On Lang Pagoda was built in the 17th century by Chinese immigrants from Quanzhou in Fujian, China and is now located on Lao Tu Street, Ward 11, District 5. With its unique architecture and long history, On Lang Pagoda is considered one of the oldest Chinese temples in Ho Chi Minh City. The nearly 300-year old pagoda is a sacred place of worship for the Chinese community in Cho Lon area. This pagoda has attracted a large number of domestic and foreign visitors annually.
On Lang Pagoda was built on a 1,800 square-meter campus, with the architectural style of ancient Chinese temples. Its garden, which is separated from the street by the red metal gate, contains an artificial pond and fountain. The pagoda complex itself comprises of a small front courtyard, an antechamber with an altar to the Jade Emperor, a fundamental chamber with a holy place to Mazu (the God of Sea), also known as Thien Hau in Vietnamese, and a large courtyard dominated by the statue of Guanyin.
The pagoda is built in rectangular shape. There are 3 entrances to the central lobby. On both sides of the main door are a couple of artistically magnificent stone unicorns, originated in China. The pagoda structure is supported by a wooden frame; its roof is covered with green tiles. The way to shape and decorate its roof is strongly influenced by Chinese people, with bent roofs attached decorative ceramic pieces. On the front wall, there are two wooden bas-reliefs ingenuously added with gilded flowers and embossed with the Four Great Diamonds. The substructure of the porch is exquisitely sculptured with unicorns, lotus and other flowers.
On Lang pagoda also preserves many antiquities from the time of the Quangxu Emperor (Qing Dynasty) including drum, incensory, and especially a giant bell from the year of 1825. In addition, the pagoda also has many Chinese horizontal and parallel sentences for the content of praising the merits of gods and expressing the wishes of man. The pagoda is popular among both Vietnamese and Chinese Buddhists. It is also the place where Vietnamese and Chinese communities living in Saigon exchange their cultures and customs. Most of the inscriptions are in Chinese characters, but some labels have been added in Vietnamese.
Although On Lang Pagoda is also called as Guan Yin Pagoda, Mazu, the God of Sea, is the one who was worshiped in the main hall of the temple. She is depicted as a kindly good-hearted woman dressed in multicolored robes and crown, having two maidservants on the both sides. It is said that she has miraculous blessings and is very responsive to the seafarers.
In addition to the main God, around the pagoda’s courtyard is a series of other gods. Each chamber is exquisitely decorated with carvings and lines of praise for the God’s merits. Offerings are always fulfilled by worshipers, and incense smoke smells up all day and night. Moreover, the Jade Emperor, the Monkey King, Bao Zheng (a good and righteous authority in the Song Dynasty of China) and famous heroes in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, etc. are worship here.
On Saigon Motorbike City Tour, besides visiting many touristy destinations in Saigon, if you have the opportunity to go across District 5, you should be a guest of On Lang Pagoda.
VN Bike Tour will bring you the best experience!