since visiting the towering Pagodas was not on our itinerary, i decided early the next day to wake up early and visit at least one of Vietnam's Buddhist pagoda. checked in the internet and chose to visit just one, since Ho Chi Minh is a quite a big city to explore all the other pagodas.
Pagodas are towers which represents a house of worship for Buddhist and Taoist but according to wikipedia, in Vietnam it is a more generic term referring to a place of worship as a whole. this city alone has seven pagodas.it took me quite some time to choose one and ended up with Vinh Ngiem Pagoda which is under the third district of Ho Chi Minh just along the highway of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. i had to do it alone since my travel buddies Nadz and Melissa decided to take more sleeping hours."bring me to Vinh Ngiem Pagoda" while pointing at the temple in the map of Ho Chi Minh trying to negotiate with a motorbike driver outside of our hotel in De Tham street. we agreed at 100,000Vietnam Dong roughly at 225Php two way and immediately handed me a helmet.
thinking that he already knew the place, i started to take photos along the way but to my surprise, he brought me to Ben Thanh market and i brought out the map again and this time pointing at the street that goes to the Pagoda. then he nodded.just about 20minutes we reached Vinh Ngiem Pagoda, which is actually the first Pagoda in Vietnam to be built in Vietnamese traditional architecture. unaware that it was actually the birthday of Buddha during that time and so a tent was laid out in front of the temple with people offering flowers and incense.
we went up the main area and with the driver who was now so aggressive in bringing me around the temple after seeing my camera. he even seemed more excited than i am. not much difference from the Buddhist temples in the Philippines only that this has a pagoda.
had the chance to enter and politely took some photos since it was not prohibited. i felt fulfilled as i can't leave Vietnam without visiting a pagoda. signaled my driver that i am ready to go back to the hotel but he was trying to tell me something while doing some hand sign which looked like he's bringing me to another one or maybe he meant something else. that comes on my next post.island: Greater Asia
temple historical background: 3.5
temple structure: 3.5