There are certain areas in Ho Chi Minh City where the streets are strangely clean, prices oddly high, and the sounds and smells have drifted into the background. Nowhere better personifies this futuristic Saigon than District 7. These are our top picks for a day or night out in a different area of Ho Chi Minh City.
In a district largely void of nightlife, shopping is king and the Crescent is the king of kings. Located in the ultra exclusive Phu My Hung area of District 7, this is one of Saigon’s newest, fanciest shopping centres. High-end retailers and countless international brands target Saigon’s young well-to-do shoppers throughout the sleekly designed 45,000-square-foot (4,180sq-m) space. On occasion, the modern complex plays host to concerts, art shows and cultural exhibits. It’s a one of a kind experience in Ho Chi Minh City.
Just outside the shopping centre, a large man-made lake provides a peaceful and refreshing escape from the madness of Saigon’s streets. Walk around until you meet the Starlight Bridge and the rainbow reflecting vibrantly through the mist of falling water to the lake below. It’s one of the most romantic scenes the city has to offer and full of many young couples enjoying each other’s company. An evening lounging in the cool air, taking it all in, can feel like a vacation from Vietnam’s largest, wildest city.
District 7 offers several greener escapes from the busy city centre, and if you’re looking for fresh air then be sure to take in Ho Ban Nguyet Park. Ideal if you’re looking for a place to run during your visit to District 7, the park’s flat surfaces offer a great track to stretch your legs on. Located only five minutes from the Crescent Mall, it’s a great place for a stroll or a picnic.
Escape rooms have started popping up across HCMC, and right now no one’s doing it better than Lost. With a number of different options to choose from, including Aladdin, Horror and Zombies, this spot offers some of the most fun to be had in District 7. The concept is simple enough: escape the room. The practice is just a tad more difficult. In 45 minutes, about half of the participants in Lost manage to find their way to freedom.
If art, or eccentricity, are your thing, then you should definitely check out the Artinus gallery. Filled with 3D paintings that you can become part of, the gallery is made up of nine zones, each dedicated to a different theme or style of painting. Check out the Giant Zone, Animal Zone, Aqua Zone or, if you like your art a bit more traditional, maybe spend your time in the Masterpiece Zone.
Ho Chi Minh has become a karaoke paradise. Everywhere you look, drunken groups, families and trendy teens are belting out tunes on handheld karaoke machines. District 7 happens to be home to some of Saigon’s best and swankiest karaoke clubs. If you’ve got the courage, or if you’ve consumed enough of the liquid kind, head inside and outdo the locals.
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