Located about 70 kilometers to the south of Ho Chi Minh City, Tien Giang is famous for glorious chapters in history, rich culture and unique cuisine. That’s why it’s always top billing in any itinerary to explore the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. One of the points which make Tien Giang a hotspot is Vinh Trang Pagoda, probably deemed as an iconic image of this province.
Vinh Trang Pagoda is remarkable by its architecture and a mix of Occidental and Oriental styles. It’s possible to say that what distinguishes Vinh Trang from other pagodas is giant Buddha statues in a scared and serene space with enchanting landscapes.
How to get to Vinh Trang Pagoda from Ho Chi Minh City
Follow National Route 1A to the city center of My Tho and then move along Provincial Route 879 about 3 kilometers, and you’ll reach Vinh Trang Park. At the park, turn left and go about 300 meters to Vinh Trang Pagoda.
If you’re afraid of riding a motorbike from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh Trang Pagoda, a bus at Mien Tay Bus Station or a tour to the Mekong Delta will be a good choice. If you take a tour, apart from a visit to Vinh Trang, you can have good experiences at other attractions of Tien Giang and nearby areas.
A first look at Vinh Trang Pagoda
Vinh Trang Tien Giang is one of the biggest pagodas in the Mekong Delta and has a rich history. Before it underwent many changes and refurbishments, it had just been a small temple built by the family of Mr. Bui Cong Dat.
In 1849, the monk, Thich Hue Dang presided over Vinh Trang Pagoda. After many generations, the pagoda has been larger and more spacious whereby it always draws plenty of visitors and pilgrims from other places to come. During the wartime, here was a hideout for Vietnamese guerillas. There, it also means a lot to the locals in terms of history. Each time Tet holiday comes, more people visit Ving Trang for worship.
Architecture of Vinh Trang Pagoda
With the area of 14,000 square meters, Vinh Trang was built of cement and precious wood. Visitors are certainly overwhelmed by the pagoda’s unique and exquisite architecture. The pagoda is a mix of Occidental and Oriental styles and in the shape of “Nation” in Chinese characters. There are four adjacent compartments inside, and each was elaborately designed. Inside each of the compartment are lots of impressive carvings and horizontal lacquered boards.
Right after stepping into the entrance, you’’ see its roof is seemingly supported by four big poles sophisticatedly carved with mascots. In the front of the pagoda is two three-door gates with eye-catching designs on the wall. In the yard, what makes up a peaceful and beautiful scene consist of a lotus pond, century-old trees, and fruit gardens. Visitors can soak up the pleasant ambiance and peace there.
The architecture of Vinh Trang Pagoda is supposed to be an extraordinary artwork by brilliant architects of the XIX and XX. Carvings inside the pagoda depict colors of royalty. Therefore, it’s worth pay a visit to this place. Additionally, it’s a good chance to savor fruits and specialties of the Mekong Delta.
Statues at Vinh Trang Pagoda
Pilgrims and visitors to Vinh Trang Pagoda can contemplate and worship at 60 Buddha statues made from wood, copper, or clay. This is where a big bell has been stored; it’s 1.2 meters tall and 150 kg heavy. In the yard of the pagoda has a sitting giant Maitreya Buddha statue that is 20 meters tall and 250,000 kg heavy. Also, a Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue behind the pagoda is another impressive point of this place.
What to eat nearby
Bo De Quan – Am Thuc Chay
Address: 69A Nguyen Trung Truc Street, Ward 3, My Tho City
Bo De Quan is a vegan restaurant within walking distance of Vinh Trang Pagoda. It’s actually a perfect choice for vegans; the menu varies according to seasons.
Chuong Duong Restaurant
Address: No.10 30/4 Street, Ward 1, My Tho City
One of the best restaurants in Tien Giang Province is Chuong Duong. It’s in close proximity to Vinh Trang Pagoda. There is a wide selection of dishes, and the price is ok to try.
Song Tien Restaurant
Address: No.1 Lanh Binh Can Street, Ward 1, My Tho City
Ngoc Gia Trang Restaurant
Address: 196 Ap Bac Street, Ward 5, My Tho City
Where to visit nearby
Thoi Son Island
Thoi Son Island is located downstream, Thoi Son Commune, My Tho City, Tien Giang Province. The landscape of a rural water area is indeed wonderful. You can try relaxing on a rowing boat along narrow canals with the green coconut leaves above.
Cai Be Floating Market
One of the must-visit places when you have a trip to Vinh Trang Pagoda, Tien Giang Province is Cai Be Floating Market. It’s not as bustling as Cai Rang Floating Market of Can Tho City, but you can get some understanding of the market culture in the Mekong Delta.
Vinh Kim Orchard
It’s with great regret that you ignore a visit to Vinh Kim Orchard, home to luscious tropical fruits. It’s also taken into account as the place of specialties of the Mekong Delta. There is nothing more awesome than strolling along paths in star-apple gardens and enjoy those milky fruits.
Tips for a trip to Vinh Trang Pagoda
- Vinh Trang Pagoda opens all days of a week. No entrance fee. You can ask some monks to have guides for your visit or know more about the pagoda.
- Address: Nguyen Huynh Duc Street, My Phong Commune, My Tho City.
- You should wear attires covering your legs and shoulders. You shouldn’t wear shorts, tank tops, or short skirts as those things are prohibited.
- You should turn off your phone while worshipping at the pagoda.
- Two left and right doors are open for visitors to enter the pagoda. The center door always closes.
- You shouldn’t laugh and talk too loud when inside
- Souvenirs can be bought at the right side in the yard.