Tour of Ho Chi Minh City: photos of the markets and pagodas

March 2013 

In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) there are pagodas and temples dedicated to several religions, above all Taoist and Buddhist which are actively attended by believers belonging to different local communities, who pray and burn incense. Walking in the markets of Ho Chi Minh City, through the stalls where the locals buy and sell every kind of stuff, it is a unique experience... that can not be transmitted at all only through images, as you should "taste" all the most unusual smells that you can breathe among the stalls.

Ngoc Hoang Pagoda
In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) there are many temples and pagodas: this is Ngoc Hoang pagoda, also known as Jade Emperor Temple or Fuhai monastery.  Built over a century ago, it saw the changing of the Buddhist religion with the Taoist, and is attended by many believers.
Turtles Turtle
The outside hall of the temple house many turtles which are borough here by the believers, as symbol of long life.
Ngoc Hoang Pagoda Ngoc Hoang
The Ngoc Hoang temple is attended by many believers who pray and burn incense.
Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City Ngoc Hoang Temple
The believers pray in the Ngoc Hoang temple, in front of the statue representing the different deities.
Temple in Saigon
Burning incense.
Cholon Cholon Market
The tour in Ho Chi Minh City continues with a visit to the big market in the district of Cholon (Binh Tay market). The wide inner courtyard houses a memorial dedicated to the founder of the market, a Chinese business man who died the last century. Here people remember him burning incense.
Cholon Market Cholon Market Saigon
Cholon market Ho Chi Minh City

In the market every kind of stuff is sold: the spaces are occupied by things of any kind which often prevents the simultaneous transit of two people in the narrow aisles among stalls.
Binh Tay Market
Many stalls in the Binh Tay market, in the Cholon district in the Ho Chi Minh City, are dedicate to clothing.
Types of rice Rice market
Other stalls are dedicated to food products and in these photos you can see different varieties of rice, each with its own price.
dry fish
The dried fish section is particularly interesting, but in addition to the images it would be useful a technology able to transmit even the strongest and  the most absurd smells that stink up the whole area around these stalls.
Dry shrimps Saigon fish market
Ho Chi Minh City fish market
Sacks full of orange shrimps can be found on stalls together with various species of dried fish.
Thien Hau Pagoda Thien Hau
Pagoda in Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City photo: the Thien Hau pagoda. This Chinese pagoda  was built in 19th century and is dedicated to Tian Hou, the Lady of the Sea. The site is primarily a place of pilgrimage for Chinese people living in the various local communities.
The believers write down their prayers on violet sheets of paper, which are later displayed in the inner hall of the temple.
The believers burn incense either in the form of the classic stick or in the form of large spirals hanging from the ceiling, where in each spiral a violet paper containing the text of the prayer is stuck.
Burning incense
Incense in spiral shape
Thien Hau Pagoda (Saigon)

Inside the Thien Hau temple, behind the altar, a statue represents the deity Tian Hau to whom the temple is dedicated
Market of fakes
The tour in Ho Chi Minh City ends with a visit to Ben Thanh market,also called, the "market of fakes" as there a great variety of counterfeit products of the most famous brands in the world.
Ben Thanh Ben Thanh Market
The market of fakes includes also some stalls with food products, where you can find also shells and shellfish.

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English translation by Lorena Anzani.