Giac Lam Pagoda is widely recognized as an important and historic pagoda, the oldest temple in the city. Built in 1744 on an undeveloped area of jungle, it has since been consumed into the west of the city.
Originally thatched, the buildings have undergone significant remodeling at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Historically significant, it is now protected as an official cultural heritage site.
In the main garden stands a famous bodhi tree donated by Sri Lanka to the temple in 1953, in its shade stands a statue of bodhisattva Aralokiteshvara. In the grounds also stands a 32 meter (100 foot) high seven story hexagonal stupa; in total there are over 100 statues to admire.
There is also an eerie and worth seeing funerary chamber with photos and shrines dedicated to former monks of the temple. At the main altar, Buddhists pray for peace and good health. By writing their names and their relatives' names on paper and sticking it into the grand bell they believe their wishes will be carried when the bell is struck and echoes into heaven.
Located on Lac Long Quan, to the north of District 5, (not in Cholon area). May be combined with a visit to Cholon but a cyclo or taxi trip would be necessary to reach it.
Usual temple rules apply - respectful clothing, no hats, no smoking - but here shoes are permitted.