Top Famous Temples in Ben Tre You Should Visit Once

July 17, 2020 7 mins to read

The renowned temples in Ben Tre are ancient spiritual havens that locals and travelers frequently visit for pilgrimage and cultural appreciation. With their unique architecture and timeless beauty, these temples promise to add a distinctive charm to your Ben Tre travel experience.

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1. Top Famous Pagodas in Ben Tre Echoing Far and Wide

1.1 Van Phuoc Pagoda – A Must-Visit Among Ben Tre’s Famous Pagodas

Van Phuoc Pagoda stands as one of the renowned pagodas in Ben Tre, known to the locals and many international visitors. Situated approximately 2km from Binh Dai district, the pagoda is strategically constructed on brackish land amidst shrimp farming ponds. From a distance, this ancient temple appears to be floating gracefully on the water, adorned in its dominant golden hue, radiating a splendid brilliance that leaves onlookers in awe.

Originally an abandoned 8-hectare plot covered in wild grass, Van Phuoc Pagoda has transformed into a gathering place and a place of spiritual practice for local Buddhists and pilgrims from all over. The architectural style of the pagoda follows the traditional Buddhist temples, featuring a triple gate flanked by majestic golden dragon statues and, in the center, a towering 12.45m statue of Buddha Maitreya. The interior of Van Phuoc Pagoda includes the Main Hall, a statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva standing on a lotus platform, a seated statue of Shakyamuni Buddha under the Bodhi tree, working areas, guesthouses, and a merit board.

All structures within the pagoda are thoughtfully arranged in a harmonious layout within a spacious courtyard adorned with carefully trimmed lotus ponds and lush greenery. The pagoda lights up as night falls, creating a serene and peaceful ambiance amidst the riverside landscape.

1.2 Vien Minh Pagoda

Vien Minh Pagoda is considered one of the top renowned pagodas in Ben Tre and has a long history. According to local tales, this place initially served as a temple dedicated to Quan Cong, and it wasn’t until 1874 that it was transformed into a temple covering an area of over 3,300 square meters with a relatively simple architectural style. It was only in 1951 that Vien Minh Pagoda in Ben Tre underwent restoration and refurbishment, achieving a more majestic appearance while retaining its architectural style from that time until today.

In addition to its ancient architecture, Vien Minh Pagoda is renowned for its magnificent Buddha statues. Among them, the most prominent are the statues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Shakyamuni Buddha in front of the courtyard and Amitabha Buddha with a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha made from bamboo in the Main Hall. These Buddha statues bear time marks, adding a unique charm to Vien Minh Pagoda. Moreover, due to its spacious and airy premises, the pagoda often hosts meditation sessions, precept ceremonies, repentance rituals, and summer retreats for monks and hundreds of Buddhist followers in the province.

Notably, on significant occasions like Buddha’s Birthday, Tet (Lunar New Year), Vu Lan Festival, etc., Vien Minh Pagoda organizes grand ceremonies, welcoming thousands of visitors to pay homage and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere.

1.3 Vien Giac Pagoda

When discussing the top famous pagodas in Ben Tre, Vien Giac Pagoda is undoubtedly a must-mention. Built around the 19th century (1870), the pagoda has retained virtually unchanged architectural features from that era to the present day. Covering an area of over 3,500 square meters, Vien Giac Pagoda is hailed as an ancient temple no less than Vien Minh Pagoda. Thanks to the Buddhist revival movement led by the venerable Hoa Thuong Le Khanh Hoa, the pagoda has gained fame not only in the coconut land of Ben Tre but also among Buddhist communities elsewhere. Consequently, the pagoda annually welcomes numerous pilgrims, especially during major Buddhist festivals or doctrinal study sessions.

Currently, Vien Giac Pagoda still preserves valuable Buddhist scriptures and documents related to the period of the Buddhist revival in the previous century. Beyond that, during the intense wartime, it served as a secret meeting point and a revolutionary base for patriots. In 1989, Vien Giac Pagoda marked a significant turning point when it hosted the inauguration ceremony of the Temporary Provincial Buddhist Association, initiating the spiritual practice for monks and Buddhist followers in the coconut homeland.

1.4 Bach Van Pagoda

In the roster of renowned pagodas in Ben Tre, Bach Van is the sole temple dedicated to female practitioners across the province. Established around 1954, Bach Van Pagoda has become a cultural and spiritual hub for the local female community. Initially, the pagoda was modestly constructed with thatched roofs and wooden walls. Subsequently, in 1962, substantial investment led to constructing a larger and more grandiose temple.

