Vinh Nghiem, Giac Vien, Giac Lam, Phung Son Pagoda
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
Located at 339 Nam Ki Khoi Nghia Street in District 3, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is the first pagoda built with concrete but still retaining Vietnamese traditional architecture style. The 7-story, 40 meters high tower is the highest structure in this pagoda. In 1964, two monks Thich Tam Giac and Thich Thanh Kiem originally from the North came South Vietnam to spread Buddhism and started to construct Vinh Nghiem Pagoda. The model and namesake of the pagoda was the 11th century Vinh Nghiem Buddhist temple in Duc La Village, Tri Yen Commune, Tang Giang County in Bac Giang Province, which dates the reign of Ly Thai To during the Ly Dynasty. The village was once a major center of Buddhist teaching and the Truc Lam sect of Vietnamese Buddhism.
Situated in Lac Long Quan Street, District 11, Giac Vien is one of the oldest temples in Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda used to be a warehouse while another pagoda was being rebuilt. After the renovation of the latter was completed, Giac Vien Pagoda became a thatched-roof hut used for worshipping Bodhisattva and was named Kwan-Yin. Finally, it became a pagoda in 1850, thanks to the monk Hai Tinh Giac Vien. All the characteristics of the worshipping in Giac Vien Pagoda followed the typical ancient of pagodas built under Nguyen Dynasty of the 19th century. Today, the pagoda still preserves some valuable Buddhist inscriptions.
Originally built by Ly Thuy Long – a native Minh Huong, in 1774 as a gathering place during Lunar New Year, Giac Lam is one of the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Cam Son or Cam Dien Pagoda by locals. Located at 118 Lac Long Quan Street, Tan Binh District, the new-built temple overlooks Gia Dinh Market while the area was still underdeveloped and quite like a jungle. In 1772, after the arrival of Monk Thich Lam Quang of the Lam Te Zen lineage, the pagoda was given the name Giac Lam.
Phung Son Pagoda, often called as Go Pagoda, is located at 1408 Duong 3 Thang 2, at District 11, which was established by Bonze Lieu Thong in the early 19th century. Since then, the pagoda has gone through two major restorations. It was rebuilt in 1904 and restored in 1960. People found many statues created by a group of Sa Dec craftsmen here. There are about 40 ancient statues, with the head statues and ceramic items are belonging to Oc Eo culture. The Ministry of Culture has recognized the pagoda as a historical and cultural relic. People pray three times a day from 4:00 am to 5:00 am, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.