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Jade Emperor Pagoda

This structure offers some of the most impressive woodcarvings, figurines and art in all of Vietnam.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is most well-known for its floor-to-ceiling woodcarvings and its tortoise population, giving rise to its alternative name, the Tortoise Pagoda. It was built around the turn of the 20th century for Cantonese migrants. It is still a functioning temple today and a site for both Taoist and Buddhist worshippers.

The entrance to the pagoda is usually very busy, with monks and worshippers wandering all around the courtyard. Step inside to be greeted by an intricate carving of the Jade Emperor, the Taoist ruler of Heaven. Above him, you’ll find the roof is designed with just as much attention to detail. The temple is split into a number of rooms, which you can view in any order. You might also like to head to the roof terrace that overlooks the surrounding area and the pagoda itself.

The Hall of Ten Hells is one of the most popular areas within the temple. Here, massive woodcarvings depict the suffering that awaits those in hell. Other halls in the temple are devoted to the goddesses of fertility and health.

Like many of Ho Chi Minh’s temples, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is always buzzing with activity. Tourists and worshippers make the temple crowded most days of the week, so come early in the morning to beat the tourists and mix with the locals. Outside the temple, you can choose to buy a small tortoise to release into the pond as a symbol of hope.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is open daily and is located in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. It is isolated from other attractions in the city; however, it’s easily accessible by taxi and some buses. The imagery may be frightening for some young children, and the level of incense may be overwhelming for others.

Popular Activities at Jade Emperor Pagoda

Ensure you have lots of time at Jade Emperor Pagoda. Below are the best activities:

Your next big adventure has been waiting for you! You might like to try a Half-day Saigon City Group Tour or a Shore Excursion: Private Full-Day City Tour from Phu My Port.

If you'd like more options, check out our Ho Chi Minh City things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Jade Emperor Pagoda


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Jade Emperor Pagoda

See all 2,153 Properties near Jade Emperor Pagoda
Rex Hotel $110
Rex Hotel

Rex Hotel

141 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Ho Chi Minh City
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Ho Chi Minh City hotel is located in the entertainment district, steps from Dong Khoi Shopping Street, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, and Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon River and Vincom Center Shopping Mall are also within 5 minutes.

    Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint $82
    Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint

    Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint

    59 - 61 Pasteur Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Dong Khoi, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ho Chi Minh City Hall Square, Saigon Square, and Ho Chi Minh City Hall. Saigon River and Museum of Ho Chi Minh City are also within 5 minutes.

      Hotel Majestic Saigon $108
      Hotel Majestic Saigon

      Hotel Majestic Saigon

      01 Dong Khoi Street District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Dong Khoi, this luxury hotel is steps from Dong Khoi Shopping Street and Saigon River. Bitexco Financial Tower and Opera House are also within 10 minutes.

        Sherwood Residence $104
        Sherwood Residence

        Sherwood Residence

        127 Pasteur Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Ho Chi Minh City aparthotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Consulate Area, War Remnants Museum, and Independence Palace. Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and Saigon Central Post Office are also within 15 minutes. Saigon Railway Station is 26 minutes by foot.

          Liberty Central Saigon Riverside $70
          Liberty Central Saigon Riverside

          Liberty Central Saigon Riverside

          17 Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Dong Khoi, this spa hotel is steps from Dong Khoi Shopping Street and Saigon River. Bitexco Financial Tower and Opera House are also within 10 minutes.

            Hotel Nikko Saigon $105
            Hotel Nikko Saigon

            Hotel Nikko Saigon

            235 Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tu Du Hospital and Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area. Bui Vien Walking Street and An Dong Market are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Citadines Regency Saigon $56
              Citadines Regency Saigon

              Citadines Regency Saigon

              20-23 Pham Ngoc Thach, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the airport, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Consulate Area, War Remnants Museum, and Saigon Central Post Office. Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and Independence Palace are also within 15 minutes. Saigon Railway Station is 28 minutes by foot.

                EdenStar Saigon Hotel & Spa $57
                EdenStar Saigon Hotel & Spa

                EdenStar Saigon Hotel & Spa

                38 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bui Thi Xuan, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zen Plaza and Bui Vien Walking Street. Pham Ngu Lao Backpacker Area and Ben Thanh Market are also within 15 minutes. Saigon Railway Station is 26 minutes by foot.