With so many things to do in District 7, maybe central Saigon isn’t your preferred destination. But there’s only one way to find out!
I was apprehensive. I was ready to throw myself right into the very epicenter of Ho Chi Minh City and its never-ending activities, but I realized I was going to live in District 7. It is quite a few steps away from the lively and chaotic atmosphere you find in District 1 and its nearby surroundings. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the wide, tranquil streets. And nestled within these streets, I learned there are lots of things to do in District 7, for travelers, locals and expats alike.
Half Moon Park
Ah, Half Moon Park. This was my designated twilight spot and favorite Sunday afternoon activity in District 7. The park curves nicely around a sizable waterway with a quiet residential area tucked away on the other side. You’d be forgiven for never knowing that this park exists unless you’d made a trip to the nearby Crescent Mall.
There’s plenty of shade, with a lot of little plateaus that provide the perfect place to set up for a sunset picnic. The park also has a bridge that lights up from 6.30pm to 10.30pm from Thursday through Sunday, fittingly dubbed “Starlight Bridge.” It’s an attraction in its own right. On the other side of the bridge, you’ll find a walkway along the water. Walk the winding garden paths and adore the lily-pad adorned ponds dotting the area.
Keep in mind, the park does get busy at times – but not by Vietnamese standards. Besides, the influx of patrons normally means an increase in ridiculously cute micro-breed dogs to lose your head over.
Half Moon Park is quite the little slice of District 7 bliss. And its free, open everyday!
Artinus 3D Art Museum
A visit to Artinus 3D Art Museum was one of the first things to do in District 7, for me. I went with friend of mine I’d known for only a few days. It was the perfect icebreaker. Entry costs 260,000 VND on weekdays and 300,000 VND on weekends. The hours are 9am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, and 9am to 8pm on weekends. You’ll find it in District 7’s Tan Hung Ward.
The larger than life immersive murals are as fascinating as they are unconventional. There’s no denying the artistry. We’re talking whole rooms painted as one scene — complete with ceilings, floors, and positions for you to stand for the perfect photo-realistic snap.
You can even get a photo that you’ve taken printed onto a keychain. I still have mine, attached to my backpack. My tiny head is protruding from an absurdly huge mural of Thor holding a machine gun.
Ruby Soho is absolutely one of my favorite after-dinner bars in District 7. I often ended up here after happily polishing off a whole pizza at the nearby Pizza 4P’s. The hours are 3.30pm until 2.00am every day. The staff are friendly and attentive. The cheap beer is also a massive plus.
This place is an atmospheric delight if you’re into spaces that give off a retro vibe. The walls are decked out with a mix of movie and music memorabilia, vintage photography, and other random art pieces – some of which are for sale.
You’ll find Ruby Soho conveniently located in a pocket of Phu My Hung. This area in District 7 is crawling with bars, restaurants and cafes.
Jump Arena Him Lam
Jump Arena Him Lam is your spot for a bit of a workout, without exhausting yourself. It’s open from 9am to 9pm every day, and there are several options: the one-hour pass or the unlimited pass on weekdays, and the one-hour or two-hour pass on weekends and holidays. I recommend the one-hour pass. A friend and I naively chose the unlimited pass. Not even the ca phe sua da I downed right before entering saved me.
Think trampolines, foam pits, obstacle courses, and rock-climbing walls. There’s also a jungle gym. I probably spent an unnecessary amount of time there for a lady my age.
Spin and Gogh
Yep, you can learn how to throw a pot while sipping on a glass of wine in District 7. Spin & Gogh offers plenty of classes between 9.30am and 6pm, every day of the week. It’s around 300,000 VND for a class, with extra costs for glazing depending on how much paint you use. Their Facebook page lists the range of classes and time slots. You can make a reservation here too.
The atmosphere is relaxed and casual. It’s perfect for novices, intermediates and professionals alike. If that’s not enough of a draw, the teachers are super friendly and encouraging.
Karaoke Sinh Doi Super VIP
There’s nothing quite like belting your lungs out to Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” to release all of that pent-up energy. You’ll be spoiled for choice at Karaoke Sinh Doi Super VIP. The place has a vast selection of English and Vietnamese songs. Pair that with laser-filled, palace inspired rooms that truly bring a new meaning to the word kitsch, and you’re in for a treat.
The venue is open from 1pm to 6pm every day and is the perfect group activity. It costs around 250,000 VND per head. That includes drinks and snacks for parties of 5 or more. Oh, and be sure to buy a banh mi on the way out from the lady near the exit. It will make your day.
Eden Coffee House
Eden Coffee House was pure heaven to my taste buds after a good month or so of craving a hearty western breakfast and a decent cappuccino. (Note to all coffee connoisseurs: they use Illy coffee beans). You can find this café hidden on a quiet side street in Phu My Hung. Expect a struggle to find it on the first visit, and don’t go on a Tuesday. It’s closed. Otherwise, the hours are 8am to 9pm the rest of the week.
Put simply, the prices are low, and the food is really good. Super tasty. Anywhere that incorporates avocado into a least three menu items will always get a pretty good wrap from me. Plus, there’s a rooftop bar. Enough said.
They also have an impromptu bookstore with prices that are next to nothing. (I’m using the term ‘bookstore’ pretty loosely here. It’s actually just a massive bunch of books stacked against the back wall.)
Le Van Luong
You often find things to do in District 7 in its posh neighborhoods. But there are still some pockets where you can soak up a heavy dose of authentic Vietnamese culture. My favorite street for this activity is Le Van Luong.
It has a little bit of everything. You can find your street food fix, plastic chair included, of course. Or perhaps you prefer to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies from one of the many stores that comprise the wet market at the northern end of the street. Maybe you’d rather visit the clothing and produce market further down the road.
This street hits all the senses. Just meander down the way, observe, and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle that forms the identity of the majority of Saigon. It is a priceless experience.
The district that has it all
That’s a slightly biased opinion, but I swear it’s true. Hidden along these serene, lush streets are a vast range of genuine gems.
What are your favorite activities and things to do in District 7?