Jade Emperor Pagoda (Phuoc Hai Pagoda)
The 100 year-old Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of Saigon's most famous religious buildings.
Put this atmospheric Cantonese pagoda, built in 1909, at the top of your HCMC attractions visiting list. The Jade Emperor, heaven's gatekeeper, watches over an incense-filled room while hidden chambers harbour woodcarvings and altars depicting scenes from Taoist and Buddhist myths. One hall houses the go-to deity if you're seeking fertility and the upstairs section represents heaven and features the goddess, Kwan Ying.
The temple, AKA the Tortoise Pagoda, was constructed in 1909 by Saigon's Chinese population. The pagoda is a photographer's paradise that features ribbons of aromatic incense smoke, robed monks, artful carved figures, Buddha sculptures and a turtle pond. Even if you're not the praying kind you owe it to yourself to check out the Jade Emperor Pagoda. It's a cheap taxi ride to the temple from central Ho Chi Minh City.