They tore it down to build it back up, and they did a pretty good job of it. District 1 now has a new patch of green right along the riverside, and it makes for a nice little detour if you’re out for a run, or just looking for a slow walk in the middle of down. Vietreader has a short article on this with more detail on the budget, so won’t get into that much. For this post, we’ll just have a quick look at the Bach Dang Wharf riverside walkway as a welcome additional to Saigon running routes and go through some options on how to include this on your trail. Or maybe even just take one of those blue bikes.
The park itself is quite well manicured, and while people aren’t supposed to be on the grass, we all know they will almost definitely be on the grass. The route has a lot of curvy sections (the grass is designed to look like lotus flowers, if seen from above), so there would be a lot lot of options to crisscross along the path. If you go down it on a straight shot along the main road, or by the river, it will be about 800m worth of jogging, but you can squeeze it 1km per direction if you go across.
The Speed Ferry terminal for D1 is also conveniently located along the route, and you could definitely include the waterbus as part of your routine, and run back to your starting point. There’s a terminal in D2/Thao Dien, and the running route from D1 along Nguyen Huu Canh, and up the Saigon Bridge is about 7km.
This fish has nothing to do with running, but I just wanted to include it here because it really fascinates me how locals can often be seen just throwing in a few lines. Is this fish even safe to eat? Does it appear somewhere that we wouldn’t really want it to appear? I don’t know, but it was a strange thing to see this 3kg meat tube wriggling on the grass.
There are a couple of wharfs you can take as a detour. Chanced on this live music session with local musicians performing for all comers. It was actually quite a good jam session as well, and quite pleasant to listen to. Definitely better than the miserable karaoke warbling that many of you probably have to suffer through in your respective neighborhoods. Hoping that busking becomes more of a thing in this area, but that they also don’t try to outdo each other with progressively louder equipment.
At the end of the route is a lighthouse flagpole, which has apparently been there for at least 150 years. Not a lot of text, but they did have some funky photos of the the flagpole through the years. You’ve also got a couple of flagpoles for the ASEAN member states. Guessing they’ll be changing these based on the occasion, but it’s a nice touch.
For the moment, it’s not yet completely swamped with people, but sooner or later it will be full of tourists and locals… and eventually, there will be touts selling sunglasses at night. Even now the sidewalks already have vendors selling drinks and snacks. Hopefully it doesn’t get overwhelmed with people looking for photo ops, so for the moment try to visit and include in your running route while it’s still relatively empty.