Thien Hau Temple, Saigon/HoChiMinh City

Thien Hau Temple, Saigon/HoChiMinh City (must see)

Located in the Cho Lon or Chinatown area of Ho Chi Minh City, this temple is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Goddess of the Sea. Members of the Chinese community and the Vietnamese come here to pray for happiness and prosperity.

Thien Hau or Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea is worshipped by the seafaring communities of Southern China and by Chinese communities around the world who depend on the sea for their livelihood. She is not a Taoist or a Buddhist Deity but has been assimilated by both religions. The Thien Hau temple was first built in the year 940. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times and the present building dates back to 1900. It is believed that she left two giant turtles to look after the people and ascended to the heavens.

The interior of the Thien Hau Temple is a large covered courtyard and the statue of chief deity and two other Goddesses are located at one end. Urns to place incense sticks are placed in the open spaces around the courtyard. The ceiling is covered with intricate porcelain reliefs depicting a 19th-century Chinese city and tales from Chinese history and legends. A festival is held in honor of the birthday of Thien Hau on the 23rd day of the 3rd Lunar Month. Two effigies of demons are burned and the lion dance is performed as part of the festivities.

You need time to admire the many carvings, and a guide will add value, unless you can read Cantonese!
There's a souvenir shop inside that also sells incense sticks or the coiled incense 'cones' you can light and have hung up for you.

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Thien Hau Temple on Map

Sight Name: Thien Hau Temple
Sight Location: Saigon/HoChiMinh City, Vietnam (See walking tours in Saigon/HoChiMinh City)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Saigon/HoChiMinh City, Vietnam

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