Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation

Top choice temple in Hoi An
Image by Anders Blomqvist / Getty Images

Originally a traditional assembly hall (or guildhall), this structure was later transformed into a temple for the worship of Thien Hau, a deity who protects seafarers. The green-tiled triple gateway dates from 1975. The mural on the right-hand wall depicts Thien Hau, her way lit by lantern light as she crosses a stormy sea to rescue a foundering ship. Opposite is a mural of the heads of the six Fujian families who fled from China to Hoi An in the 17th century.

The penultimate chamber of this guildhall contains a statue of Thien Hau. To either side of the entrance stand red-skinned Thuan Phong Nhi and green-skinned Thien Ly Nhan, deities who alert Thien Hau when sailors are in distress.

In the final chamber, the central altar contains seated figures of the heads of the six Fujian families. The smaller figures below them represent their successors as clan leaders. Behind the altar on the right are three fairies and smaller figures representing the 12 ba mu (midwives), each of whom teaches newborns a different skill necessary for the first year of life: smiling, sucking and so forth.

The goddess is also worshipped by childless couples who come to pray for offspring and leave fresh fruit as offerings.