In District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City stood a beautiful architectural, cultural and religious site called Cho Lon Mosque. Even though the area is famous for being the China Town, the mosque is representative of the Muslim community in Vietnam. Let’s find out why this mosque is well-loved by both locals and tourists!
Of all the religions in Vietnam, Islam has one of the fewest followers. There are only 0.1% of the Vietnamese population who are Muslims, and most of them are Cham people. They live predominantly in Central Vietnam (Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan province), where they practice Bani Islam (a combination of Islam and Brahmin), and Southern Vietnam (An Giang, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai province and Ho Chi Minh city) where Cham Islam (similar to Islam) dominates.
In Ho Chi Minh city, the Muslim community lives in districts 6, 8, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, and a part of district 5 that borders district 1. Many small-to-average mosques are located around these areas too.
Muslims in Vietnam follows the halal diet strictly so many halal restaurants can be found within the mosques’ vicinity, to serve the followers and also visitors (mainly from India).
Check out Halal Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
There are a tasty halal restaurant and a cafe inside Cho Lon mosque
Address: 641, Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Google Map location: Cho Lon Mosque
Opening hours: the prayer hall opens from noon
Entrance fee: None
Caution: Wear appropriate clothing while visiting the mosque: no revealing clothes and cover your hair if you want to visit the main prayer hall.
You can either catch a taxi, a bus or ride a motorbike to Cho Lon mosque.
Nearby bus stops: you can take both bus number 1 and 54 to these stops
Parking: free parking inside Cho Lon mosque’s ground for
motorbike and bike.
If you're new to Ho Chi Minh City, book a Day Adventure motorbike tour and have a friendly local tour guide to accompany and show the best bits of the area. You can even customize your adventure to visit the attractions you wish and try the best food in town.
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Remember to take off your shoes at the entrance into Cho Lon mosque.
Cho Lon mosque (or Cho Lon Jamial mosque) is one of the top mosques in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to its minimal but gorgeous architecture and the striking blue paint. It was built in 1932 to serve Muslims who immigrated from India but has turned to serve the Malaysian and Indonesian Muslim community in the area since 1975.
Cho Lon mosque has a small entrance that’s hidden behind trees so you should look carefully.
There was a pool inside the courtyard for ritual ablutions (ritual cleansing before praying), but it is now used as a fish pond.
The corridor (or “sahn”) is wide enough to cater for large groups of visitors.
Many doors lead from the corridor into the main prayer hall. The doors are wide, tall, and are decorated with vivid colored glasses.
About 3 times a week, the mosque holds a night Arabic class.
Several clocks hanging on the wall show the salah times of the day.
Stars and crescents are prominent decorations of a mosque. Stars represent adherence to Allah’s will, and crescents stand for Islamic calendars.
Mosques are usually embellished with many types of floral patterns.
Cho Lon mosque has two towers, called minarets, that’s attached to the mosque. It serves to announce the call to prayer and a reminder of Islam’s power.
The inside of the main prayer hall with the mihrab - a niche in the wall that indicates the direction to where Mecca is.
The outside and inside of the prayer hall for women. Women’s prayer hall is separated from the men’s.
A man is doing his ritual ablutions under the faucet beside the fish pond.
Though the Muslim is not a large community in Vietnam, it is one of the oldest and has one of the most colorful religious life, so a visit to the mosque is a must in any trip around the city.
See more: Musulman Mosque in Ho Chi Minh City
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© Written by Ngan Mai for itourvn.com