Photo: Famous incense coils.

Thien Hau Pagoda

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Dating back to 1760, Tue Thanh Assembly Hall, popularly known as Thien Hau Pagoda, is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most atmospheric, photogenic temples.

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Located on busy Nguyen Trai St in Cholon (Chinatown), Thien Hau Pagoda is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau, goddess of the sea, protector of fishermen and sailors. But as you will discover, all temples contain shrines to other deities such as Quan Cong, identifiable by the red face and long moustache. A Chinese general during the Three Kingdoms period, he now represents brotherhood, integrity and trustworthiness in business. Find him inside on the right side.

Intricate ceramic work. Photo taken in or around Thien Hau Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Intricate ceramic work. Photo: Cindy Fan

The first thing to notice before entering the temple is the exquisite roof decorated with ceramic, a craft the Chinese community in Cholon became known for. Here is where a good zoom on a camera or even binoculars come in handy. The roof is adorned with intricate ceramic friezes, ornaments and a stunning pair of dragons fighting over a blue pearl. This motif on a roof is often used to signifying that a temple is devoted to a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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