More often than not, people see the fact that Ho Chi Minh City has been changing too much and too fast as a curse in disguise.
They complain about the disappearance of many ancient buildings that have been wiped out for the construction of new and more modern works.
However, in contrast to this common belief, centuries-old buildings are still standing across the city, formerly known as Saigon.
These five pagodas with histories dating back more than 200 years have survived the invasion of urban development and are well-liked by the public.
Built in 1744, Giac Lam is one of the most popular and oldest pagodas in the city.
The pagoda in Tan Binh District is most famous for having 113 ancient Buddha statues, mostly wooden, and many sculpture works.
A seven-floor tower in front of the pagoda is specifically used for keeping Buddhist relics. Not far from the tower is a Buddha statue overshadowed by a sacred fig that was brought from Sri Lanka in 1953.
Giac Lam has a quite big garden with lots of trees aside.
About two kilometers from Giac Lam, Giac Vien is like a smaller replica of the former.
In fact, Giac Vien’s location was originally the place where the wood used in the 1789 restoration of Giac Lam was stored.
A pagoda keeper who was asked to look after the wood built a hut so that he could stay here and carry out religious practices. When the repair work was completed six years later, the head monk of Giac Lam ordered the hut to be upgraded to a full-scale pagoda.
Giac Vien has 153 Buddha statues, mostly wooden.
Lady Thien Hau
The pagoda, which is dedicated to Lady Thien Hau, a Chinese patron goddess better known as Mazu, was built in 1760.
Located in the Cho Lon China Town, the pagoda is one of the oldest religious sites built by Chinese immigrants in the city. Its architecture still stays true to the original, regardless of numerous repairs.
While the pagoda is popular, attracting many visitors every day, it is especially crowded during traditional holidays.
It even has its own festival that is organized on lunar March 23.
The pagoda was built in the early 19th century from a small house of worship.
It has gone through two major renovations, but its original architecture is still intact with wooden frames and ancient roof tiles.
About 40 Buddha statues are worshiped at the pagoda, located in District 11.
Another popular destination among Ho Chi Minh City natives, Sung Duc was built in 1806 in Thu Duc District.
The pagoda boasts many antiques like a 1.3-meter high cooper bell, a 1.3-meter high wooden statue of the Buddha, and a drum that is more than 1.3 meters long.
The original Vietnamese story can be found here on Phu Nu news website