5 things about Ho Thi Ky Flower Market

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market is the largest flower market in Ho Chi Minh City and one of the most popular. It supplies flowers to the whole city and some provinces in the South of Vietnam.

 

This market is an amazing place to visit to be totally immersed and swept up into a whirlwind of colors and smells! It is a never-ending maze of flower stalls, private houses, hidden and quiet “hems” (alleys), typical street food stalls… A real treat for the eyes!

Here are few facts you should know before going to Ho Thi Ky market.

1. Where is it located?

Around 5km from the heart of the city, the market is located on the street of the same name: Hẻm 52 Hồ Thị Kỷ, Phường 1, Quận 10, Hồ Chí Minh City. To get there, it should cost you approximately 125,000 VND by Grabcar.

2. What time should you go there?

Well it’s open 24 hours so it’s up to you! It depends what kind of experience you are looking for.  

It could be a a very unusual experience to go there in the middle of the night! From midnight to early morning, flowers from everywhere arrive by truck and shoppers cut, trim, prepare and package them so they can be put on the shelves for sale. From 2AM to 7AM, it is the busiest time, atmosphere being quite hectic and chaotic! 

In the morning, traders come here to buy flowers in big quantities for the shops and for smaller markets.

As it is getting hot quite quickly we recommend you to go there before 9AM or after 7PM

3. How old is this market?

It was founded in the 1980’s and it is the largest flower market in Ho Chi Minh City. 

4. Where do the flowers come from?

Most of the flowers come from Dalat and Mekong Delta region but others come from the Netherlands or Hungary. You can find all kind of flowers, roses, lilies, tulips, hydrangeas, sunflowers, orchids and many more.

5. What you should not forget to bring when you go there

Confortable shoes, light clothes and of course your camera or your smartphone to take plenty of pictures! And you can return home with a nice fresh bunch of your favorite flowers!

The pictures below were taken in Ho Thi Ky Market just before TET, at this crazy time of the year when all locals buy flowers to decorate their homes and shops. It was a really unforgettable experience to wander around those beautiful and flamboyant flower stalls!

If you are interested in getting an overview of Saigon’s essentials in an original way, come and join our city tours in vintage cars.

Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most impressive colonial buildings of Ho Chi Minh City.

It counts with Gothic, Renaissance and French influences. It was designed and constructed by the French between 1886 and 1891. It is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Inside at the far end of the building, don’t miss inside the large portrait of Ho Chi Minh hanging high above everyone. