Top Things To See and Do in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Downtown District 4
Downtown District 4 | © Xuan Nguyen / Shutterstock
Photo of Matthew Pike
Writer25 February 2018

District 4 carries a darker reputation among the many districts in Ho Chi Minh City because of its underworld associations, but those days are largely over as Vietnam’s economy continues to roar along. Here’s why you should hop over the canal and have a look around District 4.

Look for some seafood on Vĩnh Khánh Street

Being a coastal nation, Vietnam brings in a lot of seafood. There’s never a shortage of squid, snails, octopus and all kinds of big fish. To enjoy some of the freshest and tastiest underwater snacks you’ve ever had, trek over to Vĩnh Khánh Street. This area is famous for its seafood, and not many tourists make the journey. This is a great way to see an authentic side of the city – away from the glitz and crowds of District 1. For a sure bet, try Quán Ốc Thảo 2.

Quán Ốc Thảo 2, 99 Vĩnh Khánh, District 4, Hồ Chí Minh City +84 93 211 70 78

Extra spicy, please | © VLADYSLAV DANILIN/Shutterstock

Extra spicy, please | © VLADYSLAV DANILIN/Shutterstock

Go on a river boat cruise

Many prestigious river tour companies launch from District 4. You can choose from several modern and luxurious cruise boats, including the massive Elisa. It’s quite impressive. There are options to match any budget, so make a date of it and float in style.

Elisa Floating Restaurant, 5 Nguyễn Tất Thành Street, District 4, Hồ Chí Minh City +84 93 856 81 82

Sails may not work as intended | © TK kurikawa/Shutterstock

Sails may not work as intended | © TK kurikawa/Shutterstock

Check out a bridge built by Gustave Eiffel's company

Map View
To feel a sense of old Saigon, look no further than Rainbow Bridge – also called Green Bridge – which spans the Bến Nghé River between Districts 1 and 4. It’s the last remaining vestige of Gustave Eiffel’s genius in this city, built in 1894 to connect the downtown with the headquarters of the French Compagnie des messageries maritimes. For young lovers in Saigon – and now in Ho Chi Minh City – the bridge has always been a place to feel the romance.

Eat at Sushi Ko

If you want to see District 4, but you’re not too enthused about sitting in tiny chairs on a crowded sidewalk, then here’s a fancier option for you. This will also satisfy your sushi cravings, which, if you’re anything like us, is a constant mental battle between eating sushi and anything else – and sushi often wins.

Sushi Ko, 122 Vĩnh Khánh Street, District 4, Hồ Chí Minh City +84 122 256 8152

Shop at Xóm Chiếu Market

Market, Vietnamese
Map View
The markets nearer to the tourist areas, such as the famous Ben Thanh Market, are dense with aggressive shopkeepers trying to force you to buy their underwhelming souvenirs. To see a market where locals actually shop, visit the Xóm Chiếu Market. It’s crowded, but the vendors are much friendlier. We recommend you try some local gelatin desserts while you’re there. And just a heads up: the market doesn’t open until 3pm.