Photo: Don’t forget your camera.

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Our rating:

Set in the northeast corner of District 1, Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chua Phuoc Hai) is easily Saigon’s most mysterious.

Sponsored placement.

Built in 1909 by the Chinese, for a time in the 1960s this was a secret training centre for the revolutionary cause. Things are more tame these days, though the turtle pond seems overrun with a bale of turtles (yes, that is indeed the collective term for turtles) and a wildly popular shrine (small room on the left) to Kim Hue Nuong Nuong, goddess of motherhood. She’s surrounded by midwives, all holding many children. As one local explained to us, women come to pray for love, marriage and to conceive, we assume in that order.

Things can get a bit smokey. Photo taken in or around Jade Emperor Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Things can get a bit smokey. Photo: Cindy Fan

The main shrine is of course the namesake Jade Emperor Ngoc Hoang Dai De, and the temple is full of other shrines, statues and bas-relief. The dim lighting and smoke only add to the atmosphere to say the least.

The pagoda can be busy, and it definitely will be busy on the important Buddhist days of the first and 15th day of the lunar calendar. Jade Emperor Pagoda is closer to Pham Ngu Lao than the city’s other notable pagodas, so this one is definitely worth the look and some photos. A quick visit should take around 15 minutes.

Entry into the pagoda is free. There’s a small fee for motorbike parking.


Jade Emperor Pagoda
73 Mai Thi Luu, Da Kao Ward, District 1
Mo–Su: 07:00–18:00, extended hours on the first and 15th day of the lunar calendar, open 05:00–19:00
Admission: Free

By .

Location map for Jade Emperor Pagoda

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