Located on Mai Thi Luu road in district 1, only 100 meters away from the crowed and bustle street of Dien Bien Phu, the Jade Pagoda (Vietnamese name: Chùa Ngọc Hoàng (or Chùa Phước Hải) has a very peaceful landscape that will calm down every Buddhist coming there.
The Jade Pagoda was first erected by ancient monk Luu Minh in 1892 and inaugurated in 1906. This pagoda was listed in to national relic on Oct 15, 1994, and also considered as the most beautiful pagoda in southern Vietnam that possesses many precious religious documents of the Chinese in Indochina. More than 300 statues and other sophisticated relic objects are preserving here. Spanning on nearly 2,000 square meters, the Jade Emperor Pagoda reflects the Chinese culture in the early of 20th century through its architectural designs like: blue sapphire double tiles and reddish color.
The supreme position worshipped in this pagoda is the Jade Emperor (or Ruler of Heaven). Besides, it also worship other high-ranking ones like the Great Buddha, the Hoa Da ancestor, Boddihsattva of Mercy, Sun Wukong (Monkey King or Vietnamese name: Te Thien Dai Thanh).
The special point of this pagoda that it has a list of animals for worship as per desire of the Buddhist: such as: release golden carps or red carps to invite luckiness and good fortune; release catfish to pray for healthiness and relieve bad luck; release turtles for praying child. On the left of the main gate is located the worship of Kim Hoa Thanh Mau (Queen mother) and 12 Mụ bà (God mother) is said to have blessed on many couples who hardly got a child. If they release a pair of turtles with their names written the turtle’s back, then pray for a child, their wish will be come true. As magically, many of them got a child later. Since then, the pagoda’s fame has been widespread throughout the country.
Jade Emperor Pagoda has long been listed in the city’s must-visit tourism destinations, suggested by both local and international tour providers. It welcomes a huge number of Buddhists during several traditional holidays, including the Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the eighth lunar month), and the Buddha’s Birthday (the 15th day of the fourth lunar month).
The pagoda is anticipated to stop serving Buddhist and tourists on upcoming May 24 upon the visit of President Obama.