Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has long been famous for its dynamic and modern beauty but what will surprise you will be its hidden gem - Jade Emperor Pagoda. This is a very old pagoda tucked among lofty skyscrapers in the bustling commercial city center. It will surely be one of the most suggested travel destinations whenever you have a chance to visit the city.
1. Jade Emperor Pagoda Overview
- Address: 73 Mai Thi Luu street, Dakao ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
- How to get there: We recommend taking a motorbike or taxi ride to Jade Emperor Pagoda because it is located in Binh Thanh District, which is quite far away from the city center. If you depart at Independence Palace, it would take approximately 10 minutes and cost around 50,000 VND for a taxi ride there.
2. What makes Jade Emperor Pagoda Saigon a sacred place?
There are various factors that contribute to the value of Emperor Jade Pagoda. Let's look at some of the most important ones that make this pagoda a popular sacred site in Saigon.
2.1 Who is the Jade Emperor?
The Jade Emperor is one of the most significant and well-known gods in Vietnamese mythology. He has the power to govern the sky, land, sea, as well as to create humankind and all that exists on Earth. Other gods, goddesses, and angels, assist the emperor in making and protecting everything on Earth. They are said to be residing in a palace in the sky, according to jade emperor mythology. Vietnamese believers worship the Jade Emperor as the supreme god, "Ngoc Hoang", and pray to him for salvation or good fortune.
2.2 How was Jade Emperor pagoda established?
The pagoda was built in the early twentieth century by a Chinese man named Luu Minh, who left China to live and do business in Vietnam. He was a Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianist, thus he wanted to build a pagoda to worship Buddha and the Jade Emperor.
Thich Vinh Khuong, a great Buddhist monk, took over the pagoda in 1982. As a result, the pagoda has been assigned to the Vietnam Buddhist Association.
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3. Unique architecture of Jade Emperor Pagoda
The pagoda attracts visitors from all over the country and the world for its unique interior and exterior designs, hundreds of statues and figurines, wood carvings, and the relaxing smell of incense filling the air.
The pagoda is magnificently created in the Chinese religious construction style, with numerous beautiful paintings and walls. The roof is made up of yin-yang tiles that are brightly colored. On the roof and gables, there are a few statues.
The main entrance of the pagoda is approximately 6 meters wide and 4.5 meters high. It is a one-door gate with a single roof, not a three-door gate with multi-tier roofs like many other pagodas and temples in Ho Chi Minh City.
In actuality, there are two entrances: the main entrance, which is supported by two pink concrete pillars and has a tiled roof, and the smaller side entrance. Two stone doors with red Chinese inscriptions support the smaller entrance.
The pagoda has an area of 2,300 square meters. The main entrance and the main structure are connected by an outside courtyard. There is a motorbike parking area, a Dharmapala Shrine, a fish pond full of lotus, an incense burner and a candle-lighting area, a turtle pond, and many trees in the yard.
The pagoda is highlighted by dozens of large oak trees that provide ample shade. Despite the sweltering temperature in Ho Chi Minh City, travelers will appreciate the fresh cool air as they enter the pagoda's courtyard. It is a world away from the rest of Saigon, which is packed and bustling with many buildings and skyscrapers.
Inside the pagoda, there are many paintings, statues, and altars made of various materials, including wood, porcelain, and cardboard. About 300 figurines, including 100 made of cartridge paper, can be found in the pagoda.
The pagoda has 3 halls: the front hall, the middle hall, and the back hall. Each hall is a one-of-a-kind ancient architectural masterpiece. A Buddha statue can be found in the front hall. On big occasions, people sing and feast in the front and middle halls.
4. Worshiping tradition of Jade Emperor Pagoda Saigon
4.1 Praying for offspring
As an ancient temple worshiping Kim Hoa Thanh Mau and 12 midwives in charge of baby delivery, Jade Emperor Pagoda is a place where many infertile couples come to pray for children. Next to the main shrine of the Jade Emperor, the shrine of the Holy Mother (Kim Hoa Thanh Mau) is the most visited place on every occasion, however big or small, even on weekdays.
With a simple praying procedure and specific instructions, so many people are willing to come here to respectfully offer their prayers. The pagoda is also famous for its miraculous power if the devotees are sincere and live an honest life.
4.2 Praying for love
The pagoda is known by many people who desire a perfect love. Young couples who intend to get married soon can come here to sincerely pray for their relationship. After burning the incense and whispering their names, the devotees only need to touch the Statue of To and the Statue of Nguyet to pray for their love, then the Holy Mother will fulfill their wish.
4.3 Praying for health and peace
Besides praying for offspring and love, the pagoda is also famous for its power in granting wishes for health and peace. You can pray at the Statue of Hoa Da fairy monk to wish for a healthy and good life.
5. Useful information about Jade Emperor Pagoda
- Entrance fee: It is free to enter the pagoda, but tourists can give donations as a way to show your sincerity to the gods.
- Best time to visit: The pagoda has a ceremony dedicated to Jade Emperor on the 9th day of the first lunar month every year. This is a wonderful event that is said to bring great blessings. On this occasion, there is a large number of visitors to the pagoda, you can come at this time to pray and enjoy the festive atmosphere here.
- Offering: Incense sticks and rings, glass candles, and flowers are commonly offered to the Gods by visitors. Buying a bottle of oil and pouring it over candle holders while whispering their name and the things they pray for in the yard or Main Hall is a custom that visitors usually do.
- Costume: The choice of clothes when coming to the pagoda is something you should pay attention to. Here, you need to wear long, high-neck clothes and walk quietly. Avoid wearing revealing outfits, especially shorts, short skirts, etc. For Buddhists, they must wear ceremonial robes when going to the Buddha shrine in the pagoda.
In addition to the pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City has a lot of other interesting attractions such as Saigon War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels, Bui Vien Street, Independence Palace, Landmark 81, etc.
In order to reach these attractions with ease, tourists should stay at Vinpearl Landmark 81, Autograph Collection. Only about 5 kilometers away from Jade Emperor Pagoda, located at a prime location, from this hotel, you can go anywhere by any means.
Not only being the highest hotel in Vietnam, it also has a comprehensive system of resort, entertainment, shopping, dining services for all kinds of customers’ needs. If you come to Ho Chi Minh City whether for vacation or business, Vinpearl Landmark 81, Autograph Collection will be a perfect choice for accommodation.
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Despite the long history, Jade Emperor Pagoda Vietnam still retains its timeless charm. It has become one of the most spectacular tourist places in Saigon thanks to its remarkable and distinctive beauty in association with a sacred legend. This pagoda will promisingly be an excellent place to visit if you want to learn more about Vietnamese and Asian culture.
With the above-mentioned information, it is certain that you will have an unforgettable trip to this attractive destination. In order to make your getaway perfect, remember to book rooms at Vinpearl Landmark 81, Autograph Collection to explore one of the most popular pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City!