In a city teeming with ornate Buddhist pagodas and bright Taoist temples, the Chợ Lớn Mosque’s clean, minimalistic architecture is a strong departure from the hustle and bustle of Saigon’s busy Chinatown neighborhood.
Vietnam’s Muslim community makes up less than 1 percent of the population, so visiting a mosque while in Vietnam may not jump to the top of your “must-do” list. But the Chợ Lớn Mosque offers a beautiful contrast from the overwhelming rush of colors, scents, and sounds that come from other nearby religious sites, as well as a short history lesson about one of the country’s oldest religious minorities.
Built in 1932 by Vietnam’s Tamil Muslims, the Chợ Lớn Mosque now serves the largely Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims that call Ho Chi Minh City home. The mosque is a study in simple design, painted in soothing blues and greens. While there are no Western guidebooks inside the mosque, English is spoken and visitors of all faiths are welcome to stop by for a visit and marvel at the architecture.