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Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Top choice in Ho Chi Minh City

Delightfully fronted by greenery and opening to an interior blaze of red, gold, green and yellow, this is one of the most beautifully ornamented temples in town, dating from 1902. Of special interest are the elaborate brass ritual ornaments and weapons, and the fine woodcarvings on the altars, walls, columns, hanging lanterns and incense coils. From the exterior, look out for the ceramic scenes, each containing innumerable small figurines, that decorate the roof.

To the left of the entrance stands a life-size figure of the sacred horse of Quan Cong. Prior to departing on a journey, people make offerings to the equine figure before stroking its mane and ringing the bell around its neck. Behind the main altar, with its stone and brass incense braziers, is a statue of Quan Cong, to whom the temple is dedicated; other shrines are dedicated to Ong Bon (the guardian who presides over happiness and wealth) and Nam Ba Ngu Hanh.

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