VietnamHo Chi MinhThanh Da Island - Saigon’s Peaceful Hideaway

Thanh Da Island – Saigon’s Peaceful Hideaway

Among Saigon’s rapid urbanization, a hidden island is not so far from the center of a bustling metropolis. Thanh Da Island can be seen as a sort of rural oasis for an escape from the atmosphere of a crowded, active city. The island is located just 8km from the center of District 1, Saigon’s downtown area, and is accessible by a single bridge that connects the two parts of the city.

History of Thanh Da Island

thanh da island saigons peaceful hideaway boat nets
Sights of wooden boats and fishing nets throughout Thanh Da Island’s river

Thanh Da Island is a part of Binh Thanh District and was originally a peninsula surrounded by the Saigon River on three sides, creating a giant loop. However, at some point, the city decided that a canal was necessary to shorten the connection between the river. This canal was constructed across the peninsula’s narrowest part, effectively changing the area’s landscape into a 500-hectare island.

After the canal’s construction, Dubai’s investors backed big urbanization plans for Thanh Da Island, aiming for a state-of-the-art supercity with many high-rise buildings, shopping malls, a university, and more. Unfortunately, the project was shortly halted. All of these reasons are said to have resulted in why Thanh Da Island remains an old-fashioned environment amidst a thriving modern metropolis.

thanh da island old apartments
Old apartments are a signature in Thanh Da

Staying in Thanh Da Island

As mentioned, hardly can visitors find any grand and dazzling hotels or buildings in Thanh Da. Fortunately, since the area is not so far from the city center, you can enjoy the comfort of first-class hotels in District 1 and then make your way to venture to the different side of Saigon. Additionally, one can find some cozy farm stays or Airbnb around the area for a quick escape to nature.

Find hotels around Thanh Da area:

Attractions and Activities on Thanh Da Island

Even though Thanh Da Island remains relatively underdeveloped compared to other adjacent areas, the government has taken up the responsibility of ensuring Thanh Da Island can still thrive. Binh Quoi Tourist Villages is a government-owned establishment that attracts tourists with its authentic rustic Vietnamese countryside appeal. There are a total of three separate villages to the Binh Quoi Tourist Villages attraction. These villages all feature wooden bamboo bridges, bamboo water wheels, fishing nets, rowboats, etc., all to recreate an environment akin to 1970s traditional rural sceneries. Due to these reminiscent settings, the villages are often popular locations for photography, especially for weddings.

thanh da island saigons peaceful hideaway lotus pond
A gorgeous lotus pond on Thanh Da Island
thanh da island saigons peaceful hideaway backyard
The cozy backyard of the Binh Quoi villages

Besides these attractions, visitors to the villages can go on a biking tour around the area and partake in rowing a bamboo boat across the river, crossing the monkey bridge, swimming (indoor and outdoor), fishing, and more. If you choose to participate in fishing, you may keep what you catch and take it home or prepare it on-site as a meal. There are also many restaurants all around Binh Quoi parks with an open-air buffet on the weekends that can be enjoyed under thatched cottages while surrounded by tropical foliage.

Last Words on Thanh Da Island – Saigon’s Peaceful Hideaway

If you want a rural countryside experience without traveling far from the city’s center, Thanh Da Island is the perfect destination. With the atmosphere of a peaceful rural village and various relaxing activities, Thanh Da Island is indeed a hidden gem in Saigon’s metropolis.

Check out more fun things to do in Saigon:
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