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Saigon River temple floats in 300 years of history

By Quynh Tran   March 6, 2017 | 03:40 pm GMT+7

Phu Chau Temple is a rare shining exception in the middle of Saigon's concrete jungle.

Phu Chau Mieu Noi, literally meaning “Floating Pearl Temple", is neatly situated on its own island on a branch of the Saigon River, covering around 2,500 square meters (0.6 acre).

While no one can claim that there's any shortage of temples in Ho Chi Minh City, there are few notable examples that stick out from the pack.

Built over 300 years ago, the temple is adorned with elaborate mosaic designs. Those wishing to visit the temple will have to travel by boat, but a round trip costs only VND10,000 (0.44 cents).

It is rumored to have originally been a tiny shrine for sailors to pray for peace and good fortune before setting sail.

It was not until 1989 that local people’s efforts to renovate Phu Chau Temple began. The temple, dating back to the 18th century, had been left to fall into disrepair over a period of 15 years.

“When I was small, I often followed my mother to the temple,” said Le Thi Thanh Tu, 52-year-old local resident, “Now I come here a few times a year to burn incense and release birds, praying for peace.”

Phuc Chau Temple is recognized as one of the most unique architectural works in the southern city.

While some pagodas also stand out for their architecture, the temple has more to it thanks to its unique location.

Have a peek at the temple and its surroundings below.

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