Located right in the Can Tho city center overlooking immense Ninh Kieu Pier, Ong Pagoda, also known as Quang Trieu (Guang Zhao) Assembly Hall was built on a land area of over 500m². It was formerly the assembly hall of the Chinese group from Guangzhou and Zhaoqing (Guangdong, China) under the migration flows in the 17 - 18 century. The pagoda was built in 1894 and has been existed so far with the architecture kept almost intactly from appearance to sculpt features in internal chancel. Almost materials such as wood and stone pillars as plinths, parallel sentences, beams, copper bells, incensory... were taken from Guangdong. It is only unique architectures that has brought Ong Pagoda to become one of the most enchanting tourist attractions in Can Tho alluring tourists.
Ong Pagoda is remarkable thanks to unique architecture, vivid colors decorated with porcelain human figures reproducing Chinese classics and legends on the roof and both sides of three-gate entrance. Two stone pillars of three-gate entrance are decorated with pairs of lions, yin-yang tiled roofs and dark blue enamel pipe-tiled roofs. Top of the gate is designed with 2 dragons flanking the moon made from colorful ceramics. The entire pagoda architecture is built in the shape of "Quoc" (national) in kanji with the closed blocks perpendicular each other. There is a space in the middle of the pagoda called the sky well courtyard. The courtyard houses the potted plants and incense table which are typical architecture of China. Discovering Ong Pagoda is definitely one of the most impressive things to do in Can Tho.
As one of the most famous pagodas in Can Tho, Ong Pagoda owns extremely unique architectural characteristics. In the middle of sanctum is the statue of Quan Cong (Guan Gong) in "Records of the Three Kingdoms" in China's history. It is also the reason why the pagoda is called Ong Pagoda. According to Chinese belief, Guan Gong is a very sacred gods and represents humanity, propriety, righteousness, wisdom and trust. The pagoda also worships Goddess Thien Hau, the guardian deity of the fishermen on the sea and Guanyin representing immense love for mankind. All of these statues are made of many different materials whose facial expressions and postures are under a convention. Exploring the unique architectural characteristics definitely leaves profound impressions to tourists in minds when participating any Can Tho tous in particular and Mekong Delta travel in general.
Unlike other Can Tho pagodas, Ong Pagoda is beautified its majesty thanks to 6 rows of wooden pillars supporting the roof. The system of trusses is elaborately carved. The pagoda is home to numerous spectacular bas-reliefs brilliant colors with the diverse contents which is derived from the Chinese legendary and history, for instance, Records of the Three Kingdoms, Bat Tien, Romance of the States in Eastern Zhou Dynasty... or convention symbols, namely apricot flower, orchid, daisies, bamboo, 2 dragons flanking the moon, phoenix... Especially, the pagoda retains a bronze bell dating back 1892 which is now still nearly intact. Ong Pagoda deserves an impressive Can Tho attractions alluring those who are interested in exploring unique ancient architectural features.
Notably, the most famous festival in Ong Pagoda is lantern fighting festival held every 10 years once for the purpose of raising money to help the charitable foundation, build cemeteries, schools and help orphans in the city. All of the locals can comfortably participate in order to possess their own favorite lanterns. According to the conception of Chinese people, owning lanterns is the symbol of luck, success and happiness. In particular, in the war years, the pagoda is home to the large number of the poor fleeing regardless of race, religion or belief. These actions rich humanity increasingly help Ong Pagoda become a must-see tourist site for tourists in the journey of discovering Can Tho travel.
Ong Pagoda is an architectural works retaining high values of culture and history intactly preserved and respectfully preserved by the locals. It is also the venue attracting numerous domestic and foreign tourists to visit. Ong Pagoda deserves the spiritual tourist site in Can Tho; simultaneously, contributes to promote Can Tho tourism closer to international friends.