It was a privileged to visit another temple in other country which recognized its real culture and history. This temple I am talking about is the Thien Hau Temple in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Thien Hau Temple is located in Saigon’s China Town at 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Cholon is the local name of Saigon’s China town; and this place is not only being visited by many tourists for the goods and foods but also commonly visited because of this Thien Hau Temple.
I and my friends were able to visit the temple as part of the “misunderstood” package we’ve booked at the hostel the first night we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. The package we had booked was the tour in the afternoon which comprises of visiting the famous iconic structures in the city namely, the Saigon Cathedral famously known as the Notre Dame of Saigon, Reunification/Independence Palace and the Saigon’s Central Office which we swapped with the morning tour.
But we were misunderstood by the one who coordinated the tour agency and the real set-up was we started the day with the exact tour in the morning which includes this Thien Hau Temple visit. We just thought positively instead and never mind the unplanned scenario. The important thing was we explored more Ho Chi Minh City. Thien Hau Temple is one of the great places to visit in the city so the misadventure turned to be a great venture!
Thien Hau Temple is one of those many pagodas and temples within Cholon. History wise, the temple’s main worshipper was a Chinese girl named Mi Chau that was named Thien Hau Thanh Mau during Tong Dynasty. She was saved together with her two brothers fortunately after a big storm which seriously damaged their family boat. Because of the miraculous incident, people named her The Lady of the Sea; many Chinese then worshipped her and offered to build a pagodas and temples in owner of her and this was the reason why Thien Hau Temple was built.
A lot of incense sticks surrounding the temple. There you could find incense stick being hanged and even in clay pots which give peaceful atmosphere. Also, the temple has its unique architectural details which remarked the true Chinese spirits.
As tourist, I personally appreciate the solemnity of this temple. The story behind why this temple was built really one of the histories we should respect on how Cholon (Saigon’s China Town) developed through the ages. Every place has stories to tell, Cholon as well. This is one of the best stories in the city; you shouldn’t miss this historical abode!
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