Spanning around 25 acres (10 hectares) in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Tao Dan Park is a fresh green space where locals exercise, particularly tai chi in the morning, aerobics after work, and badminton on weekends. Besides the pool, tennis courts, and sculpture garden, many travelers love the bird café, where local men bring pet birds.
You don’t need a guide to visit Tao Dan Park, and many travelers opt to explore independently. It’s logical to combine Tao Dan Park with the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace) next door or a stroll around Ben Thanh Market down the road. Tao Dan Park is an occasional stop on walking, cyclo, and motorbike tours of Saigon. Look for a tour that departs in the morning to make the most of the atmosphere and catch the bird café in action.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tao Dan Park is a must for people watchers.
- The swimming pool at the Labor Culture Palace, a former colonial club, will appeal to anyone who loves art deco.
- The main paths in Tao Dan Park are wide, flat, and accessible to travelers who use wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Set right behind the Reunification Palace in the heart of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Tao Dan Park is under half a mile (800 meters) from the Ben Thanh Bus Station, which offers connections all over the city, including to the airport. Given the language barrier, some travelers may still find it easier to hire a driver or arrange an organized tour.
When to Get There
Tao Dan Park is open from early in the morning until late in the evening seven days a week. Visit in the early morning or late afternoon for a fascinating slice of life as locals exercise en masse: tai chi is most popular in the morning, with aerobics in the late afternoon. The bird café is mainly a morning event.
Morning in Ho Chi Minh City
Folk rise early in Ho Chi Minh City, as they do in many parts of Southeast Asia, and an early morning tour is a chance to see a side of the city that tourists rarely witness. Take in bustling produce markets, elderly citizens performing tai chi in Tao Dan Park, and sunrise on the Saigon River.