Guide to Visit Phu Chau Floating Temple in Ho Chi Minh City

Nestled in the heart of the Vam Thuat River, the Phu Chau Temple stands as a testament to unique architectural and spiritual heritage. Located in Ward 5 of Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City, this temple occupies a quaint land dune spanning approximately 2,500 m². Its distinctive location has earned it the affectionate nickname of the “Floating Temple.”

floating temple ho chi minh phu chau

Dating back over three centuries to the era of King Gia Long, Phu Chau Temple covers roughly 550 m². It is perched almost entirely upon a petite, foot-shaped dune, itself about 2,500 m² in size, amidst the flowing waters of the Vam Thuat River. Encircled by verdant stones at its base, the temple’s unique position on the water lends it an air of mystique, further enhancing its moniker as the Floating Temple. 

phu chau floating temple
Front gate of Phu Chau temple
phu chau floating temple ho chi minh
The opening hour is 7 AM – 5 PM. You’ll have to get on a ferry, which costs 15.000 VND for tickets/both way

How to visit Phu Chau Floating Temple on your own 

phu chau floating temple vietnam
The distance travel from Jackfruit Adventure office in District 1 to Phu Chau temple
  • Address: 173/36/7B11 D. Quang Ham Street, Warm 5, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh city
  • Time to visit: 7 AM – 5 PM 

How to travel there?

  • By grab/motorbike: You can take Grab from central District 1 to the floating temple, the distance is about 12 km 
  • By bicycle: Perfect for weekend cycling, the route will be about 24 km total for a return cycling trip 

Please remember that as if you travel by your own transportation, you need to park your bike at the parking place before taking the small boat. You can easy spot the parking area since there are at least 3 parking spaces around the temple entrance. 

phu chau floating temple hcm
The parking area or the entrance to get to the fairy to enter the temple

The entrance temple which is called Sa Tan Temple (a different one from floating temple we are going to visit). Right next to Sa Tan temple, passing through houses is the road to the ferry wharf. The first thing we felt was that this place was… very real. The people’s house is located right next to it, the sound of lunch cooking, the sound of everyday conversations, the sound of the teacher reading cards right at the entrance can be heard,..

phu chau floating temple hcm
The area where you buy the tickets from the local to get to the boat – ticket pricing is 15.000 VND/2 ways

So before entering the sacred place with spiritual colors, we still have to go through everyday life, which is the place that connects people with the ancient temple on the small island in the middle of the river.

Phu Chau floating temple

History of the Phu Chau Floating Temple

According to local lore, the 18th-century Mieu Noi began as a humble shrine constructed from bamboo and coconut fronds by the village’s merchants and seniors. It served as a sanctuary dedicated to the Five Elements and the Dragon Mother, offering solace and protection for those navigating the unpredictable river waters.

In regions venerating the Lady’s temple, myths often speak of a “drifting corpse” used to sanctify the chosen site for these sacred grounds. It’s believed that Phu Chau Temple may share this tradition.

Phu Chau Temple stands as a testament to the cultural fabric of the South, embodying the veneration of Lady Thuy – a practice intertwined with the homage to the Five Elements, represented by Ms. Metal, Ms. Wood, Ms. Water, Ms. Earth, and Ms. Fire.

phu chau temple dragon floating
After many restorations, the temple has become more spacious and possesses unique architecture, making it a famous spiritual tourist destination in Saigon.

There are hundreds of dragon statues inside and outside the temple. The temple’s architecture carries ancient traits of Chinese Cholon culture in Saigon.

phu chau floating temple
Highlights of the Phu Chau Floating Temple 
phu chau temple ho chi minh floating culture
Vietnamese people usually go to temples and pray for their families. You can visit this temple and pray for health, money, or even love.

Right from the boat, we saw Phu Chau floating temple from afar. The temple faces the south, is built in the “three” style, consisting of three buildings connected by two roofed courtyards. The roof here is covered with shiny emerald green glazed yin and yang tiles.

phu chau floating temple
Religion plays an essential role in many Vietnamese lives, with Buddhist worshippers accounting for over 12% of the Vietnamese population.

Each roof is decorated with motifs of dragons flanking pearls, dragons flanking lotuses, dragons flanking Nine-product towers, and dragons flanking scrolls. The curved blades on the roof are attached to the four sacred animals Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle, and Phoenix.

phu chau floating temple ho chi minh city
Phu Chau temple is an extraordinary floating temple in Saigon.

In addition, details of chrysanthemums, grape leaves, rivers, and fish shapes are decorated everywhere. The surrounding walls are painted with dark pink lime, the door lids are painted red – a typical Chinese style feature.

phu chau temple inside
The temple is not as crowded as most other temples, partially because of its distinct geographical condition. That is good because you can have more space to discover and snap some marvelous photos.
phu chau floating temple ho chi minh city tour cycling
The temple dates back over 300 years. The infrastructure and reconstruction are said to have been particularly invested to build such a fascinating temple.

Local stories of the temple – Ho Chi Minh City things to do

After more than 300 years of existence, the temple has undergone many changes in parallel with the ups and downs of Vietnam’s history. By the early 1960s, this work was a stopping place sought by many pilgrims and religious friends. During the Vietnam War, the temple became a refuge for Vietcong’s activities, so the building suffered many losses until the war ended.

On the trip visit the temple our Co-Founder Mr Peter Su has a chance to had some conversation with Mr Luc, 82 years old man work here as a manager of the temple and had really insightful conversations with him.

phu chau floating temple ho chi minh
Having a chat with local resident. By Peter – Co-founder of Jackfruit Adventure.
phu chau floating temple
Mr Luc: Manager of the temple. 
  • Worked in the temple for over 30 years
  • Supporting temple and answer any questions from guests 
  • Background Chineses, family immigrate to US but he is happy here with his life at supporting for the temple
Phu chau floating temple ho chi minh
We gained many perspectives on the ancient temple through our conversation with Uncle Lực.

Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Vietnam

At Jackfruit Adventure, we organize Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour and Team Building Ho Chi Minh. With a deep knowledge of Saigon city and local connections, we believe can give you an awesome bonding time together. Contact us today if you have any requests or question to prepare a trip for your team to bonding in Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam.

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