The Vietnamese word for “district” can be either “quan” or “huyen”. While “quan” has a fancy, cosmopolitan feel to it, “huyen” gives off more rustic connotations. Binh Chanh falls into the latter category, often referred to as “huyen Binh Chanh”. But rather than being a dull countryside, Binh Chanh District harbors great potentials. From unique homestay to historical and cultural attractions, the charm of Binh Chanh goes way beyond many locals’ expectations and assumptions, not to mention foreigners’.
Binh Chanh District Overview
Binh Chanh District occupies roughly 12% of Ho Chi Minh City’s total area, which equates to a little over 250 square kilometers, and metaphorically speaking, it guards the western gate of Ho Chi Minh City. Originally, Binh Chanh District even covered a wider area, but in 2003 the city government decided to split a part of it to establish 10 wards for its neighbor district called Binh Tan. With a population of around 460,000 – a density of around 1,800 per km2, Binh Chanh District is divided into 16 communes, the largest one in terms of area is Le Minh Xuan Commune (35 square kilometers) and the smallest one An Phu Tay Commune (5.86 square kilometers).
As a suburban district in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Chanh has neighbors that are, for the most part, suburban as well, namely Hoc Mon District to the north, Binh Tan District, District 7, District 8 and Nha Be District to the east, and three districts of Long An Province to the south and west. With such a location, Binh Chanh District is likened to a pivotal bridge of trade and communication between the Mekong Delta region and the socio-economic centers of the eastern half of South Vietnam. The crucial arteries of Binh Chanh District are Quoc Lo 1A (1A Highway), Nguyen Van Linh Highway, Tinh Lo 10, and Quoc Lo 50.
However, the odds seemingly are not in Binh Chanh’s favor when it comes to nature. The district boasts an extensive number of rivers and channels (10 of which are major ones), yet pollution of varying levels plagues these inherent watercourses due to their position as the lower reach regions. Most pollution stems from poorly treated sewage discharged by major industrial corporations in the city. There are forests in the district too, but their area is quite meager.
The soil is another significant talking point. With very poor soil texture, containing high levels of minerals that are hostile to farming, planting fruits, flowers, and agricultural production, the economy of Binh Chanh District relies most heavily on the industrial sector, followed by commerce and service sector, while agriculture sector accounts for only a meager percentage.
Nevertheless, in terms of socio-economic, Binh Chanh District is the home to a rich and diverse culture featuring the most popular ethnic groups such as Kinh People, Cham People, Khmer People. Visiting Binh Chanh District promises an intriguing cultural experience if one cares to explore.
How to Get to Binh Chanh District
The distance between Binh Chanh District and Tan Son Nhat Airport is 22 kilometers, so the traveling time will vary between 1 hour and 2 hours depending on the means of your choice and the road traffic.
The shortest bus route is Bus No. 148 – Bus No. 09. To follow this route, you need to travel 1.3 km from Tan Son Nhat Airport to Mien Tay Station (West Station), catch the Bus No. 148 to Go Vap, then catch the Bus No. 09 to Hung Long commune in Binh Chanh District.
Total travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
If you want to travel to District 1 and Chinatown first, you can take the shuttle bus from Tan Son Nhat Airport to Ben Thanh Station (No. 109), from Ben Thanh Station to Cho Lon Station (No. 1), and from Cho Lon Station to Binh Chanh District (No. 09). However, it would take more time.
Cost: US$1 (only bus fares included, may cost an extra amount if you take a cab from Tan Son Nhat Airport to West Station).
Travel time is significantly less, around 1 hour only because no wait or finding a bus stop is required. However, the fare will fluctuate between US$8 – US$13.
Attractions in Binh Chanh District
Binh Chanh District used to be an important military base area, so historical sites are a specialty here. Among them, Lang Le – Bau Co and Rach Gia are the most prominent ones. The concrete structures and sculptures in these sites were in fact built after the war, by the district authority and the residents, as an expression of gratitude to the bravery and the sacrifice of Vietnamese soldiers. Also, there are cultural sites that have been around since the early 19th century, such as Tan Tuc Temple.
