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Thu Duc Saigon - A joyful suburb
Thu Duc District - Where and Why?
Saigon originally represented for some center districts, say, Dist. 1, 3, 5; however, along with the modernization and industrialization process of the country, the city was beefed up and expanded. Subsequently, Thu Duc Dist., as a part of the metropolis has been changed and developed with such a name since 1868 under French Colonialization. In 1997, this administrative unit was divided into 3 parts, namely Thu Duc Dist., Dist. 9 and Dist. 2. The present Thu Duc becomes as busy as the downtown is.
Around 15km from the city center, Thu Duc occupies 48km2 over 12 wards. This place hosts a lot of universities, namely Vietnam National University (a group of privileged universities including Uni of Social Sciences and Humanities, Uni of Science, etc.), University of Agriculture and Forestry, Uni of Technology and Education, and so on, which altogether brings out a nickname called University Village or "Lang Dai Hoc". People flock to this place for study, along with existing residents, who contribute to the thrive of the town. Therefore, this population gave birth to a large number of services from entertainment to eating. Though natural spots seem uninteresting, this town turns out to be a nice choice as a getaway at weekends. Come check it out.
How to get there?
From the downtown, you can get to Thu Duc through several thoroughfares. For example, take a bus No. 6, 8, 10, 53, 56 or so, which will lead you to some destinations in Thu Duc, anyway, you can just stop at the University of Technology and Education (Đại học Sư phạm Kỹ thuật TP. HCM). From there you can take another bus to where you like or you can hang around.
If you have a moped, you can go over Saigon Bridge toward Thu Duc Crossroads. Pham Van Dong Avenue is also another way toward Thu Duc Dist.
Okay, here we are at Thu Duc, so where to go then?
Where to go and what to do?
Thu Duc is famous for its cafe village, so remember to visit. There are a bunch of cafés with various tastes, from modern teeny deco to lush green garden. This area is bounded by 4 streets including Vo Van Ngan, Thong Nhat, Dang Van Bi and Dan Chu. However, because of increasing demands, there grow hundreds of coffee shops over Thu Duc. You can ride along one of those streets looking around to see which one lures you the best and holing up for a while. It's nice to be at Amy on Khong Tu St., or Green House on a small road. I usually throw myself at a couch in Green House and spend a whole day reading there.
- Entertainment places
All right, coming out of town at weekends, we just want to look for some fun. Then Thu Duc won't let you down. You want to see a movie, go to Vincom Plaza on Vo Van Ngan St. where there are also a bunch of amusement activities to do, like bolling, gaming. On the same road, Thu Duc Cultural Center for Kids is a nice place for entertainment like Speed Spinning Circle. If you look for more fun, don't hesitate to hang out at Suoi Tien Theme Park (actually it's located in Dist. 9, just crossing the National Highway from Thu Duc Dist.)
Come on, go sing Karaoke in Thu Duc, where there are a plethora of Karaoke bars with a variety of pricing choices. You can see lots of those bars on Dan Chu St., Hoang Dieu 2, etc. The town is more fun with this service.
- Sightseeing spots
There you are in the "campus village", a nickname for the university area. You must diddle around Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM) area, in which sit all member universities belonging to this group. It is planned to become a huge urban campus with internal bus services. Inside this area, you can go for a picnic or camping around Ho Da (Stone Lake), comprising of some emerald water lakes that were stone mines in the past. Anyway, don't take a bath at any of those lakes that are infamous for death incidents due to their cold water.
Now we step out of the educational area into religious places. Dang Van Bi St. hosts 2 Buddha temples that you may find interesting to visit, named Quang Duc Temple and Nam Thien Nhat Tru temple. The latter features a One-pillar Pagoda emerging in the middle of a lake. As a copy of the One-Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, this oozes out a touch of spiritual elegance. I like to sit on a bench opposite to this building and gaze on in search of internal peace. At an end of this street, you stumble on Thu Duc Church with a large artificial stone cave outside. Built in 1889, the church owns Gothique architectural style. It's really marvellous on Christmas day.
Bonus: As you head outside the city center, don't forget to visit sereval Buddha temples in Dist. 9 (though this article is for Thu Duc Dist.) Hoi Son Temple is quite distant from the town, but it's a nice place to pay a visit. Near this temple, Buu Long Pagoda that features Theravada Buddism. You must be surprised to see Gotama Cetiya Tower characterized by yellow coverage and a wind bell ring at the spike toward the sky. No way out of Vietnam, this place in photography is like you'd be in Thailand. Come and see!
What to eat?
Actually Thu Duc is nothing as compared to the downtown in terms of food services. Nevertheless, foodstuff in this place abounds in types and flavors with dirt-cheap price.
You don't have to travel so far, because almost everything to stuff is in the café village. Just ride along some thoroughfares, for instance, Khong Tu St., Einsteir St., Chu Manh Trinh St. or Cong Ly St. and stop at any grilling or barbecue restaurants to have a drink with grilled seafood or fingerfood during the night. Or you can search along Thong Nhat St., Dan Chu St., Vo Van Ngan St. for any beefsteak or phở restaurants.
Coming to the University Village, remember to try some streetfood there as well. I like 44A Fish Hotpot Restaurant in front of the VNUHCM Dormitary A. Now in front of International University, there's a foodcourt or food fair, where you can choose what to eat based on plenty of panels around and rest yourself in waiting for food to be served.
There you are in the Uni village, check out a foodcourt inside the dorm area of Nong Lam University as well. At night this place turns out to be such a busy market where both goods and foodstuff are sold. The price is amazingly cheap. Don't judge the quality, anyway.
Bun Gio (Noodle with Pork)
Bien Tron Restaurant at Bac Ai St.
Price: VND 30-40k/bowl
Banh xeo, ram bap (Xeo pancake, corn wrap)
At the corner of Hoang Dieu 2 and Kha Van Can St.
Cheap and diverse
Around the Café Village
Which one do you want to try?
This town is where I studied my barchelor degree and have fun at weekends, though I'm now living in Dist. 9. Downtown Saigon offers a stack of services and activities; however, Thu Duc Dist. with some distance away seems ideal as a getaway on the weekends. Come see and experience.
The photos used in the articles are both of the author and other online sources. For further information, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your attention. Remember to check up further articles of mine if you're interested in this travel topic.
For other articles, please check out:
Tay Ninh Province at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun
Ta Dung at https://hubpages.com/travel/Ta-Dung-Vietnam-A-Pearl-of-The-Highlands