning incense, while near innumerable conical coils smoulder above in a stunning, and very photogenic, fashion.
There’s no admission to Ong Pagoda, only a fee for motorbike parking. You can find the Pagoda at 32 Hai Ba Trung St, across the river, park and boat piers, south of Thu Khoa Huan St.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.