Photo: Flags and dragons.

Giac Lam Pagoda

Our rating:

If you don't mind a bit of a trip from downtown, Giac Lam Pagoda, Saigon’s oldest place of worship, may appeal.

Travel better, travel smarter

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


Constructed in 1744 and funded by the Chinese community, Giac Lam has been renovated and added to over the years. For example, the 32 m high stupa visitors will immediately see at the entrance began in 1970 and was not completed until the 1990s. The stairs up were not open to the public when we visited in 2017.

Gardens and dragon. Photo taken in or around Giac Lam Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Gardens and dragon. Photo: Cindy Fan

Unfortunately, the pagoda was also locked up when we visited. Inside the modestly sized rectangular building, supported by 98 pillars, are three rooms: the main hall, preaching hall and dining hall. The interior is supposedly chock full of antique sculptures and ornately carved images.

The grounds are expansive and when we grew tired of peeking into the windows, we enjoyed a stroll through the gardens which include a big Buddha and in the northwest corner, a modern prayer hall where we listened to serene chanting at around 10:00 in the morning.

Make an offering. Photo taken in or around Giac Lam Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Make an offering. Photo: Cindy Fan

It does take some time to reach Giac Lam Pagoda and it would make sense to combine it with Giac Vien Pagoda (Chua Giac Vien) since they are only two kilometres apart. While not as old as Giac Lam, Giac Vien impressively dates back to 1798. We obviously weren’t having much luck that day in June 2017: Giac Vien was closed for what looked like major construction work. We sincerely hope it isn’t being demolished.

Giac Lam is 6.5 km northwest of Pham Ngu Lao and is best reached by motorbike taxi. GrabBike made it relatively easy and straightforward for us to get here: 40,000 dong one-way, taking 20-30 minutes. Bus #145 from Cholon also rolls past ... 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.


Giac Lam Pagoda
118 Lac Long Quan St, Ward 10, Tan Binh District
Mo–Su: 05:00–12:00 & 14:00–21:00

Location map for Giac Lam 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