Ho Chi Minh City Pagodas

(Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, Vietnam)

Much of Ho Chi Minh City is dominated by an array of historic and extremely beautiful pagodas, which combine to give the city much character, beauty and heritage. The Giac Lam Pagoda (Chua Giac Lam) is Ho Chi Minh City's oldest, being constructed in 1744 and lovingly maintained throughout the centuries.

Created by the Cantonese (Quang Dong) Congregation, the Jade Emperor Pagoda (Phuoc Hai) is a famous temple and is overflowing with statues of heroes, historical characters and divinities, being dedicated to the supreme Taoist god, the Emperor of Jade. A particularly interesting feature is the roof, which has elaborate tile work and much ornamentation.

Giac Lam Pagoda (Chua Giac Lam)

Address: 118 Lac Long Quan Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
The social scene within this temple and its tranquil courtyard offers a fascinating mix of lounging elderly men and visitors lighting red candles and incense. There are dozens of ancient monks' tombs situated around a rare bodhi tree next to a classic statue of Quan The Am Bo Tat (the goddess of mercy). Great photo opportunities and a real sense of Vietnamese spirituality await at this exotic pagoda, with gilded statues and brightly coloured wall panels being amongst the many highlights.
Open hours: daily - 05:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 21:00
Admission: free

Jade Emperor Pagoda (Phuoc Hai)

Address: 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Certainly one of the most exotic and atmospheric pagodas in Vietnam, if you only visit one temple during your time in the city, make this the one. Smoke from the eternally burning incense wafts around dozens of intricately carved statues of gods and heroes. Built in the early 1900s, this Chinese temple is the real deal and still draws daily crowds of worshippers. Check out the dominating figure of the Jade Emperor in the main hall, before strolling around the front gardens.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Other notable pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City include the following selection:

An Quang Pagoda
Address: D Su Van Hanh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
The An Quang Pagoda is perhaps best known for its association with the famous protesting monk, Thich Tri Quang, who opposed the government of South Vietnam during the 1960s.

Giac Vien Pagoda
Address: D Lac Long Quan, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Occupying a particularly scenic spot close to the Dam Sen Lake, within District 11, the Giac Vien has a large collection of carvings, which depict a number of divinities. The first chamber features funeral tablets, and the second a statue of Hai Tinh Giac Vien.

Ha Chuong Hoi Quan Pagoda
Address: 802 D Nguyen Trai, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Typically Fujian in character, this temple is fronted by four carved pillars decorated with Chinese dragons. During the Lantern festival (staged each year on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month), crowds gather at the Ha Chuong Hoi Quan Pagoda.

Khanh Van Nam Vien Pagoda
Address: 46 D Lo Sieu, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Built in the early 1940s by the Cantonese Congregation, this is reputed to be the country's only pure Taoist pagoda and comes with some impressive statues of disciples.

Nghai An Hoi Quan Pagoda
Address: 678 D Nguyen Trai, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Famed for its stunning woodwork and gilding, the Nghai An Hoi Quan temple was built by the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation. Quan Cong, a famous general, occupies a glass case next to the altar.

One Pillar Pagoda of Thu Duc
Address: 1 / 91 D Nguyen Du, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
The One Pillar Pagoda of Thu Duc (Nam Thien Nhat Tru / Chua Mot Cot Thu Duc) is a much-visited attraction in this part of Vietnam and is based on the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, and whilst similar, it is not actually identical. This particular pagoda was completed in the 1950s and as the name suggests, the structure is supported by one single pillar.

Ong Bon Pagoda
Address: 264 DL Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Another magnificent pagoda, this particular temple is dedicated to Ong Bon, the guardian of wealth and happiness. Many people come here to burn fake money in a furnace, which is believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Phung Son Pagoda
Address: 1408 DL 3 Thang 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
An old and important Vietnamese Buddhist structure built around 200 years ago in District 11, with regular prayers being held three times each day.

Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda
Address: 184 D Hung Vuong, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
The Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda is an especially ornate temple and has an array of porcelain figurines, ritual artefacts and lanterns.

Quan Am Pagoda
Address: 12 D Lao Tu, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
An active temple founded in the early part of the 19th century by the Fujian Congregation, with noticeable Chinese features.

Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda
Address: 118 D Trieu Quang Phuc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
This 19th-century pagoda is dedicated to the Goddess of Fertility (Me Sanh) and favoured by local Vietnamese women.

Thien Hau Pagoda
Address: 710 D Nguyen Trai, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Constructed in the early 19th century by the Cantonese Congregation, the Thien Hau attracts both visitors and worshippers.

Xa Loi Pagoda
Address: 89 D Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, VN
Dating back to 1956 and standing in District 3, this attraction is known for being home to an important sacred Buddha relic.