Chua Ba Thien Hau

Attraction 710 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Published on: 18-02-2016

30 mins
08:00 AM - 04:30 PM
09:00 AM
10:00 AM
First-time visit Second-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
0.00 USD

Chua Ba Thien Hau is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Thien Hau Pagoda is one of the most active temples in Cho Lon and has an otherworldly atmosphere owing to the smoking rings of swirling incense and majestic interior furnishings.

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Why Chua Ba Thien Hau is special ?

The Chua Ba Thien Hau Pagoda (The Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau) is a Chinese style temple located in the Cho Lon district of Ho Chi Minh City. It is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea, who is also known as Mazu. Thien Hau is a deity of traditional Chinese religion, who is revered in the southern maritime provinces of China and in overseas Chinese communities. She is not specifically a deity of Taoism or Buddhism, though she has been brought into connection with figures and themes from Taoism and Buddhism.

Thien Hau is revered by seafaring cultures as she has the ability to travel over sea, by mat or cloud, to protect or rescue stranded seafarers and fishermen. The pagoda, one of the oldest of Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh City, was built in around 1760, then restored continuously in 1800, 1842, 1882, 1890 and 1916. Many of the materials used for constructing the pagoda were brought from China.


What to explore at Chua Ba Thien Hau?

The interior of the temple is a partially covered courtyard, at the end of which is the altar to Thiên Hậu, where stand three statues of the goddess. The faces of the statues are bronze in color, and the clothes and crowns are multi-colored. The exposed portions of the courtyard contain incense burners, and give a view of the remarkable porcelain dioramas that decorate the roof. The dioramas show scenes from a 19th century Chinese city, and include such colorful figures as actors, demons, animals, and Persian and European sailors and traders. One scene depicts three Taoist sages representing longevity, fecundity and prosperity.

Suspended over the main worship area, in front of the altar of Thien Hau, are dozens of incense coils. Visitors to the temple frequently purchase these, attach their names to the coils, and then have them hung from the ceiling of the temple. As the incense smoke curls upwards in the air, the pilgrims believe their prayers are transmitted to the deity. Many of the incense coils are quite large, with a diameter of more than a meter, and can burn for several weeks.

The festival of worshipping Thien Hau on the 23rd day of the 3rd month of Lunar year is one of the most popular annual festivities of Chinese people in Vietnam.


How to get to Chua Ba Thien Hau?

To get to Chua Ba Thien Hau Temple take Bus number 08, 45, or 59 to 81 Chau Van Liem and walk two minutes. Or take Bus number 01, 08, 45, 56, or 111 to 68 Chau Van Liem and walk two minutes.

Selling points

  • Such amazing architecture
  • Beautiful Chinese Temple
  • A fabulous old and functioning temple
  • The most sacred place
  • Little piece of magic in HCMC
Southern Splendours 5 Days

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5.0 days
186.98 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
16 places




710 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • Take time to look closely at the building and the architecture and how it was built with such attention to detail so long ago
    Things to do
  • Iin the courtyard are lovely, large bronze cauldrons to hold the burning incense, and a multitude of wonderful statues and paintings.
    What to see
  • You can visit the Dai The Gioi Water Park nearby if you have time.
  • Inside there is a donation box if you wish to give something towards the building’s preservation. If you want incense several people inside and outside sell sticks and coils, with 20,000 VND being enough to purchase a large quantity.
  • Don’t forget to lean back and take in the intricate carvings on the roof.
  • Be prepared for the smoke and the smell, it's intense but that's incense for you (mind the pun).
  • You should wear the polite clothes in the reverent place.
    What to wear
  • You should keep eyes on your children to avoid them running around.
  • It's much cheaper to purchase incense inside the pagoda
    Ticket and Pricing
  • On 14th and 15th of February of Lunar Calendar, there is the big event holding annually.


TripAdvisor View more

Visited this 19th century Buddhist temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea Thien Hau and just loved it. Not the touristy cleaned up temples often seen, this is one of the oldest pagodas of the Chinese community in Saigon. Upon entering the temple you are immediately struck by the amount of intricate ceramic friezes above the roofline and the interior courtyard. Large coils of incense are suspended overhead, these can be purchased and are lit over the year releasing your prayers. The goddess of the sea is believed to have had the power to travel over seas to save people in trouble on the high seas. A very authentic site and worth a visit. (If you find this review helpful please tick the box tks )

FourSquare View more

It is dedicated to Thiên Hậu, the Lady of the Sea (

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