Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most developed cities in Vietnam. 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 city’s central district, is frequently visited by many citizens who want fresh air.
Where is Tao Dan Park?
Address: 55C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
The location of the 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.
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 is 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 any entrance fees to explore Vietnamese culture in this open space.
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In the near future, the authority plans to take 2,100 square 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 cut down.
The History of Tao Dan Park
More than 150 years ago, the whole area of Tao Dan Park was a garden that belonged to the Residence of the Governor-General. In 1869, a road (now Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street) was built to separate the residence house and the garden. The garden’s official name 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. There was also Vien Duc Nhi (Institute of Puericulture) at the corner of the streets surrounding the garden.
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 the Governor-General became the Presidential Palace, and the garden’s name was changed to Tao Dan Garden.
What to Do in Tao Dan Park
Exercising and Relaxing
Tao Dan Park is the favorite destination that many families love to visit. In the morning and the afternoon, groups of people of all ages gather to do exercises together. With the public gym devices allocated at the park’s borders, the residents can improve their health while relaxing and talking to their partners. Another popular activity in the park is jogging or peacefully sitting on the benches, which feels excellent enough. Tao Dan Park also has two playgrounds for young children with different types of slides, swings, and seesaws, and because of this, 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
Moreover, many youth organizations, scout groups, and university students would gather at the park to participate in group activities. On the weekends, the Saigon Scouts would meet and conduct organizational events. The park is also a stunning background for flash mob events.
The fountains in the park help create a relaxing atmosphere
Visiting the Temples
The park’s land includes some special constructions. First is the Hung King Temple, which combines traditional and modern architecture. The Temple worships the National Ancestry of Hung Vuong, Mother Au Co, and Ho Chi Minh President. The 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 more miniature and some details are 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
Festivals and Contests
On the morning of every weekend, there is an exciting 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 Vietnamese coffee.
If you can visit Vietnam around February, add Tao Dan Park to your to-visit list. A Spring Flower Festival would occur for about two weeks to celebrate the Vietnamese Tet holiday. Many beautiful flowers, precious trees, and miniature oases are exhibited to welcome visitors. There are also some entertaining activities throughout the day, such as music shows or the Lion Dance show.
Tao Dan Park has many colorful flowers and cacti on every corner
Summary of Tao Dan Park in District 1
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 to meet and talk with locals. You do not have to pay for any entrance fees.
Read Public Parks in Ho Chi Minh City for more addresses of green spaces.