Built for worshipping family ancestors, this chapel dates back to 1802. It was commissioned by Tran Tu, one of the clan who ascended to the rank of mandarin and served as an ambassador to China. His picture is to the right of the chapel. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese (the ‘turtle’ style roof), Japanese (triple beam) and vernacular (look out for the bow-and-arrow detailing) styles.
The central door is reserved for the dead – it’s opened during the Tet festival and on 11 November, the death anniversary of the main ancestor. Traditionally, women entered from the left and men from the right, although these distinctions are no longer observed.
The wooden boxes on the altar contain the Tran ancestors’ stone tablets, with chiselled Chinese characters setting out the dates of birth and death, along with some small personal effects. On the anniversary of each family member’s death, their box is opened, incense is burned and food is offered.
After a short tour, you’ll be shown to the ‘antique’ room, where there are lots of coins for sale, and a side room full of souvenirs.