View English version View Vietnamese version
  • Office Tour

    Office Tour

  • Christmas  New Year Promotion. Save 30%

    Christmas New Year Promotion. Save 30%

  • Travel Arround the world with Ecosea

    Travel Arround the world with Ecosea

Top Hotels
Hoi An Riverside Resort < Spa
175 Cua Dai, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
Price from: 2.300.000 VND ~ $115.00
Golden Halong
Hung Thang Tourism Area, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 640.000 VND ~ $32.00
Saigon Halong Hotel
Ha Long city, Halong Road, Bai Chay, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 1.100.000 VND ~ $55.00
Sapphire Hotel
32A-34 Bui Thi Xuan Street, District 1 - Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price from: 1.040.000 VND ~ $52.00
Top Cruises
Dragon Pearl Junk Halong Bay
Halong bay, Halong city, Quang Ninh
Price from: 2.240.000 VND ~ $112.00
Bai Tho Junk
Halong Harbour, Halong City, Quang Ninh
Price from: 1.800.000 VND ~ $90.00
Signature Cruise Halong
Tuan Chau, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 3.300.000 VND ~ $165.00
La Marguerite Cruise Mekong
Saigon Harbour
Price from: 27.200.000 VND ~ $1,360.00
Top Tours
Sapa Mountain Retreat 2 nights victoria resort
Cat Cat village, H'mong ethnic minority peoples,Lao Chai village,Ta Van village, Dzay people, Ham Rong moutain, Ta Phin, Red Dao, Sapa
Price from: 12.380.000 VND ~ $619.00
Emeraude Cruise 2 days 1 night
Halong Bay, Halong city, white sandy Beach, Amazing cave, Kayaking in Halong Bay
Price from: 2.440.000 VND ~ $122.00
Red Dragon Cruises 2 days
Halong Bay, Halong city, white sandy Beach, Floating Village, Thien Canh Son cave, Kayaking in Halong Bay
Price from: 3.200.000 VND ~ $160.00
Hanoi Halong Bay 4 days
Hanoi city, Halong bay, Halong Cruises, Titop Beach, Supprise Cave, Kayaking in Halong, Stone dog, Fighting Cock, Hoa Cuong village, Hen and cock
Price from: 3.180.000 VND ~ $159.00

Pagodas, Temples & Churches


Greater Ho Chi Minh City

Giac Lam Pagoda Believed to be the oldest pagoda in greater HCMC, Giac Lam Pagoda ( 118 Lac Long Quan str, open 6am – 9pm) dates from 1744. The last reconstruction here was in 1900, so the architecture, layout and ornamentation remain almost unaltered by the modernist remain almost unaltered by the modernist renovations that have transformed so many of Vietnam’s religious structures. Ten monks live at this Vietnamese Buddhist pagod, which also incorporates aspects of Touism and Confucianism. It is well worth the trip out here from the city centre, as one couple observed:

it’s incredibly beautiful and best of all we met Dat Le Tan, a caretaker who worked as an interpreter for the US Army between 1968 and 1975. while we were at Giac Lam, it began pouring down rain. He invited us to stay until the rain had stopped made us tea and sat down to talk to us. We were also joined by some students, who are attracted to the compound because of the peace and quiet – they can settle doen there to do some serious study without distraction. For us, Giac Lam was one of the highlight of HCMC.

Debbie Hanlon & Paul Fewster

To the right of the gate to the pagoda compound are the ornate tombs of venerated monks. The Bodhi, or pipal tree (bo De), in the front garden, was the gift of a monk from sri Lanka. Next to the tree is a regular feature seen in Vietnamese Buddhist temples, a gleaming white statue of Quan The Am Bo Tat ( avalokitecvara, Guanyin in Chinese, the Goddess of Mercy) standing on a lotus bossom, a symbol of purity.

The roof line of the main building is decorated both inside and outside with unuasual blue-and-white porcelain plates. Through the main entrance is a reception hall kined with funeral tablets and photos of the deceased. Roughly in the centre of the hall, near an old French chandelier, is a gifure of the 18-armed Chuan De, another form of the Goddess of Mercy. Note the carved hardwood columns whcih bear gilded Vietnamese inscriptions written in nom characters. The wall to the left is corered withportraits of great monks from previous generations in gold nom characters. A box for donations sits nearby. Shoes should be removed when passing from the rough red floor tiles to the smaller, white-black-grey tles.

On the other side of the wall from the monks’ funeral tablets is the main sanctuary, which is filled with countless gilded figures. On the dais in the centre of the back row sits A Di Da, the Buddha of the Past. To his right is Kasyape and to his left Anand; both are disciples of the Thich Ca Buddha. Directly in fron of AD Da is a statue of the Thich Ca Buddha flanked by two guadians. In Front is a tiny figure of the Thich Ca Buddha as a child. As always, he is clothed in a yeallow robe.

