VietnamActivities & AttractionsVinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Many temples and pagodas were built nationwide over ten centuries when Buddhism first came to Vietnam. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is one of Vietnam’s most famous and important pagodas of Buddhism.

Address: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 3
Opening hours: 7 AM – 6 PM
How to get there: It is about 5 km from Tan Son Nhat Airport. If you take a taxi there, it will take about 15 minutes.

History Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City was named after Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Bac Giang (Northern Vietnam). The pagoda in Bac Giang is one of the oldest pagodas, built in the Ly Dynasty (1010-1028), when Buddhism in Vietnam was the most developed.

Architect Nguyen Ba Lang and engineer Bui Van To made the design. From 1964 to 1971, there were three buildings: the main hall for worshiping Buddha, a great tower to contain the relics, and a place for the pagoda’s social and cultural works. Then, another building opened to the local community in 1982. In 2015, the pagoda welcomed the Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, on his visit to Ho Chi Minh City.

Structure of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

The area of 7,000 square meters has gone under significant construction to withstand the weights of multiple intricate architectures.

Outside of the pagoda

At the front, there is a “three-door” gate leading to the front yard. In the left corner is a small garden with a 14-meter stone tower.

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A statue of Guanyin is in the middle of this yard
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This is one of the tallest stone towers in Vietnam
vinh-nghiem-pagoda-ho-chi-minh-left-side-hall

On the left and right sides are rows of buildings, including the rooms for the monks, the office of the Buddha congregation, and a vegetarian restaurant. You can take a walk along the halls of these buildings and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of a Vietnamese pagoda, looking at the green and fishes swimming in a pond.

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There are 7 stairways to the main hall leading to the upper floor, which is an open space with seats. To the left of this open area is the 7-story, 40-meter-high tower, which you can easily recognize from afar.

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A bronze statue of Buddha in the middle of the hall
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The bell given by the Japanese Buddhism Congregation

Behind the main building is the community tower to keep the relics of deceased followers. Family members usually visit the place on the date of their death.

Learn about Vietnamese death anniversaries

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In front of this tower, you can see another white statue of Ksitigarbha (god of earth)

Inside the pagoda

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The central hall building architecture is based on the Northern pagoda style with a curved roof decorated with phoenix head sculptures and a dharma wheel in the middle. The building is 35-meter long, 22-meter wide and 15-meter high, supported with concrete posts. On the veranda of the main hall, there are two Vajrapani (protector of Buddha) statues on two ends. Before coming to the main building, you need to take off your shoes. There is a charity fund box at the central entrance; the incense is put on the left door. Followers and monks will usually sit in front of small tables to meditate and recite the Sutra.

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On the Buddha altar are three statues of Gautama Buddha in the middle, Manjushri (god of wisdom) on the left, and Samantabhadra (god of practice and meditation) on the right. Other Buddha statues and holy animal statues are placed along the two sides of the main hall in Vinh Nghiem Pagoda.

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A Vegetarian Restaurant in Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

You can visit this restaurant to enjoy vegan food. There are a lot of vegan versions of Vietnamese foods you can enjoy here, even dairy desserts like pudding.

Viet Chay
Opening hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
Price range: VND 40,000 – VND 165,000

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda on Special Occasions

On the 8th of December in Lunar Calendar, the date of Buddha’s enlightenment, a big event occurs at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda. On Buddha’s birthday, many followers come here, which may cause traffic jams in front of the pagoda. Tet and full moon days are other opportunities for people to pray for themselves and their families.

Check out more temples and pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City

Summary of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

At Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, you will learn much more about Buddhism in Vietnam. We recommend anyone who loves the peaceful and sacred atmosphere of religious sites or wants to try out a variety of vegetarian dishes sold in the restaurants inside the pagoda.

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