Exploring Saigon's Thao Cam Vien in 2023: Routes and Experiences

Exploring Saigon's Thao Cam Vien in 2023: Routes and Experiences

Thao Cam Vien, not only popular among Saigonese but also among visitors from around the world, invites you to discover its unique space with BDATrip. It serves both as a recreational playground and as a leading biodiversity conservation park in Saigon.

Overview of Thao Cam Vien

Also known as the Sai Gon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Thao Cam Vien is a French architectural endeavor dating back to 1864. Designed to be a zoo combined with a botanical research center for the scientific community of Indochina, it officially opened to the public on July 14, 1869. Over the years, Thao Cam Vien has not only become the largest park in Vietnam but is also recognized as one of the oldest zoos in the world, ranking eighth in longevity.

A notable feature here is the richness and diversity of the flora and fauna. Home to 590 animals from 125 species and 1830 plants from 260 species, some individuals are over a hundred years old. Additionally, the presence of 20 orchid species, 32 types of cacti, and about 34 bonsai species adds to its uniqueness.

Zoo and Botanical Garden is always an attractive entertainment destination in Saigon
Zoo and Botanical Garden is always an attractive entertainment destination in Saigon

Today, Thao Cam Vien spans an estimated 20 hectares and is divided into two main areas: the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo. Visitors entering the main gate are greeted by the Hung King Temple, a historical structure built in 1929, and the Vietnam History Museum, which preserves and conveys cultural and historical values to everyone.

For Saigon residents, Thao Cam Vien is more than just a zoo; it is the "green lung" of the city, a precious heritage, a symbol, and a source of pride. Annually attracting millions of visitors, it becomes an indispensable destination during holidays and Tet, offering a cool, green space and environmental education for all ages.

Where is Thao Cam Vien Located?

Thao Cam Vien is located at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, encircled by three main streets: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Nguyen Huu Canh, and Nguyen Binh Khiem, while its northeast side borders the Thi Nghe Canal. This location is not only prime for its proximity to the Independence Palace but also for being just about 2.4km away from the bustling Nguyen Hue walking street, making it an ideal spot for both tourists and locals.

Details on Ticket Prices and Visiting Hours for Thao Cam Vien

The entrance fee for Thao Cam Vien is set as follows: adults need a ticket of 60,000 VND, while children between 1m and 1m3 height can enter at a discounted rate of 40,000 VND. Children under 1m are granted free admission. For those arriving by vehicle, a parking fee of 5,000 VND is required.

Ticket sales locations and ticket prices are always public
Ticket sales locations and ticket prices are always public

Thao Cam Vien welcomes visitors from Monday to Sunday, operating in two time frames: from 5 am to 6:30 am for exercising activities and from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm for tourist and recreational purposes.

Getting to Thao Cam Vien: A Guide

Visitors can choose from a variety of transport options to get to Thao Cam Vien. If opting for a motorcycle, entry is possible through the main gate on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street or the side gate along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. Both routes offer convenient parking for visitors. Similarly, those preferring to drive can park at the side gate on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, where parking facilities are readily available.

Easily find the Zoo in the heart of bustling Saigon
Easily find the Zoo in the heart of bustling Saigon

Additionally, Thao Cam Vien is easily accessible by bus, with two popular routes being number 05, connecting Ben Thanh Market to Bien Hoa Bus Station, and number 14, running from Eastern Bus Station through 3/2 Street to Western Bus Station. The number 05 bus operates from 5 am to 5:50 pm with a ticket price of 15,000 VND, while the number 14 bus runs from 4 am to 8 pm at a cost of only 6,000 VND. The waiting time for each bus trip is approximately 25 - 30 minutes for route number 05 and 7 - 12 minutes for route number 14, allowing visitors to plan their visit without long waits.

Suggestions for Visiting Thao Cam Vien

Zoo Visit

Exploring the rich and diverse animal world is a unique experience not to be missed at Thao Cam Vien. Visitors can admire a variety of wild animals such as Elephants, Tigers, Leopards, Crocodiles, and Ostriches, including some rare species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world.

The zoo is right in the Botanical Garden
The zoo is right in the Botanical Garden

In addition to viewing wild animals, visitors can also explore the children's zoo, home to adorable domestic animals like sheep, goats, and rabbits. You can even participate directly in feeding them for a small fee of about 15,000 VND per bundle of food, creating memorable and close-to-nature moments.

Challenge Your Limits with Thrilling Rides

To offer an exhilarating and memorable experience for young visitors, Thao Cam Vien has incorporated several adventurous and thrilling rides into its amusement area. Attractions such as hot air balloons, bumper cars, trains, and roller coasters are designed to cater to diverse tastes and bring exciting moments to guests.

The Zoo is always very crowded with visitors on weekends
The Zoo is always very crowded with visitors on weekends

Outdoor Photography

With its majestic natural beauty and unique photo spots, Thao Cam Vien is a favorite destination for the youth looking to capture memorable moments through impressive check-in photos. The images not only appear mystical and magnificent but also enhance the aesthetic value of each scene. Additionally, it is a top choice for couples and groups of friends organizing yearbook photo shoots, creating memorable and distinctive photo collections.

Enjoy the Essence of Art Performances

Thao Cam Vien offers a unique cultural experience through art performances held on weekends, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. At the music stage, visitors can enjoy two performances, one in the morning from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and another in the afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm, each featuring a variety of themes.

The open space is filled with green trees
The open space is filled with green trees

Furthermore, the Vietnam History Museum also hosts traditional water puppet shows, where talented artists narrate folk tales through intricate puppetry movements. This not only serves as entertainment but also as a way for visitors to explore and appreciate Vietnamese culture through distinctive art performances.

Explore the Scenery by Electric Car

This mini-tourism service offers an experience akin to a real Safari adventure. Comfortably seated in an electric car, you'll be taken through diverse paths, from the botanical garden to the zoo area, enjoying the natural beauty and rich flora and fauna. Tickets are easily purchasable at the ticket booth near the main entrance, to the left, next to the museum.

Children's Playground

Thao Cam Vien features a playground designed for children, where they can engage in a variety of fun games such as space swings, continuous ball houses, water parks, bouncing animals, and simple yet enjoyable fishing activities, making it an ideal destination for young ones.

Inside there are many romantic photo-taking scenes
Inside there are many romantic photo-taking scenes

Checklist for Visiting Thao Cam Vien

When planning a picnic day at Thao Cam Vien, ensure you're fully prepared with necessities such as food, beverages, and a mat. Opt for comfortable footwear like sports shoes, flats, sandals, or low heels to easily navigate the extensive grounds.

Don't forget to bring sun protection gear like a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent to safeguard yourself from the sun and bugs. If you're a photography enthusiast, make sure your camera is fully charged and bring a backup charger.

Checking the weather forecast before leaving home can help you avoid any inconveniences caused by unexpected weather changes. Especially during holidays or weekends, Thao Cam Vien often hosts exciting art and circus performances, offering a great opportunity to enjoy impressive shows.

Thao Cam Vien is a beloved destination attracting thousands of visitors daily. With its lush greenery and diverse wildlife, the park offers a unique experience unmatched elsewhere in the city. Don't hesitate to take some time to explore and enjoy the interesting features this place has to offer.

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