The fat laughing fellow, seated with five children climbing all over him, is Ameda, to his left is Ngoc Hoang, the Touist Jade Emperor, who presides over a world of inmumerable supernatural beings. In the fron row is a statue of the Thich Ca Buddha with two Bodhisattvas on each side. On the alters along the side walls of the sanctuary are various Bodhisattvas and the Judges of the 10 Regiuons of Hell. Each of the judes is holding a scroll resembling the hangle of a fork.

The red-and-gold Christmas tree-shaped object is a wooden altar bearing 49 lamps and 49 miniature statues of Bodhisattvas. Poeple pray for sick relatives or ask for happiness by contributing korosene for use in the lamps. Petitioners’s names and those of ill family members are written on slips of paper, which are attached to the branches of the “tree”.

The Fram of tha large bronze bell in the corner looks like a university bulletin board because petitioners have attached to it lists of names; those of people seeking happiness and those of the sick and the dead, placed there by relatives, it is believed that when the bell is rung, the sound will resonate to the heavens above and the underground heavens, carrying with it the attached supplications.

Prayers here consist of chanting to the accompaniment of drums, bells and gongs and they follow a traditional rite seldom performed these days. Prayers are held daily from 4am to 5am, 11am to noon, 4pm to 5pm and 7pm to 9pm.

Giac Lam Pagoda is about 3km from Cholon in the Tan Binh distric. Beware: the numbering of Lac Long Quan str is extremely confusing, starting over from 1 several times and at one point jumping to four digits. In many places, odd and even numbers are on the same side of the street.

The best way to get to Giac Lam from Cholon is to take Nguyen Chi Thanh street or 3 thang 2 str to Le Dai Hanh str ,. Dead northwest on Le Dai Hanh str and turn right onto Lac Long Quan Str,. Walk 100m and the pagoda gate will be on your left.

Giac Vien Pagoda.

This pagoda ( Lac Long Quan str. open 7am – 7pm daily) is architecturally similar to Giac Lam. Both share an atmosphere of scholarly serenity, though Giac Vien, which is right next to Dam Den Lake in District 11, is in a more rural Detting. Giac Vien Pagoda was founded by Hai Tinh Giac Vien about 200 years ago. it is said that Emperor Gia Long, who died in 1819, used to worship at Giac Vien, Today, 10 monks live here.

The pagoda is in a relatively poor part of the city. Because of the confusing numbering on Lac Long Quan, the best way to get there from Cho Lon is to take DL Nguyen Chi Thanh or Dl 3thang 2 to D Le Dai Hanh, Turn left off the Lac Long Quan. The gate leading to the pagoda is at 247 Lac Long Quan.

Pass through the gate and go several hundred metres down a potholed, dirt road, turning left at the T and right at the fork. You will pass several impressive tombs of monks on the right before arriving at the pagoda itself.

The first chamber as you enter the pagoda is lined with funeral tablets. At the back of the second chamber is a statue of Hai Tinh Giac Vien, holding a horse-tail switch. The nearby pportraints are of his disciples and successors as head monk. A donation box sits to the left of the statue. Opposite Hai Tinh Giac Vien is a representation of 18-armed Chuan De, who is flanked by two guardians.

The main sanctuary is on the other side of the wall behind the Hai Tinh Giac Vien statue. A Di Da is at the back of the dais. Directly in front of him is the Thich Ca Buddha, flanked by his disciples Anand. To the left of Anand is the Nhien Dang Buddha. At the foot of the Thich Ca Buddha is a small figure of Thich Ca as a child. Fat, laughing Ameda is seated with children climbing all over him; on either side of him stand guardians. In the fron row of the dais is Thich Ca with two Bodhisattvas sitting on each side.

In Front of the dais is a fantactic brass incense basin with fierce dragon heads emerging from each side. On the altar to the left of the dais is Dai The Chi Bo Tat. The Guardian of the pagoda is against the wall opposite the dais. Nearby is a “Christmas tree” similar to the one in Giac Lam Pagoda. Lining the side walls are the judges of the 10 regions of Hell ( holding scrolls) and 18 Bodhisattvas.

Giac Vien Pagoda is open during the hours listed, but go before hark as the electricity is often out in the evening. Prayers are held daily from 4am to 5am, 8am to 10am, 2pm to 3pm , 4pm to 5pm and 7pm to 9pm.

Jade Emperor Pagoda Build in 1909 by the Cantonese ( Quang Dong) Congregation, the Jade Emperor Pagoda ( Phuoc Hai Tu or Chua Ngoc Hoang, 73 Mai Thi Luu str.) is truly a gem of a Chinese temple. It is one of the most spectacularly colourful pagoda in HCMC, filled with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. The pungent smoke if burning joss sticks fills the air, Obscuring the exquisite woodcarvings decor-acted with gilded Chinese characters. The roof is covered with elaborate tile work. The statues, which represent characters from both the Buddhist and Taoist traditions, are made of reinforced papier-mache.

