Ngọc Hoàng Pagoda ( English: Jade Emperor Pagoda), is one of the most spectacularly atmospheric pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda was build at the beginning of the 20th century by Lưu Minh, a Chinese man who migrated from Guangzhou province in Southwest China. In 1984, it was renamed to Phước Hải pagoda. However, the locals around here still prefer the name Ngọc Hoàng as this is the only place where the Jade Emperor is worshipped in Vietnam.
Architecture of the pagoda
The Jade Emperor Pagoda is designed following the style of Chinese architecture with many pictures and walls decorated gorgeously. It was built of baked bricks covered by unique style Yin-Yang of the roofs, decorated with many colored ceramic statues.
The main gate of the temple is outstanding with two dragons fighting over a pearl, two unicorns, and two snails.
Passing the gate, there is a big yard with the outstanding statue of the protector and a pond where many types of fishes and turtles living.
The worshipping area consists of three parts, the main chamber, and two other departments. The Jade Emperor, the Buddha, and other genies are worshiped at the main chamber. Besides, there is the altar of Kim Hoa Thánh Mẫu (a goddess taking responsibility for giving birth) and Twelve Midwives and wet nurses taking care of children. This is the most crowded area because many people go there to pray for having a baby and luck for pregnant women. On the right of the main hall, Quán Âm statue is put in a solemn position.
Ngọc Hoàng Pagoda also stores more than 300 ancient statues and other artworks such as worshipping paintings, parallel sentences, altars made from wood, ceramic, and cardboard.
The pagoda is free to visit, but a number of donation boxes are dotted around the sight. There is no strict dress code, however, to be respectful, opt for clothing that covers the shoulders and drops below the knee.
Due to a large number of tourists visiting this site daily, you should visit the pagoda early in the morning to enjoy the peaceful and quiet atmosphere here or on January 9 of the lunar calendar – the birth anniversary of the Jade Emperor.