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.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


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 ... Travelfish members only (Around 200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


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

Location map for Jade Emperor Pagoda

Popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ho Chi Minh City.

Best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Read up on how to get to Ho Chi Minh City, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Ho Chi Minh City that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ho Chi Minh City? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

Top of page