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Emperor Jade Pagoda (Chua Ngoc Hoang or Phuoc Hai Tu)

73 Mai Thi Luu St, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Type: Religious Sites
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description: Also known as the Tortoise Pagoda, this figurine-filled place of worship is considered by many to be Saigon’s finest.
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232 reviews from our community

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English first
Hertford, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW via mobile

Tranquil shaded courtyard outside offers a peaceful haven to rest. Colourful inside and out, the statues and associated stories (eyewitness travel guide) are fascinating... But I felt slightly uncomfortable being a tourist whilst other people were making offerings and prayers. No one seemed to mind us being there but maybe they were being polite? Remember to cover bare arms and... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

We were self guided and thought it would be visible from the main road. One of its joys though was how we stumbled on it. No fanfare. A working temple with plenty of incense. The wooden circles of hell were worth seeking out. No-one bothered us but welcoming atmosphere. Worth a detour for something different.

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

This place is not extraordinary. What is most interesting about it is how you get to see many local devotees and people just going there to relax during their break from work rather than just a herd of tourists taking pictures.

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

Our rikshaw driver Coi took us here ... probably the bit which most resonated was the room for women only where they can pray for pregnancy ... this was poignant for me so it still stays with me.

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Bathurst, Australia
Top Contributor
423 reviews 423 reviews
293 attraction reviews
268 helpful votes 268 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

Like another reviewer below, I was disappointed to have walked so far for so little. I much prefer the Quan Am Pagoda in Cholon (Chinatown). Many captive turtles, not all of them kept in attractive conditions. Some interesting artwork, but if your time is scarce you could skip this, which is more a working place of worship than a major... More

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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

A difficult place to review because I was torn between the authentic experience of seeing the local coming to worship, lighting the perfumed incense sticks and the gaggles of tourists groups that filled the corridors watching the ceremonies... I feel it's however worth the taxi ride away from the city centre to come and see such an active Pagoda.

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Manchester UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

This place is for travellers, not sightseers. It is a deeply atmospheric working temple with the air thick with the devotion of the worshipers, so much so that I felt it not right to take photos. It is an oasis of cool calm away from the heat and bustle of the streets and a must see in Saigon if you... More

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Tunbridge Wells, England
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
31 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

This place seems to divide opinion. The guide books seem to overplay the description which I think leads to people expecing 'too much' or something different altogether. This Pagoda is a 'working' shrine and as such looks rather worn and 'tatty'. Having visited Nepal and the Himalayas and consequently the monastries and pagodas there, I wasn't surpised at how it... More

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

Emperor Jade Pagoda/ Temple is featuring for culture of Chinese community, people who resident earlier Vietnamese in Saigon. They're workship to Jade Emperor - King od the heaven, according to Chinese folklore religion. Especially section is the left ahnd site hall, where they re-outing of Hell. This is very touching via the wood carving art. The pond in the right... More

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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

This is just a fairly small & scruffy pagoda. My reaction on finally making it after a pretty long walk was "Is this it??" Probably wouldn't bother visiting compared to the other options. On the positive side however, it was free :)

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