Among the temples of Chinese people in Can Tho, Hiep Thien Cung is perhaps the oldest temple. Hiep Thien Cung was built by the Trieu Chau ethnic group around 1850, on a large land base, at the corner of Ham Nghi Street - Le Thai To, Le Binh Ward, Cai Rang District, Can Tho City now.
At that time, Cai Rang was a busy development town with many Chinese shops. Although busy with business, like many other Chinese groups, this Chinese group still maintains spiritual beliefs by setting up temples as places of worship and also for living in their ethnic communities. Because of the main occupation of the Chinese people, Hiep Thien Cung was built in the middle of the street, making it very convenient for people to worship.
Hiep Thien Cung has an architecture that shows the characteristics of a Chinese temple. The pagoda has no gate, it is shaped like "Quoc" in Chinese letter with a large yard. In front of the pagoda, there are two very large spherical lanterns with pictures of water paintings. When there is wind, two spherical lanterns swing very nicely, especially when they light up at night.
There is a dragon boat in the middle of the pagoda, with many statues of fairies, gods and saints. On either side of the wall in front of the temple there are many paintings of apricot blossom, daisy, bamboo, landscape images, pictures of the gods and lots of other patterns and motifs. The roof of the temple is covered with yin and yang tiles. Taking up the entire area of the two pagodas is a picture of Mr. Thien and Mr. Ác, as a defense, preventing evil and protecting goodness. Inside the pagoda, there is a natural tranquility, a place to receive sunlight, ventilation and help the temple to be bright and cool. The temple is supported by 8 large columns and many small columns.
At the main hall, the most important is the worship of Quan Cong - according to the concept of the Chinese people, this is the god symbolizing medium, hospitality.Khánh thờ Carved mandarins are meticulously elaborated with bird and bamboo figures, painted with magnificent golden stakes. The statue of Guan Gong is placed in the worship, with statues of Quan Binh and Chau Xuong on both sides. There are many other altars around, all aimed at the source, the desire for celestial gods and good harvests.
Every year, Hiep Thien Cung Pagoda organizes a ceremony for Quan Cong on the 12th, 13th and 14th of the lunar month, attracting crowds of tourists and visitors. In particular, during the festival. It can be said that the festival in Hiep Thien Cung and some other Chinese pagodas in Can Tho have contributed to the richness of Can Tho's cultural identity as well as creating a mental place for the local people.