While there are multiple public parks in Ho Chi Minh City, 23-9 Park or September 23rd Park is one of a kind and a must-visit. It is the only park to house a huge, extravagant underground shopping and culinary complex, not to mention its convenient location in the heart of District 1. Find out in details what to do at 23-9 Park!
Location: Pham Ngu Lao ward, District 1 - about 5 minutes from Ben Thanh Market
How to get here: by bus (common in-town bus routes: No. 03, 04, 11, 13, 18, 19), by taxi, or on motorbikes with local guides
23-9 Park (Cong Vien 23 Thang 9 in Vietnamese, translated as “September 23rd Park”) is the massive green oasis of the city, stretching from Quach Thi Trang roundabout (currently under construction) to Thai Binh Market on Pham Ngu Lao street.
Unlike other parks, 23-9 Park is interrupted by some busy main roads. In fact, take Nguyen Thi Nghia Street as the dividing line, we have two halves of the park: Section A from Quach Thi Trang works to Nguyen Thi Nghia, and Section B is the remaining part including a major bus station.
These interruptions indeed reflect a turbulent history no other parks possess: each divided section was once either part of a railway in the 19th century, or an abandoned cultural center project in the late 1990s, or an unsuccessful office building plan in the early 2000s.
The green that soothes your soul at September 23rd Park
Children’s playground in Section A of September 23rd Park
Visitor support center and money exchange point at 23-9 Park
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Different entrances to Sense Market
Location: Underground of Section B at 23-9 Park, 04 Pham Ngu Lao street, District 1
Opening hours: 10 AM - 10:30 PM
September 23rd Park is home to a massive underground entertainment complex - Sense Market, covering an area of 11,000 sq meters, featuring varied shopping experience with Taka Plaza and CoopMart supermarket, an international culinary discovery with Asiana Food Town, and a vibrant arcade game area.
Taka Plaza can be likened to the famous shopping mall Saigon Square, which means the place offers a wide range of fashion and clothing items, from womenswear, menswear, childrenswear to sunglasses, wallets, jewelry, and accessories. Prices range similarly to familiar fashion streets in the city, which means around US$9-15 on average.
Clothing items are the main focus at Taka Plaza
Co.opMart supermarket is another option within the premises of Sense Market, catering to the needs for veggies, fresh ingredients, and other groceries.
Co.opMart / CoopFood supermarket inside Sense Market
Vibrant arcade game area next to CoopMart supermarket
A number of weekend markets (on Saturdays and Sundays, starting from late morning to night) like The Box market are based at the September 23rd Park. These weekend markets also focus on fashion items, starring top local fashion merchants in the city introducing their best sellers and offering attractive deals. Besides, there are also artistry stalls in the markets, providing instant portrait sketching or nail art.
When it comes to eating, Asiana Food Town is the pride of 23-9 Park. As part of the Sense Market, this diverse food court can be spotted right after you enter the entrance of Sense Market. Multiple restaurants and culinary brand names congregate at this spot, offering varied menus with Vietnamese delicacies of all regions - North, Central, and South, besides delectable desserts and international cuisine. Prices are in general reasonable - You can have a Vietnamese lunch with rice, sauteed meat, and veggies at only US$ 2-3. Hotpot would cost above US$ 7. Browse around the court to find and decide your favorite.
Beautiful design of Asiana Food Town with lanterns that remind of Hoi An
Enjoying Vietnamese lunch at US$ 2
September 23rd Park can be a fun place to hang out, especially at night, because from late afternoon street vendors will start their business on the side of the park (the side that faces Le Lai street); groups of locals start their bonding activities that are willing to welcome interested outsiders. But above all, the one activity that you should feel free to join without fears is shuttlecock kicking! You’ll be amazed at how good Vietnamese are at this game, and no matter how badly you may play, don’t fear you’ll spoil the fun, just keep playing, learning is part of the fun and locals are especially generous to beginners.
Shuttlecock kicking with locals at the entrance of Sense Market at night
Street vendors at night
Sense Market at night
The exercise apparatus in September 23rd Park is not so varied but can cater to simple needs like cycling and lower body exercise. Find the apparatus at the Le Lai street side of the park. Jogging, walking, or running can also be good options in this spacious park.
Exercise apparatus at 23-9 Park
Free public restrooms in the park
September 23rd Park is a frequent venue for important cultural events or festivals of the city. If you’re lucky, you’ll come to the park right when such events are taking place, and it can be a memorable experience. Big events that took place include Japanese Cherry Blossoms Festivals, Vietnamese Spring Festival / Spring Flower Festival, Korean Food Fair Festival, and so on.
The globe pillar is a signature of 23-9 Park. It promotes important public messages
Sen Hong Stage (Pink Lotus Stage) is another entertainment choice at 23-9 Park
Water puppetry on Le Lai Street side of the park
Yolo Pub and Club in the premises of 23-9 Park
Within walking distance from September 23rd Park is the busy and fun backpackers’ district with the well-known Bui Vien Walking Street. Or you can visit the Thai Binh Market at the end of the park to get a feel of local markets in Ho Chi Minh City. And if you want a motorbike city tour with expert local guides that covers all the best attractions, check out our Day Adventure tour now!
Thai Binh Market right opposite the park
The true definition of “All in one place”, September 23rd Park is your perfect choice for a breath of fresh air, a day of shopping and eating indulgence, or light exercise and mingling with locals in shuttlecock kicking. A must-visit park in Ho Chi Minh City!
Find out about another park in District 1 with dynamic bonding activities of locals: Tao Dan Park!
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© Written by Vy Thai for itourvn.com