When we were visiting Ho Chi Minh City, some of our local friends took us to visit the Thien Hau Pagoda in Chinatown.
Also known as Chua Ba, this beautiful and popular Saigon pagoda was built by the Chinese in the early 19th century and dedicated to Thien Hau, goddess of the sea and protector of sailors. It is believed that Thien Hau can travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to save people in trouble on the high seas.
Gorgeous architecture, ethereal scents, and gently murmured prayers combine to create a wonderful sensory experience. Intricate porcelain figurines decorate the roof and walls depicting scenes from Chinese religion and legends. Pink tissue paper prayer flags contain the names of those that have made donations. The atmosphere is filled with fragrant swirling smoke from incense coils, urns, and large braziers.
The burning of incense is a way to show piety and is considered a means for communicating with and showing respect for the spirits. The smoke from incense carries the wishes of the supplicant to heaven and is used to purify the location. It also symbolizes the fragrance of pure moral conduct.
A truly peaceful respite from the heat of the big city.
Thien Hau Temple
Address: 710 D Nguyen Trai, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN