Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most developed cities in Vietnam. Together with its fast growth rate, more and more constructions appear, and the number of personal vehicles increases constantly. Every inch of green space becomes more precious. Therefore, Tao Dan Park, an open park in the central district of the city, is frequently visited by many citizens who want to enjoy some fresh air.
Address: 55C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
The location of Tao Dan Park is just about 700 meters from Ben Thanh Market. From Le Thanh Ton gate, go straight to the first intersection of Le Thanh Ton - Truong Dinh, turn right and continue to walk for 400 meters. The park would be on your left. Read our guide of Vietnamese street crossing for a safer walk.
This 10-hectare park has more than 1,000 trees, some of which are high-value ones. It is one of the largest parks in the city and surrounded by four bustling roads. Visiting Tao Dan Park is one of the free things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, so you do not have to pay for any entrance fees to explore Vietnamese culture in this open space.
In the near future, the authority plans to take 2,100 sq meters from the area of Tao Dan Park to build the Ho Chi Minh City metro line. Although the locals are excited about the new and convenient means of transport, it is a pity to see a part of the green got cut down.
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More than 150 years ago, the whole grounds of Tao Dan Park was a garden that belonged to the Residence of Governor-General. In 1869, a road (which is now Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street) was built to separate the residence house and the garden. The official name of the garden was Jardin de la Ville, but the local people used to call it Ong Thuong Garden or Bo Ro Garden.
In the years after, on the land of the garden, the city authority constructed facilities for Hoi Hieu Nhac (Philharmonic Society), Hoi Tam Diem (Freemasonry), and Saigon Sports Club including a soccer field, a pool, and a tennis court. The soccer field was the only qualified place to host matches with foreign teams. At the corner of the streets that surrounded the garden, there was also Vien Duc Nhi (Institute of Puericulture).
Tao Dan Park is now a spacious place with many big green trees
After the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the withdrawal of the French in 1954, the Residence of Governor-General became the Presidential Palace, and the name of the garden was changed to Tao Dan Garden. In this period, an elementary school was built in the middle of the garden, but it was expropriated in 1976.
Tao Dan Park is the favorite destination that many families love to visit. In the morning and in the afternoon, groups of people of all ages gather to do exercises together. With the public gym devices that are allocated at the borders of the park, the residents can improve their health while relaxedly talk to their partners. Another popular activity in the park is jogging, or just peacefully sitting at the benches feels great enough. Tao Dan Park also has two playgrounds for young children with different types of slides, swings, and seesaws. Because of which, this is a perfect place to visit if you are traveling in Ho Chi Minh City with your kids.
The diverse types of public gym devices at Tao Dan Park
The colorful playground for kids at the right corner of the park, near Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Gate
The international qualified sand playground on the left side of the park, behind the Ancient Tomb of Lam Family
Moreover, this park is often chosen as the venue for outdoor activities of many youth organizations. On the weekends, the Saigon Scouts would meet and conduct organizational events. It is also known as the location of some flash mob events.
The fountains in the park help create a relaxing atmosphere
The land of the park includes some special constructions. First is the Hung King Temple which is the combination of traditional and modern architecture. The Temple worships National Ancestry Hung Vuong, Mother Au Co, and Ho Chi Minh President. Second is a model of a Po Nagar Cham Tower. The archetype of it is the famous one in Nha Trang. Although this replica is much smaller and some of its details are also simplified, it is still a good reference for those who want to know about the Cham culture. The mysterious vibe of it has become a characteristic of Tao Dan Park. Entering from the Nguyen Thi Minh Khai gate and walkthrough, you would see both the tower and the temple respectively on the right side.
The entrance gate of Hung King Temple has three arches, a popular structure in Vietnamese cultural buildings
The model of Po Nagar Cham Tower in Nha Trang
On the morning of every weekend, there is an interesting and unique activity at Tao Dan Park called the bird-singing contest. Many owners would bring their favorite pet birds here, talk to their peers while listening to their pet’s singing show, and enjoy a Vietnamese drip coffee. Some types of birds that can be found at that show are Oriental Magpie-Robin, Oriole, Songbird, Canary, and more. Their colorful feather and beautiful voice make people relax, temporarily forget about all the chaos of life, and just enjoy the short weekend.
If you have chances to visit Vietnam around February, add Tao Dan Park to your to-visit list. In this period, a Spring Flower Festival would be held for about 2 weeks to celebrate the Vietnamese Tet holiday. Many types of beautiful flowers, precious trees, and miniature oases are exhibited to welcome visitors. Throughout the day, there are also some entertaining activities such as music shows or the Lion Dance show.
In normal days, Tao Dan Park still has many colorful flowers and cacti in every corner
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As a green lung of the city, Tao Dan Park is where you and your family can enjoy the peace and escape from the buzzing city. It provides fresh air and occasions for you to meet and talk with local people. You do not have to pay for any entrance fees.
Read Public Parks in Ho Chi Minh City for more addresses of green spaces.
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