Obama touches down in Ho Chi Minh City, visits century-old pagoda

By Doc Lap - Trung Hieu, Thanh Nien News

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US President Barack Obama arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City at nearly 4 p.m. on Tuesday for his visit to the commercial hub.
Right after landing, Obama headed to Phuoc Hai Pagoda, also called Ngoc Hoang (Jade Emperor) Pagoda, on Mai Thi Luu Street in District 1.
Despite light rain, locals lined up the streets where the US president’s motorcade passed by to greet him.
US President Barack Obama walks down from his Air Force One at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo: Doc Lap/Thanh Nien 
 US President Barack Obama receives flowers as he arrives at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters

 US President Barack Obama waves as he lands at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo: Doc Lap/Thanh Nien
 
Locals greet Obama as his motorcade heads to Phuoc Hai Pagoda in District 1. Photo: Trung Hieu/Thanh Nien
 The crowd outside the pagoda, also called Ngoc Hoang. Photo: Trung Hieu/Thanh Nien
 US President Barack Obama talks with a monk during a visit to Ngoc Hoang Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters
 US President Barack Obama pays his respects with Abbot of Ngoc Hoang Pagoda Thich Minh Thong during a visit to the pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo credit: Jim Watson/AFP
The 124-year-old Phuoc Hai Pagoda, also called Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, houses a number of intricate sculptures and woodcarvings. Its main space venerates the supreme Taoist God known locally as Ngoc Hoang, and the Buddha.
The pagoda also worships Kim Hoa Thanh Mau, the Taoist goddess of childbirth, and her 12 assistants. Not just locals but also people from other parts of the country come here to pray for fertility.
Following the pagoda trip, Obama will meet young entrepreneurs at a building in District 1.
On Wednesday morning the US president will host a town hall meeting with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at an event venue in the same district, before leaving for Japan for a trip that will include a G7 Summit and a visit to Hiroshima.

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