If you need a little peace and quiet, there are Saigon parks and green spaces throughout the city to provide that reprieve.
Ho Chi Minh City is unapologetically busy and at times overwhelming. Cars and motorbikes tail-gate each other, and buildings tower over most street corners. It’s a wonder there is any room for parks, lakes, or even any kind of grass! But, believe it or not, this sprawling metropolis has its own areas of comparative solitude nestled among the high-rise buildings and traffic-packed roads. If you need a little peace and quiet, there are Saigon parks and green spaces throughout the city to provide that reprieve.
Tao Dan Park
If you have a spare couple of hours to spend reading a book or simply people-watching, then visit Tao Dan Park. Nestled in the heart of the city’s Ben Thanh Ward, Tao Dan is a lovely place to relax on a bench in the shade of the trees. There are a few water features and ponds in the area, as well as an outdoor gym – a popular feature of Ho Chi Minh City’s parks. It also has a miniature replica of a Cham temple in the center of the park too, if you fancy something a little more cultural.
Saigon Zoo and Botancial Garden
Ho Chi Minh City has its own Botanical Garden, which is nestled next to one of the channels of the Saigon River. And it is the biggest open green space in District 1. It opened over 150 years ago, in 1865, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the world. There is also a small zoo on site, entry to which is included in your ticket.
Price: 50,000 VND ($2.20USD)
September 23 Park
Look no further than September 23 (“23-9”) Park if you’re staying in the Bui Vien area and need a time out from the packed pavements. They named the park after the date of the rebellion against the French in 1945. It is not a particularly fancy park, but it offers a much-needed green space amidst the madness of the backpacker area. Both locals and tourists use it as an escape from the hustle and bustle.
You can kill two birds with one stone and tick history and gardens off your list by visiting Reunification Palace (“Independence Palace”). Reunification Palace is set on beautiful grounds, which are worth wandering around and spending time in after visiting the building itself. It is peaceful and, of course, very well-maintained. It is easy to forget that you are in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1.
Price: 40,000 VND ($1.70USD)
Binh Thanh District
Van Thanh Park
Searching for somewhere to take the kids for the day where they won’t get bored? Or in need of a cheap and cheerful day out? Van Thanh Park is the perfect place. They nicknamed it the “tourist park” but locals use it too, especially on lunch breaks or after work. There are pavilions dotted around the park and next to its artificial lake, as well as a children’s play area. The park is also home to tennis courts and a swimming pool. You could easily spend a whole day here, either relaxing under the trees or taking part in the available activities.
Price: free entry, but you have to pay for:
– Tennis courts: around 60,000 VND ($2.60USD) an hour
– Swimming pool: weekday entrance fee is 60,000 VND ($2.60 USD) for adults and 40,000 VND ($1.70USD) for children. Add 10,000 VND ($0.40USD) for weekend prices.
Vinhomes Central Park
Another great option in Binh Thanh is Vinhomes Central Park. The city’s newest and shiniest park sits next to a dozen or so new high rises and row homes, a modern community for the wealthier city residents, both foreign and Vietnamese. You can relax on one of the benches beneath the thickets of trees. Or lie down and relax on the grassy open space where people gather, day and night. Cycling is an option too, for those who want to avoid the busy city streets. And don’t forget to climb the platforms that give you a great view of Landmark 81 and the banks of the Saigon River. You might get a nice pic or two.
Crescent Mall Park
Don’t forget to explore what’s outside the city center too. You might find something unique. Crescent Mall Park (also known as “The Crescent Walk” or Ho Ban Nguyet Park) combines retail therapy with nature therapy! Situated in District 7, the shopping mall is set next to a beautiful lake with open green space to walk around and enjoy either before or after you venture inside the building itself. It’s very modern, and widely used by locals, expats and tourists – you could easily spend a whole afternoon here.
Gia Dinh Park
If you’re staying close to the airport or have some time to kill before your flight, then you can visit Gia Dinh Park, a large area of meandering pathways lined with over 700 trees. It is perfect for people-watching, particularly in the early mornings and evenings, due to its popularity with sporty residents doing their daily exercises and activities.
Hoang Van Thu Park
When wanting a quick escape from the madness of the North of the city, try Hoang Van Thu Park in Tan Binh district. This compact, triangular-shaped park is set in the middle of three main roads. It has a perimeter of around a kilometer, and within it lies a variety of trees, plants and even a small lake. There are benches and huts which make excellent resting spots if you feel like sitting and taking it all in.