Four reasons to take a stroll down Saigon’s first pedestrian street

By Kim Thuy   June 24, 2016 | 09:54 pm GMT+7

The vibrant and crowded Saigon offers an area for people to have fun and relax without being bothered by incessant traffic. Nguyen Hue, Saigon’s first walking street, is the perfect place to do just that. But wait! It's not just about walking...

1. Experiencing local tastes and culture

Opened in 2015, the street has become a hot venue for locals to enjoy a vibrant outdoor atmosphere. People of all ages can be seen here enjoying the space and the entertainment that immerses you in the local culture.

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The street at night. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Truong

I visited the street one night in June and the first thing that caught my attention was a group of kids running and chasing each other around a tree while others were blowing bubbles. Childhood memories suddenly kicked, and yes, that was what I used to do in all the free time I had when I was a kid. 

I saw families playing and eating; friends chatting, singing and taking selfies; and couples walking hand in hand.

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Photo by VnExpress

At that moment, I felt like everything I needed to know about local life and leisure was there. A picture with a lot to tell, and a genuine pleasure just to sit back and observe. Saigon grabs the hearts of tourists with these simple things.

2. Street performances

As well as holding parades, meetings, street festivals and exhibitions, Nguyen Hue Street also provides the perfect stage for street performers.

Usually in the evening, guitar playing, dancing and singing by local artists and amateurs are there for you to take in with no ticket required, giving the city's walking street a real carnival buzz.

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A street dancing show. Photo by VnExpress/Kim Thuy

And, if you have some talent and confidence, don't hesitate to join in with the performances or even host your own show if you dare to shine.

In the baking heat, Nguyen Hue is the ideal place for a Saigon summer tour.

3. One big supermarket

Lining the street is pretty much everything you could ask for. From cheap, diverse, yummy local street food stores, to high-class, international restaurants and coffee shops and bars. Clothes, souvenirs, cultural products... I could go on! Anything you need can be found on the street, and you don't have to travel far to find it.

You can also rent a hoverboard to cruise up and down the wide boulevard to enjoy the breeze in the city center, and it's close to famous tourist attractions such as Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral and Nha Rong Wharf.

The street is only 500 meters from Ben Thanh Market so it is easily walkable if you want to go shopping at the city's biggets market or go to District 1.

The city's tallest building Bitexco can also be seen lit up at night, or alternatively having dinner or a cup of coffee on a balcony above the street is not a bad choice.

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Photo by kenh14.vn

4. Safety first!

In such a crowded place, pickpockets are naturally a concern for tourists. To ensure people feel completely secure and at ease on the street, a number of security cameras have been installed.

Security guards, both in plain clothes and uniforms, also patrol the street on the look-out for petty thieves.

However, be careful when strangers approach you. Do not stand too close to them and keep your possessions out of reach. Some Vietnamese have reported their property had been snatched after a stranger came and asked them for directions. You can also shout for help because on such a crowded street, it is not easy for thieves to get away.

If you have a chance to visit Saigon, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy its first walking street and get a taste of local culture. 

Tips: Wifi is free on the street, so make use of it.

It costs VND10,000 to leave your vehicle in the parking lot.

 
 
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