It can be said that Bach Van Pagoda has undergone numerous ups and downs throughout its history, from its inception to the present day. The nuns practicing in the pagoda used to engage in various activities such as tailoring, selling vegetarian food, making preserves, etc., to generate funds for operations and maintenance. In 1967, the pagoda even provided care for hundreds of orphans, and to this day, it has made significant contributions to the activities of the Buddhist Church in Ben Tre. The Provincial Buddhist College and the Women’s Division are located within Bach Van Pagoda. Consequently, the pagoda welcomes numerous nuns every year for spiritual practice and residence.

1.5 Hoi Ton Pagoda

In the array of renowned pagodas in Ben Tre, Hoi Ton is a notable temple belonging to the Northern Buddhist sect. It was constructed around the 18th century and subsequently renovated several times. Despite numerous renovations, Hoi Ton Pagoda has managed to preserve its traditional ancient architecture, which dates back to the Nguyen Dynasty. Currently, this temple is one of the spiritual tourism attractions in Ben Tre, drawing a considerable number of residents and visitors from neighboring provinces each year.

The Main Hall of Hoi Ton Pagoda houses various Buddha statues, including the Three Jewels Buddha, the Three Sages of the Western Pure Land, various Bodhisattvas, and the Guardian Deity. Additionally, the pagoda boasts exquisite outdoor statues such as the meditating Buddha Shakyamuni and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara standing on a lotus pedestal. Moreover, within the pagoda’s premises are 15 stupas, wooden blocks inscribed with Buddhist scriptures in classical Chinese, and ancient statues aged hundreds of years.

Exploring Temples in Ben Tre: Practical Tips

When visiting any temple in Ben Tre, including the renowned ones mentioned above, it’s essential to keep in mind a few considerations:

– Dress Modestly: Wear modest and respectful attire, as temples are places of reverence. Avoid overly flashy or revealing outfits.

– Behavior: Be mindful of your actions, speak softly, and refrain from making jokes or causing a disturbance in front of the Buddha altar.

– During Buddhist Ceremonies: Remove your shoes before entering the main hall during Buddhist ceremonies to maintain cleanliness. Also, limit the use of incense to avoid excessive smoke that may affect others.

– Offerings: Temples usually have donation boxes for visitors to contribute voluntarily. You can offer donations with a generous spirit, but it’s not mandatory.


These are some notable tips for temple visits in Ben Tre, and hopes they enhance your experience. If you can explore the land of coconuts, make sure not to miss these unique and spiritually significant places. Additionally, there are many other beautiful and sacred temples in the region, so consider bringing a travel guide before embarking on your journey.

Chùa Vạn Phúc - Bến Tre

Van Phuc Pagoda – Ben Tre (Photo Collection)

Vãn cảnh chùa Vạn Phước

Sightseeing Van Phuoc Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Đại lễ khánh thành chùa Vạn Phước

Grand Opening Ceremony of Van Phuoc Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Toàn cảnh chùa Vạn Phước

Overview of Van Phuoc Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Khuôn viên hồ sen trong chùa Vạn Phước

Lotus Lake campus in Van Phuoc Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Cổng tam quan chùa Viên Minh Bến Tre

Gate of Vien Minh Ben Tre Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Tượng phật quan thế âm được đặt ở sân chùa

The Buddha statue is placed in the temple courtyard (Photo Collection)

Chánh điện chùa Viên Minh

Vien Minh Temple Hall (Photo Collection)

Tượng phật ngồi trên đài sen trong chùa Viên Minh

Buddha image sitting on the lotus throne in Vien Minh Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Cổng tam quan chùa Viên Giác Bến Tre

The gate of Vien Giac Ben Tre pagoda (Photo Collection)

Chùa Viên Giác là ngôi chùa nổi tiếng tại Bến Tre

Vien Giac Pagoda is a famous temple in Ben Tre (Photo Collection)

Khu nhà ăn trong chùa Viên Giác

Cafeteria in Vien Giac Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Lễ Đại giới đàn tâm quan tại Chùa Bạch Văn Ni Tự - Bến Tre

An essential ceremony of worshiping at Bach Van Ni Tu Pagoda in Ben Tre (Photo Collection)

Tham quan chùa Bạch Vân Ni Tự

Visiting Bach Van Ni Tu Pagoda (Photo Collection)

Lễ dâng hương anh hùng Nguyễn Thị Định tại chàu Bạch Vân

An incense offering ceremony for Nguyen Thi Dinh, a hero at Bach Van Chau (Photo Collection)

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