A fascinating stop for historians, history buffs and amateur explorers, the Xa Loi Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City serves as an important piece of Buddhist and Vietnamese history. In August of 1963, four hundred monks and nuns were arrested, and the Xa Loi Pagoda was used as the center of the opposition movement. Several Buddhist monks heroically sacrificed their lives in protest by self immolation, and one of them, Thich Quang Doc, is remembered for his efforts with a memorial in the area. The monks did not die in vain, as the protests proved successful and then President Diem was ousted from power and immediately executed by the people of Saigon just three months later.
The pagoda itself is a colorful sight, being comprised of seven tiers, and houses a sacred relic of the Buddha. There is a book publishing center on the pagoda grounds whose print works are dedicated entirely to books about Buddhism.