May 2018. It was late afternoon and after a full day’s tour of The Mekong Delta our little minivan had begun rumbling its way back to the bright lights of Ho Chi Minh. We were all exhausted… unsurprisingly so. After all, we’d cruised down The Mekong River, cycled our way through Non Thanh Village and learned plenty about the region’s history and culture with stops at a brickmaking village, a candy workshop and a mat-weaving centre. Some of us had already dozed off in our seats and yet there would be one more sight to squeeze in on the way back. Step forward Vinh Trang Pagoda, a large Buddhist statue complex outside the city of My Tho.
May 2018. Dating back to 1849, the complex is fairly unique for the region in that it combines classical Vietnamese architecture with Chinese, Khmer (Cambodian), Thai and even European flourishes. Come here in the morning and you’ll be treated to a prayer performance from the resident monks, their hypnotic chants reverberating around the buildings.
May 2018. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place with well-kept gardens, potted plants, fruit trees, bonsais, courtyards, towering pillars, bronze statues, several temples and grand altars. A number of highly respected Buddhist monks are also buried here, with a handful of plaques, gravestones and stupas dotted around in discreet spots.
May 2018. Not only a popular tourist attraction, Vinh Trang also doubles up as children’s home for orphans and disadvantaged/disabled youths. Poke around some of the courtyard corridors and you’ll see them drinking tea, playing chess and hanging out in their dorms.
May 2018. Vinh Trang Pagoda is free to enter daily from 09:00-11:30 & 13:30-17:00. Most Mekong Delta day tours from Ho Chi Minh include a stop here either on the way in or on the way back.
My Mekong Delta day trip came with the excellent Deluxe Group Tours. To read more about my experience with them, check out my menu page on The Mekong Delta.
For more on the region check out my guide on what to see and do in Ho Chi Minh.
Or maybe delve further afield with my pieces from all across Vietnam.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.