Along with the landmarks of history, Binh Chanh District has also seen the birth of new and tantalizing entertainment areas, mostly as private businesses. Fishing lakes, amusement parks and breathtaking resorts in Binh Chanh are really worth a visit.
|Lang Le – Bau Co||Free||Ward 1, Tan Nhut Commune||Historical site|
|Lang Le Park|
|Le Chinh Dang Street, Ward 1, Le Minh Xuan Commune||Amusement park|
|Rach Gia||Free||Ward 6, Hung Long Commune||Historical site|
|Bat Buu Phat Dai – Phat Co Don (The Lonely Buddha) Pagoda||Free||Ward 1, Le Minh Xuan Commune||Cultural site|
|Tan Tuc Temple||Free||Nguyen Huu Tri Street, Ward 2, Tan Tuc Commune||Cultural site|
|Phu Lac Temple||Free||E7/117, Ward 5, Phong Phu Commune||Cultural site|
|Xuan Huong Recreational Fishing and Dining||Depends on service type|
(around US$2.5 for fishing)
|C12/40 Long Vinh Street, Ward 5, Binh Hung Commune||Fishing lake and Restaurant|
|Thanh Long Recreational Fishing and Grill Bar||Depends on service type||B8/251 Quoc Lo 50 (Highway No.50), Ward 2, Phong Phu Commune||Fishing lake and Restaurant|
Xuan Huong fishing lake
Lang Le – Bau Co Historical Site
Lang Le Park
|To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!|
Eating in Binh Chanh District
Despite being a suburban district, Binh Chanh is not lesser to any of its downtown counterparts as far as food and dining are concerned. The omnipresent restaurants and coffee shops here are go-to spots for family gatherings, meetups and after-work parties, on weekends and weekdays alike.
To enjoy the best of Binh Chanh cuisine, simply go to Pham Hung street. See the table below for more details.
|Local Food Restaurants|
Cua Ven Song (Riverside Seafood Restaurant) – C4/28 Pham Hung Street, Binh Hung Commune
BBQ restaurant, Grill bars, Goat hot pot restaurants and Vietnamese cuisine restaurants can be found in Trung Son Residential Area
|Street Eats||All kinds of Vietnamese snacks and street eats can be found on Pham Hung Street|
|Fast Food Restaurants|
KFC Centre Mall – C6/27 Pham Hung Street, Binh Hung Commune
Lotteria – D19/22/2 Vinh Loc Street, Vinh Loc B Commune
Love Garden – B11/1J, Ward 2A, Vinh Loc B Commune
Paris Cafe – 12 Street No. 10A, Phong Phu Commune
Shopping in Binh Chanh District
This may be the one aspect that Binh Chanh is quite lacking in compared to other districts. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why residents there lean towards online shopping and relies much on shipping services, which coined a popular joke going around on social media, that shipping to Binh Chanh can cost as much as international shipping.
Binh Chanh Market is the biggest and busiest one in the area. And unlike Hoc Mon District which seems to be more rustic, Binh Chanh has a modern Centre Mall in Pham Hung Street.
|Category||Address||What to Buy|
Binh Chanh Market – QL1A (Highway 1A), Binh Chanh Commune
Hung Long Market – Doan Nguyen Tuan Street, Hung Long Commune
|Clothes, Groceries, Fruits, Arts, and Crafts|
|Shopping Malls||Centre Mall – C6/27 Pham Hung Street, Binh Hung Commune||Clothes, Groceries, Fruits, and Cosmetics|
Binh Chanh Market at daylight with the open-air parking plot characteristic of Vietnamese markets
Pham Hung Centre Mall
Nightlife in Binh Chanh District
Again it might not be the place where you turn to for wild parties or crowded bars and clubs, but the bountiful businesses including street eat carts, open-air restaurants, and cafes that stay up late to serve customers can always give you a lovely peaceful night on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Summary on Binh Chanh District in Ho Chi Minh City
A district that embraces great history and culture, Binh Chanh is an important piece in the puzzle of Ho Chi Minh City. Go to Binh Chanh District if you fancy a joyful fishing experience and to find out how life is on the edge of Ho Chi Minh City.
If you’re fascinated by the other side of the dynamic and modern Ho Chi Minh City, check out this Unseen Saigon Tour.