In contrast of the construction of new and modern buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, there have survived centuries-old pagodas with histories dating back more than 200 years, still across the city. Phung Son Pagoda in District 1 established in the early 19th by Zen Master Lieu Thong is one of them.
The pagoda has undergone two major restorations. Many statues found in the pagoda were created by a group of craftsmen from Sa Dec. Many years ago, it was decided that it should be moved to a different location. All of the ritual objects were loaded on to the back of a white elephant for transportation. On the way to the new site, the elephant slipped and all of the precious objects fell into a nearby pond. This event was interpreted as a sign that the pagoda should remain at its original location. All of the ritual objects were retrieved, except the bell, which locals say was heard ringing whenever there was a new or full moon up until a century ago.
There are about 40 Buddhist statues worshiped at the pagoda such as Di Da Tam Ton, Ngu Hien Thuong Ky Thu, a stone statue of Buddha covered with gold leaves, and a ceramic statue of Tieu Dien. The surrounding area is an archaeological site from which many artifacts were excavated, for example a baked earthen head statues and ceramic items belonging to the Oc-Eo culture. The Ministry of Culture has recognized Phung Son Pagoda as a historical and cultural relic. As a result, people usually come here to pray three times a day from 4 to 5 am, 4 to 5 pm, and 6 to 7 pm.