The biggest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh, Xa Loi Pagoda is as famous for it dramatic history as it is for its beautiful statues, towers and intricately carved panels. Once the centre of Buddhism, the complex was home to renowned Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc. It was raided by Army officials in 1963 for being a site of dissent against the Roman Catholic president Ngo Dinh Diem.
Spread over 2500 square metres, this pagoda is the biggest in Vietnam. It has previously been the Buddhist headquarters in South Vietnam. The Xa Loi Pagoda opened its doors to the general public on 2nd May 1958. Built to hold the relics of Gautam Buddha, the pagoda has aptly been named "Xa Loi" which is the Vietnamese term for relics. One of the noteworthy sites inside this 7 storeyed pagoda is the 32-metre tall bell tower; the highest in Vietnam. There is also the main ceremonial hall, a painting of Bodhidharma and a large statue of Gautam Buddha within the premises.
Located in District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City, at 89B Ba Huyen, Thanh Quan, the Xa Loi Pagoda can easily be reached by Uber or even via Google Maps. You can also take bus numbers 30, 54, 91 and 150, arriving at Benh Vien Mat TPHCM Bus Station. It takes 5 minutes to walk from this bus stop to reach the Xa Loi Pagoda.
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