As you enter the main doors of the building, Mon Quan, The God of the Gate, stands to the right in an elaborately carved wooden case,. Opposite him, in a similar case, is Tho Than ( Tho Dia), the God of the land. Straight on is an altar on which are placed, from left to right, gigures of Phat Mau Chuan De, mother of the five Buddhas of the cardinal directions; Dia Tang Vuong Bo Tat, the King of Hell; the Di Lac Buddha, The Buddha of the Future, Quan The Am bo Tat and a bas-relief portrait of the Thich Ca Buddha. Behind the altar, in a glass case, is the Duoc Su Buddha, also known as the Nhu Lai Buddha. The figure is said to be made of sandalwood.

To either side of the altar, against the walls, are two especially fierce and menacing figured. On the right is a 4m-high statue of the general who defeated the green Daragon. He is stepping on the vanquished dragon. On the left is the feneral who defeated the White Tiger, which is also being stepped on.

 The Touist Jade Emperor, Ngoc Hoang, Draped in luxurious rones, presedes over the main sanctuary. He is flanked by his guardians, The Four Big Diamonds, so named because they are said to be as hard as diomonds. In front of the jade Emperor stand six figures, three to each side. On the left is Bac Dau, the Touist God of the Northern Polar star and God of Longevity, Flanked by his two guardians; the Taosit God of the Northern Polar Star and God of Longevity, flanked by his two guardians; and on the right is Nam Tao, the Taoist God of the Southern Polar Star and God of Happiness, also flanked by two guardians.

In The case to the right of the Jade Emperor is 18-armed Phat Mau Chuan De,. Two paces, affixed to her head behind each ear, look to either side. On the wall to her rights, at a height of about 4m, is Dai MinH Vuong Quang, who was reincarnated as Sakyamuni riding on the back of the phoenix. Below are the Tien Nhan, literally the ‘god persons’.

In the case to the left of the Jade Emperor sits Ong Bac De, a reincarnation of the jade Emperor, holding a sword. One of his feet is resting on a turtle while the other rests on snake. On the wall to the left of Ong Bac De, about 4m off the ground, is thien Loi, the God of Lightning, who slays evil people. Below Thien Loi are the military commander of Ong Bac De and thien Loi’s guardians. At the top of the two carved pillars that separate the three alcoves are the goddess of the Moon and god of the Sun.

Out the door on the left hand side of the Jade Emperor’s chamber is another room. The semi-enclosed area to the right is presided over by Thanh Hoang, the Chief of hell; to the left is his red horse. of the six figures lining the walls. the two clossest to Thanh Hoang are Am Quan, the God of Yin and Duong Quan The god of Yang, The other four figures, the Thuong Thien Phat Ac, are gods who dispense punishments for evil acts and rewards for good deeds. Thanh Hoang faces in the direction of the famous Hall of the Ten Hells. The carved wooden panels lining the walls graphically depict the varied torments awaiting evil people in each of the Ten Regions of Hell. At the Top of each panal is one of the Judges on the 10 regions examining a book in which the deads of the deceased are inscribed.

On the wall opposite Thanh Hoang is a bas-relief wood panel depicting Quan Am Thi Kinh standing on a lotus blossom. On the panel, Quan Am Thi Kinh is shown holding her’son’. To her left is Long Nu, a vary young Buddha who is her protector. To her right is Thien Tai, her guardian spirit, who knew the real story all along. Above her left shoulder is a bird bearing prayer beads.

To the right of the panel of Quan Am Thi Kinh is a panel depicting Dia Tang Vuong Bo Tat, the Kinh of Hell.

On the other side of the wall is a fascinating little room in which the ceramic figures of 12 women,.. overrun with children and wearing colourful clothes, sit in two rows of six. each of the woman drinking alcohol from a jug) each figure represents one year in the 12year Chinese calendar. Presiding over the room is Kim Hoa Thanh May, the Chierf of all Women.

Off to the right of the main chamber, stairs lead to a 2nd-floor sanctuary and balcony.

The jade Emperor Pagoda is in a part of the city known as Da Kao. The get there, go to 20 D Dien Bien Phu and walk half a block in a northwest direction.

Dai Giac Pagoda

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Le Van Duyet Temple

Tran Hung Dao Temple

Cho Quan Church

nthe Dame Cathedral

Xa Loi Pagoda

Phung Son Tu pagoda

Mariamman Hundu Temple

Saigon Central Mosque

Cho Lon

An Quang Pagoda

Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda

Thien Hau Pagoda

Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Cholon Mosque

Quan Am pagoda

Phuong An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Ong Bon Pagoda

Ha Chuong Hoi Quan Pagoda

Cha Tam Church

Khanh Van Nam Vien Pagoda

Phung Son Pagoda


Related content