March 30, 2023
Destination Discovery

Giac Lam Pagoda – One of the oldest pagodas in Saigon

Giac Lam Pagoda – One of the oldest pagodas in Saigon

Coming to Giac Lam pagoda – one of the oldest pagoda in Saigon, you not only have opportunities to blow their mind with very special historical relics but also harmonizing in the spiritual livings of ancient Vietnamese people preserved until now.

Located at 565 Lac Long Quan street. Tan Binh district, Giac Lam pagoda - Chinese name (覚林寺) mean 'Feel the Woods Temple, is also known as Cam Son pagoda. The pagoda was built in 1744 under Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat and officially regarded as an important historical site by Council of State in 1988.

This is home to the Zen Te Tong in south Vietnam with an architecture of Tam (Ξ) letter including 3 main areas: the ceremonial hall, the chanting hall, and the refectory, excluding the annexes. The original Giac Lam pagoda did not have a gate, and the gate was only built in 1955. The main sanctuary is filled with images of Buddha in various incarnations, along with numerous Taoist deities, each with its own altar. All the wooden pillars are decorated with red-and-gold Chinese characters.

The left courtyard of the pagoda is from Tam Quan Gate and seven relics. On the left side, the gates of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara altars, looking up to the front yard of the main hall, create the mysterious structure waiting to be discovered.

The Bodhi tree in the front garden was the gift of a Sri Lankan monk in 1953.


As at many Vietnamese Buddhist temples, aspects of both Taoism and Confucianism can be found here. For the sick and elderly, the pagoda is a minor pilgrimage sight, as it contains a bronze bell that, when rung, is believed to answer the prayers posted by petitioners.

Prayers are held daily from 4am - 5am, 11am - noon, 4pm - 5pm and 7pm - 9pm