Adventures in East Asia

Giant Toenail Polishing at the Quan Thanh Temple

As part of our guided tour, Linh and I are whisked from the Tran Quoc Pagoda, to our next destination, the Quan Thanh Temple. An interesting thing I found out is that temples are places for worshipping saints while pagodas are dedicated to Buddha and faithful disciplines.


The front of Quan Thanh Temple has three entrances and we're told that the larger, middle one is reserved for royalty and the two side entrances are for the aides and general public.

That was obviously back in the day, since the middle one is the only gate open, unless since the ticket office is located there, the only royalty required is money.


This site is significantly smaller than the grounds of the previous Tran Quoc pagoda and consists of a small courtyard that you enter before approaching the altar. Here, there is the 4000kg lacquered bronze statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vo, whose giant toenails have been polished by adoring hands for centuries. Of course, we give the digits a vigourous rub for luck.


This temple was pretty quiet when we visited aside from a sprinkling of tourists and worshippers. But there obviously must be enough passing trade to satisfy this stall selling incense - a ubiqitous site amongst temples in Vietnam.


Outside, there are also a few trades people - see the guy in the blue cape getting a haircut?


For more photos, check out the Quan Thanh Temple Flickr set.

This entry posted in : History. Tourism. Vietnam.

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