Since 1849, in the quaint city of My Tho, south of Saigon, this great and heavenly Pagoda was built by the Venerable Abbot Thich Chanh Hau. Nestled in its 2000 Sq. Metered property, the Vin Trang Pagoda stands the tests of time and wars that has ravaged areas of Vietnam. Designed architecturally and aesthetically following the European influence and merging it with Asian flare, the Vin Trang Pagoda proudly stands for beauty, grace, peace and religiosity. This is by far, the only Pagoda I saw in Vietnam the mixes the Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese architectural design following the influences of the Romanesque style and the Renaissance period including French flower designs and Japanese enamelled tiles adoring its facade.
The Vin Trang Pagoda is located in Tien Giang Province and can be accessed when one takes on the tour to the Upper Mekong Delta. As we were in the Mekong Delta, I was budging our guide to bring us to the Pagoda and told him I liked the experience of the Mekong River but would love to see a Pagoda. I supported by almost all backpackers in our group and so we went directly to this lovely and great edifice.
When we arrived at the gates of the Vin Trang Pagoda, one will noticed a huge statue of a standing Japanese Deity. There were three gates; the central gate is forever closed while only right gate is opened. The left one too, is closed. Around the palatial complex of the Vin Trang Pagoda, I can see human-size Buddha, other religious figures and hundreds of Bonzai trees. Well, manicured bonsai trees are what make the entire grounds of the Vin Trang Pagoda stand out.
The Vin Trang Pagoda is by far the greatest architectural wonder I have seen. When one enters from the right entrance towards the inner sanctum, there is an open courtyard, very like the Chinese Pagoda however, they places miniature figures and depicting a mountain surrounding a Pagoda where Buddha is protecting it.
Its columns are meticulously aligned to perfection and its wood door jams are inscribed with Chinese characters. Inside the Vin Trang Pagoda, you will be amazed to see how intricately done were the wood carvings depicting Buddhas and dragons on columns.
Upon exiting to the left side of the Vin Trang Pagoda, one can see the Chinese sitting Buddha which is very huge. This part of the lawn is where I saw lotus flowers abounding on water pots and flowers were manicured to appear heavenly.
In visiting the Vin Trang Pagoda too, you must not forget to see how intricately detailed they piece together China wares to make religious figures that has Chinese and Khmer influences. You can see here how wonderfully they piece together what we think were junk and beauty emerges.
The Vin Trang Pagoda is by far, one that beckons beauty that embraces cultural and architectural influences, from Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, French and the era of the Renaissance. A hidden jewel of the Mekong Delta that should not be missed!