Xa Loi Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City Overview

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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How to Reach Xa Loi Pagoda

Xa Loi Pagoda Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Xa Loi Pagoda is Located in District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (Source)

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.

Xa Loi Pagoda History

Main Hall of Xa Loi Pagoda
The Xa Loi Pagoda is Religious and Historical Site of Ho Chi Minh City (Source)

The history of the Xa Loi Pagoda is worth a mention; two events to be precise. Firstly, the raid and arrests of nuns and monks inside the pagoda upon orders of the president Ngo Dinh Diem, as a form of religious persecution. And secondly, Thich Quang Duc, a monk who during these raids, self-immolated in protest. Despite these atrocities back in the day, Buddhism now continues to exist and prosper in Vietnam, and Xa Loi Pagoda stands as a testament to all that.

Tips for Visiting Xa Loi Pagoda

Buddha Statue at Xa Loi Pagoda Ho Chi Minh City
Xa Loi Pagoda is a Religious Place, so Dress Modestly and Maintain the Decorum of the Place (Source)

  • Men enter the main hall from the left staircase and women use the right staircase.
  • Make sure to be dressed in clothing covering the shoulders and legs, when visiting the temple.
Xa Loi Pagoda Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Xa Loi Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Source)

Xa Loi Pagoda is a must visit not just for the architectural and religious aspect but also the historical element; perhaps the most key in Vietnamese religious and political associations.

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