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HCM from A-ZTuesday, 10/10/2006, 01:55

An oasis in the heart of HCM City

An oasis in the heart of HCM Cit

An oasis in the heart of HCM City

Do the sounds of motorbikes buzzing by and taxis and buses horning ever stop? No, but you can escape from them, and you don�t even have to go too far from downtown HCM City. To be precise, you have to travel three kilometers.

Then you reach Van Thanh Park. Inside the park, quietness and peacefulness surround you. You can sit in one of the pavilions on the lakes, wander on the green lawn along the river or look at stone-carving, weaving and pottery-making village replicas.

Apart from this asset and a host of entertainment services, several restaurants sit on the spacious area, covering some 5.5 hectares of land and 2.5 hectares of water.

Altogether those can serve 3,000 guests at a time. Thien Thai seats 500, Hoa Su 450 and Hoa Vang 200, and there are many more.

A stunning 60-odd dishes, specialties of northern, central and southern Vietnam, are put up for Saturday and Sunday buffets from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The choices include chem chep mo hanh (oysters broiled with onion), ca nuong xien (grilled fish), ca basa nuong me (basa fish broiled with sesame) and oc buou nhoi thit (snails stuffed with meat).

Eating at the buffet costs VND89,000 for adults and VND59,000 for children. Additionally, the restaurants offer reasonably priced breakfasts.

Many city dwellers come to eat breakfast by the river and lakes in the fresh morning atmosphere, although, unfortunately for some, many travel companies have chosen to drop off tour-takers at Van Thanh for breakfast before they leave the city.

Besides this for the most part individual dining, Van Thanh has also successfully organized large food and culture festivals.

The park is now preparing to host the largest-ever food and culture program in HCM City from January 6 to 8.

Ngay Hoi Que Toi (festive days in my hometown) will recall the daily life in many Vietnamese villages in the past and introduce hundreds of Vietnamese dishes from many corners of the country.

One of the past highlights was the Ve Kinh Bac (back to the northern citadel) program in September last year, through which visitors learned about the culture and lives of people in the former Kinh Bac region.

Almost 5,000 people came to the park for another event, the �Saigon � When I Was 30� banquet this April where Vietnamese born on April 30, 1975, received congratulations and a piece of birthday cake.

Saigontourist and many other companies organized the party to mark the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Saigon, present-day HCM City.

Van Thanh Park, 48/10 Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District. Tel: (08) 512 3026. Email:


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