The 300-year floating temple among Saigon River
In the heart of Saigon, beside high-rise buildings and busy urban areas, there are also existences of quiet and sacred pagodas with extremely beautiful architecture. One of them is Mieu Noi temple, also known as Phu Chau Temple on Saigon River, a sacred and unique destination attracting thousands of visitors.
1. The history of Mieu Noi floating temple
According to legend, the temple was established in the 18th century, which means it has gone with the history of Vietnam for nearly 300 years. The temple was initially set up to worship a drowned woman in the Vam Thuat river, who was then picked by a fisherman. For the salvation of her soul as well as the wishes for smooth business, he built a small temple made of bamboo and coconut leaves. Since then, his life has become better.
Over time, the temple became so sacred that local merchants had to rebuild the construction to make it more spacious. After many times of restoration, the temple has become tremendously magnificent with more distinctive architectural features.
2. The floating temple with the unique architecture of more than 100 dragons
Mieu Noi temple covered an island of about 2,500 m² among Vam Thuat River – a branch of Saigon River. Therefore, to come here, visitors have to go by boat.
In addition to the unique terrain, the image of more than 100 large and small dragons placed everywhere is also a special feature of Mieu Noi temple. Right at the entrance and the main hall were enormous dragons bowing. They were in various positions and placed everywhere in the temple. The most popular image must be the picture of two dragons fighting for a gem on the roof of the temple.
The other dragons are exquisitely carved, winding around the pillars. Moreover, the left and right altars are meticulously engraved with a lot of beautiful and lively dragons. On the roof, there are hundred intricately-carved images of dragons, birds, mountains, clouds, etc., made of multiple porcelain pieces.
Although it’s hard to get here, Mieu Noi temple still attracts a number of visitors from all over the world to come for admiring and praying for peace, especially on such occasions as full-moon days, Tet holiday, etc. Through numerous restorations, Phu Chau temple now is more spacious, and the main hall is also designed more sophisticatedly and beautifully. The middle of the front hall is the worship area of Maitreya Buddha, while the two sides are used to worship Buddha Tathagata and the Earth Mother.
With such a long life and distinctive architecture, in 2010, Mieu Noi temple was officially recognized as a City-level architectural monument.
3. How to travel to Mieu Noi temple
Because it’s located right on the river, you first need to walk to the shore near the temple, then rent a boat to get there.
The detailed route: Depart from the center of Saigon, you go along Nguyen Thai Son street. When you reach the end of the road, turn to Tran Bao Giao street. Keep going a few hundred meters more to the parking lot. From here, you will travel by boat to come to the temple. This is a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy the peaceful scenery.
Boat rental price: 10,000VND/person/round trip.
Time: The waiting time: 10 minutes. The shuttle time: 5 minutes
Address: 420/2 Nguyen Thai Son, Ward 5, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Normally, people will visit here to wish for peace and luck early in the year. Meanwhile, at year-end, they come to pray for love. As a result, Mieu Noi temple is almost always crowded with not only indigenous people but also international tourists.