Attraction 264 Hải Thượng Lãn Ông 14, 5 Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Ong Bon Pagoda is special ?
Ong Bon Pagoda was built by the Fukien Chinese just after World War II to dedicated to Ong Bon, the guardian of wealth, happiness and virtue.
One of its most interesting sights in Ho Chi Minh city is the Ong Bon Pagoda located at 264 Hai Thuong Lan Ong Boulevard. This small temple was built just after World War II by the Fukien Chinese. It is dedicated to Ong Bon, the god who is believed to be a Guardian of Happiness and Virtue. Its front door is adorned with rather fierce looking armed warriors. Long coils of sweet smelling incense are always left burning in the corners of the pagoda.
Ong Bon is also the god of wealth, which is why so devotees bring fake paper currency to burn in the pagoda's furnace as an offering to him. This ritual is believed to be very auspicious and participating in it is said to bring financial blessings to the individual and his/her family.
What to explore at Ong Bon Pagoda?
The Ong Bon pagoda is a great attraction with many big festivals every year. Especially, main festivals of pagoda is on full moon of January and August (lunar calendar).
Offerings are usually roasted pig, fresh pig, boil chicken, fruits, incense, etc. Crowd of Chinese people also bring offerings to the pagoda. Chinese people often buy cones – incense burners, hooked from a ceiling of Ong Bon temple in order to spread fragrant smoke during months later.
The Ong Bon pagoda is designed as square model, includes 4 long blocks, perpendicular to each other, create a courtyard in the middle. Looking from outside, the Ong Bon pagoda is outstanding with overlapped layers of curved roofs that are distinctive from other pagodas in Ho Chi Minh city as well as the whole country. The main hall displays a altar of Jade Emperor with a big copper incense burner. Over the altar have two horizontal lacquered boards “Phuc toan duc bi” and “Thich cap lam phong”. Such these artifacts was engraved in 1901 (27th King Quang Tu).
Going trough the courtyard, a row of concrete desk is used to placed offerings and we will see another horizontal lacquered board “Thân Lâm phước địa” in graceful calligraphy-like strokes. Under the horizontal lacquered board is a altar for placing offerings.
The altar “Phúc đức chính thần” (Mercy God) occupies the center position of the main hall with magnificent and splendid altar. The altar is painted in golden color, engraved with shapes of flowers, phoenix, etc. The altar room of the Mercy God has a wooden statue Ong Bon height of 1.5 meters and an ancestral tablet “Nhị Phủ Đại Bá Công”. The statue of Ong Bon shows an old man with generous and kind face, long white beard, comfortable sitting manner, one hand touches the beard. The jacket folds are loosed together with thoughtful gait. Below the statue are two other smaller statues like two pupils waiting to be ordered.
In general, the Ong Bon architecture is relatively simple but still creates solemn atmosphere of religious foundation and expresses special cultural style of the Chinese in Ho Chi Minh city. Selecting Ong Bon as a God for worshipping is a notable characteristic of the religious beliefs of the Chinese people in Vietnam.
How to get to Ong Bon Pagoda?
The best way to visit the mosque is by taxi, motorbike or" xe om". It takes 32 mins driving from Tan Son Nhat International Airport and 19 mins from SaiGon Railway Station.
- The pagoda is small, but worth a quick visit
- Being believed to bring good luck and fortune
- Being the guardian of wealth and happiness
- Drawing daily crowds of worshippers
- Its peaceful atmosphere makes tourists relaxed
264 Hải Thượng Lãn Ông 14, 5 Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Tips for you
Each year, Ong Bon Pagoda has many sacrifying days . Specially, two mainly sacrifying days of this Pagoda is the fifteenth day of January and August full moon, which is the of birth and date of death of Mr. Bon, so many worshippers come there on those days, you can chances to observe how they scarify and have some experiences.Timming
This is another gem of a pagoda, that's well worth a visit on your pagoda tour. I would suggest that you go with a guide, to get the full explanation and history of this gorgeous pagoda. Show respect for the locals and make sure your shoulders and knees are covered before going inside.