Monday, April 28, 2014

Quan Am Pagoda, Phu Nhuan

One of the places I find myself constantly recommending people visit is the little-known Quan Am Pagoda in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City.

This temple is also mentioned in my book, Destination Saigon, and I have been visiting there for almost 15 years now.

It is a pretty basic suburban temple, but it was the Saigon residence of Thich Quang Duc, and as I mentioned in a previous post, it has become something of a shrine to him.
Downstairs is a large shrine to Thich Quang Duc Bodhisattva and the other Buddhist martyrs that followed him - most people don't realise that many people, both monastic and lay, followed his example and set fire to themselves in protest to the war.

There is also a large and very kitsch grotto housing a quite unique shrine to Quan Am (Kwan Yin). This particular shrine is very popular with locals, and the statue of Quan Am is quite unique, in a form rarely seen.

To get to the grotto you need to walk through the gift shop to the left of the temple, and then climb up through the fake cave. Offerings are made from behind the statue. This grotto is exceedingly cramped, and should you meet someone on your way up or down one of you is going have to re-trace your steps - it is almost impossible to pass another person.

Details: Chua Quan Am - Phu Nhuan, 90 Thích Quảng Đức St, Phu Nhuan, Ho Chi Minh City

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