Still within Ho chi Minh city but far from the city center is Chau Thoi Temple or Chua Thau Thoi, quite an interesting temple in Ho Chi Minh city. Chau Thoi temple is one of Ho Chi Minh’s temples that is worth a visit, from my point of view, but it really depends on how long are you spending in the city. If you are a traveler spending a few days in Ho Chi Minh then I would skip it as there are other temples in the city that are easily accessible and beautiful as well.
But, I live in Ho Chi Minh, therefore, I have lots of time to explore new things in the city and that’s how I found this temple because I have already seen the most famous Ho Chi Minh temples and the best of Saigon attractions. Chau Thoi temple was actually a great find because I was not expecting to find yet another pleasant temple in Ho Chi Minh.
However, the temple is really far out, closer to Bien Hoa than Ho Chi Minh city center… Because of this, I took a day trip to visit it as I went there by public transport.
To reach Chau Thoi temple by bus, you can hop on bus number 5 and pay 20.000 dongs (less than 1€) and the trip won’t take much longer than 1 hour. You should tell the bus assistant where you want to stop and he will tell the bus driver to stop nearby the temple as the bus route passes really near Chau Thoi temple even though there is no bus stop sign.
You will walk about 5 minutes to the temple that can be seen from the main street where the bus stops. This is the bus that connects Bien Hoa and Ho Chi Minh city and its schedule may not be very accurate. The best thing to do is to install the “busmap” app where you can search for any bus in Ho Chi Minh city, the schedules and prices, and even follow the bus route in real-time. This app is very handy and if you plan on using public transport in the city, I think it is mandatory to install it.
Chau Thoi temple stands on top of a hill, so you’ll have to climb some stairs before reaching the temple itself. On top, you’ll find a beautiful temple with many statues around including two huge lady Buddha’s and some pretty awesome dragons among other structures. From here you can have a very wide view of the surroundings. A view of Ho Chi Minh city that is not very known to tourists.
Inside the temple, you will see very typical Vietnamese architecture with loads of details to admire and look at. When I visited it, the weather was moody and eventually, the rain fell down but I seek shelter inside the temple and therefore could appreciate its details at a very slow pace. I think the temple is beautiful. I ended up spending a lot of time there because I didn’t have much more to do. It is a quiet place after all. One thing that surprised me was to see that there were some monkeys living on that hill! I had no idea there were monkeys living within the city, but not a lot of them though.
To go back to Ho Chi Minh city I went to the side of the road and waited for the bus to pass by and once I saw it I waved for it to stop. It worked thankfully haha
So, I think this might be a good place to visit for people that are living in the city or people that end up spending quite some time in Ho Chi Minh. If you are on a short visit there are other temples that you should consider instead of Chua Chau Thoi temple and you can read about them HERE!
Or, as it is not far from Bien Hoa, you can combine a visit to Chua Chau Thoi with a visit to the Buu Long tourist area in Bien Hoa which is definitely worth a day trip from Ho Chi Minh.
Another option would be to combine it with Chua Buu long that in my opinion is worth a visit and is one of the most beautiful temple in Ho Chi Minh city. To move around the city, if you are a solo traveler having Grab app or Gojek would be extremely helpful, and this way you could visit both temples on the same day. As a solo traveler, I usually book a motorbike, but up to you. This is definitely not the place where you will see other tourists. Check also other less touristy Saigon attractions HERE!