Parks, Ho Chi Minh City
Cong Vien Van Hao Park offers a respite from not only the hectic atmosphere of the city but also from its hot muggy climate. Set amongst countless imposing tropical trees, this lush and shady oasis is a popular place for locals and tourists to get some exercise in. There are tennis courts, a weight room and even a swimming pool that were once the propriety of the French Colonists. Now, even backpackers can use them, for a fee of course. If money is an object, you can enjoy the quiet solitude on a shady bench for free.
To the South West of the reunification palace is a big garden where it is agreeable to forget for a while the traffic noise, to walk under huge trees and discover small temples in the green surroundings and some “interesting” modern statues.
In the middle of the park is this little Hindu style temple: Tháp Chãm trong công viên Tao Ðàn (first picture); this little red brick construction under the lush vegetation reminds me shrines of Bali. . . . . as well as does this Shiva with her high cap on this small altar (picture 2).
Another temple, Den Tho - Vua Hung (picture 3), Buddhist, this time, may be worth a visit, as it is quiet here, and the manicured garden and the flowered alleys are just inviting to do so!
When you observe the workers in the garden, it is not a surprise, the gardens look really “manicured”! (picture 4).
And it is interesting to think how in the wet climate of Vietnam, the gardeners manage to maintain a Mediterranean garden with lots of cactuses (picture 5); Walking there is just relaxing and a feast for the eyes!
Tao Dan Cultural Park is located in District 1, surrounded by the Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Cach Mang Thang Tam, Nguyen Du, and Huyen Tran Cong Chua streets.
If you need a short break from the hectic Ho Chi Minh City, you should stroll through the park, it is a nice and peaceful place; very green with lots of flowers and gigantic trees, and also home of a few modern statues and a small Buddhist Shrine. Tao Dan Cultural Park is a popular place among the locals, and you’ll see many people here walking, jogging, relaxing or practising tai chi.
When you enter Cong Vien Tao Dan Park on Duong Nguyen Thi Minh Khai side, you are “welcomed” by a strange statue which I still do not know what it represents (first picture): a soldier? (What is he doing?) A scout? This certainly tells a story, but I cannot figure out. . . .
There are apparently marble surpluses in Vietnam, as I have seen lots of white marble statues in other places of Vietnam. . . . . On the East side the park is almost crowded with statues of all sorts of style, shapes, inspiration. . . . . (picture 2); well, you have to slow down your walk and have a look at some of them; some are interesting, like this “maternity” (picture 3), other are funny or really childish in their inspiration like the one on picture 4. I don’t know what Beethoven would think of this (picture 5) bust supposed to represent him; may be it is not him, as the engraved name is BETTHOVEN. . . . . . I would not like this in my garden. . . but sense for beauty is very variable among human. . . . .
If you want to get an adrenaline rush, or just blow off a little steam, head to the race track. You can race your buddies for 50,000 VND ($3.25). That gives you 6 laps around the track. It's a little expensive, but I think it's worth the thrill.
It's quite impossible to find a place where there's no or low pollution. Motorcycles zipping all over the place, and the honking adds to the noise pollution.
It was great that my hotel was just in front of Tao Dan Park. One of the larger parks in Ho Chi Minh City, walking into the park brings you into another dimension.
Somehow, the noise seems to stop, and the place was a tinge bit cooler. Nice water fountain and big hanging trees adds to the serenity of the place. The park was teeming with life. Older folks were just sitting around for that morning chat; Adults doing their morning exercise "Qi Gong".
To the left of the park was a children playground. It was really impressive in terms of the overall quality of the equipment and the effort that the government has placed on giving the young a place to call their own.
Ho Chi Minh city has many parks for you to go to. It's no wonder the Vietnamese are slim people, I see them at the parks every morning exercising before they go off to work. You wouldn't see an empty park but full of people doing some form of tai-chi, volleyball, badminton, aerobics or jogging
Forget the gym, just go out and join the locals for some healthy fun!
Walking down the road from the Post Office, we came across a lovely park. I was nice to take a bit of time out from the mad traffic for a bit. Mind you, we could still hear the horn honking :o)
Lam Son Square is a large park in front of the Hotel de Ville. It is full of tourists and locals, even at night. The tourists busily snapping photos while the locals are attempting to sell chewing gum, books, fans, postcards and other trinkets. Typically the sales people are children with their parents lurking behind to keep a watchful eye. This park also has an impressive statue of benevolent Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) cradling a child in his arms.
Me Linh Square is in the middle of a major traffic circle (or traffic half-circle may be more accurate as it is a D shape). From this intersection, seven streets fan out to the north, east, and south. To the west is the Saigon River. There is a statue of Tran Hung Dao, a former president of South Vietnam, the center of this square.
Just taking a walk around Saigon will show you a lot about the city, and capital of the south, which is very different to Hanoi.
You'll be able to see, what the real Saigon is like, and how very french the place still feels after the long french occupation.
It will make an interesting walk, as you wont have seen it before in vietnam. Its also a cheap way of seeing the city if money is an issue.
HCMC District 1 has many parks, this one is located near my favourite shopping centre: Tax. The park was very green and well kept, extremely contrast with the hustle and bustle (read: motorbikes) in the city centre.
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Ho Chi Minh City has some really good parks to relax and escape from the constant din of motorbikes that pervade the city. Tall tropical trees cover the greeneries and some interesting sculptures and ponds to help you reflect and ponder.
At Saigon Water Park, you can beat the heat by wading in the Wave Pool, or shooting down one of the many water slides the park has to offer. Whether you're looking for some excitement, or just a cool place to relax, you can accomplish both here. The entrance fee is around 60,000 dong ($4 US).