Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chua Phuoc Hai Tu- pagoda-hopping in Vietnam part 4

It is a temple of numerous names. The most popular is the Jade Emperor Pagoda but it is also referred to as Chua Phuoc Hai Tu (Chua is the Vietnamese term for temple), the Fuhai Monastery or even as the Tortoise Pagoda.

Phuoc Hai Tu fountain
a fountain sits in the front yard of Chua Phuoc Hai Tu, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Not surprisingly, the central court features the prominent figure of the Jade Emperor. Flanking him are other Taoist deities made of papier-mâché. Traditional decorations fill the hall, including beautiful inscriptions in Chinese that are as old as the temple which was constructed in the early 1900s. Elaborate carvings filled the other side hall which curiously, depicted visions of hell.

Chua Phuoc Hai Temple door
the carved wooden door of Chua Phuoc Hai Tu


I did remember my friend telling me that the temple is Vietnamese and not Chinese. This somehow confused me as all the pagodas I went to, from Thien Hau, Tam Son Hoi Quan and Chua Ong, were Buddhist or Taoist and are definitely Chinese in design and origin. Perhaps he meant that the temple is maintained or managed by ethnic Vietnamese and not by Chinese immigrants.

Phuoc Hai Tu conical coil bokeh
a conical incense coil inside the temple


Phuoc Hai Tu medallion bokeh
a medallion as offering


It was my second time to visit this temple. As in my past, the pagoda was teeming with not just tourists like myself but also with the faithful who brought with them incense, food and other offerings. I tried not to get in the way and observed silently with my camera.

worship at Phuoc Hai Tu
Chua Phuoc Hai Tu worship


To go:
Jade Emperor Pagoda aka Chua Phuoc Hai Tu and Fuhai Monastery
73D Mai Thi Luu, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

For more of my pagoda-hop series in Vietnam, visit:
part 1: Thien Hau
part 2:Tam Son Hoi Quan
part 3:Chua Ong

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2 comments:

Comella said...

Super interesant.

Tien said...

Hi Farl,

I've been searching through images of Vietnam, and think some of your photos are amazing.
Can i ask your permission to use them to decorate a small vietnamese cafe that my wife and i are starting in New Zealand? I am really keen on showing customers the cultural richness of the country and the people, and your shots have a beautiful quality about them. We would be more than happy to have your name beside any photos we use. Please let me know if it is OK. Thanks in advance :

Tien Vu
minti@paradise.net.nz