It’s no secret that Houston is known for its diverse culture, spanning from its distinct cuisine, artistic community, and vibrant economy. Houston is also home to one of the largest Asian communities in the country. With a blend of many backgrounds, it’s only natural for unique cultural sites to pop up. Spread out to different pockets of the city, here are four of the top sites of Asian Pacific culture to visit.

Asia Society Texas Center

Address: 370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004

Situated in Houston’s Museum District, Asia Society Texas Center opened to the public on April 14, 2012. The center was designed by Japan-born, Harvard-educated architect Yoshio Taniguchi, best known for his renovation and expansion of the MoMA in New York. The Asia Society aims to exhibit different cultures throughout centuries from a variety of artistic forms from artists around the world. Aside from its educational mission, the center has also been voted as one of Houston’s best wedding venues and is a holiday hot spot, offering a versatile intimate space with its unique atmosphere. The icing on the cake is the serene feeling you get while viewing the tranquil mist flowing down from the roof. Asia Society Texas Center is free to visit and it’s walkable from the museums around the corner, so make a fun weekend out of it!


Interior view of the Teo Chew Temple in Houston, TX
Photo Courtesy of Dandee Danao

Teo Chew Temple

Address: 10600 Turtlewood Court, Houston, TX 77072

The Teo Chew Temple is a Vietnamese Buddhist temple located in southwest Houston’s Chinatown. This hidden pearl is tucked away in between commercial buildings and neighborhoods, but access to it is fairly easy. Once you get to the property, take some time to look around the grounds and appreciate the palace-like structures. When you make it inside the temple, you are taken into an immersive golden experience featuring walls lined with deities. Prayers with incense and offerings are encouraged, but visitors must follow the dress-code. Guidelines upon entering the temple are no shorts or tank tops for men and moderate dresses or pants for women. Before leaving the grounds, make sure you stop by the wishing well and toss a coin or two for good luck! Admission is free and they’re open daily.


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Photo Courtesy of Dandee Danao

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Address: 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX 77477

One of the most heavenly structures hidden in plain sight, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford TX, is the first traditional Hindu Mandir of its kind in North America. Through an astounding 1.3 million volunteer’s efforts, the Mandir was inaugurated in July of 2004 after only 16 months of construction time. Ascribing to ancient architectural scriptures of India, the temple was built from Turkish and Italian marble. A haven for spirituality and a place of paramount peace, the Mandir is also a lively center with social, cultural, and spiritual activities. Although the inside is temporarily closed to visitors due to Covid-19, it is still highly recommended to visit the site and enjoy the must-see marvelous architecture.


Islamic Da’wah Center
Photo Courtesy of Dandee Danao

Islamic Da’wah Center 

Address: 201 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Not many people know this, but Houston’s very own NBA World Champion, Hakeem Olajuwon is the founder of the Islamic Da’wah Center in downtown Houston. Right after winning the championship with the Houston Rockets in 1994, his manifestation turned to fruition with the purchase of the historic building. In 2002, the Dream’s dream became a reality. Previously the Houston National Bank, Hakeem transformed the building into a peaceful place to serve an unfulfilled need to explore the rich history and cultures of Islam. Now its mission is to promote Islamic principles, history, and culture. The Center has free admission to a museum and library during visiting hours, but a modest dress-code is required for everyone. Women should bring scarves, if they cannot bring one, a scarf will be provided at the Center – free of charge.