In contrast to the bustling main attractions such as District 1 or District 3, the “Chinatown” of District 5 lies humbly with ancient Chinese structures. Tam Son Hoi Quan is among the oldest temples of the Chinese community in Saigon, where you can pay a visit for a change from the glistening buildings in the metropolitan.
Where is Tam Son Hoi Quan
Tam Son Hoi Quan is situated at 118 Trieu Quang Phuc in District 5. The street is rarely congested with traffic, but the temple is a famous and reachable location where you can take a bus or a taxi to reach.
Opening time: 6 AM – 5 PM
Tam Son Hoi Quan on Trieu Quang Phuc street
What exactly is Tam Son Hoi Quan
The temple is named after Sanshan (Tam Son) – The Three Mountains in the Chinese myths. Additionally, the number 3 in Chinese culture is considered lucky and powerful and you can somehow observe how the traditional belief has affected the Chinese daily life as you have to walk through three main altars at Tam Son Hoi Quan to offer incense.
The fine details of Fujian architecture
Tam Son Hoi Quan was built in 1839 by the Fujian Congregation, initially to honor Me Sanh, or Mother Sanh – The Goddess of Fertility. Consequently, you might spot some women and couples come here to pray in the hope of conceptions. Later on, Thien Hau – The Goddess of Seafarers was revered in the main shrine. In the Chinese belief, Thien Hau could protect the seamen with her power.
Thien Hau altar
Me Sanh altar
Apart from the main figures, there are also the Jade Emperor, the Dragon King, Guanyin – The Bodhisattva of Compassion, and the Tigers’ shrine which supposedly give you courage and power. Among the deities is the Quan Cong (Zihuang) shrine to the right of the courtyard. The Chinese national hero is accompanied by his two guardians and his sacred red horse.
The Jade Emperor
Since the 19th century, Tam Son Hoi Quan has gone under several renovations, but the temple remains the original structure and some of the age-old rich ornamentations. It might be not the best temple in the city, but the little place and its tranquil ambiance represent a piece of the Chinese spiritual life.
The ambiance inside the temple
Now that you’ve learned about Tam Son Hoi Quan
This is not the most magnificent and spectacular temple of the Chinese community in Saigon but it bears a significant value to the people’s spiritual life. Lying in the heart of Chinatown, Tam Son Hoi Quan is worth a visit if you want to have a peek into the Chinese culture of Saigon.
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