Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chua Ngoc Hoang or Phuoc Hai Tu) is one of the most revered temples in Ho Chi Minh City. Built in the 1900s by Taoists and Buddhists, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is simultaneously spiritual and awe-inspiring in scale and ambition.
Beneath a roof adorned with elaborate depictions of dragons, birds, and animals, this fascinating pagoda is filled with exquisite gilt woodcarvings and reinforced papier maché statues of various Buddhist and Taoist deities.
The statue of the Jade Emperor, shrouded in robes and flanked by his guardians, resides in the dramatically named Chamber of 10 Hells. Out the door and to the left of this main chamber is a semi-enclosed room presided over by Thanh Hoang, the Chief of Hell, sitting alongside his red horse, while the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, an important part of any Taoist temple, has an altar on the top floor.
Emperor Jade Pagoda is a living and working shrine very much in use by the locals who come here to prayer or make votive offerings of flowers, and light candles and joss sticks. With worshippers coming and going, the temple can get busy and feel a little cramped. Its dimly lit, the narrow passageways filled with smoke lend an atmospheric feel to the place, adding to its charm.
The Emperor Jade Pagoda is one of the pagodas to attract many pilgrims in the first and the fifteenth day of the lunar month and holidays. Especially, it attracts more and more pilgrims on the birth anniversary of the Emperor Jade.
Add: 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
There is no entrance fee but visitors can make donations
U.S. President Barack Obama visited Jade Emperor Pagoda as his first destination after arriving in Ho Chi Minh City on May – 2016.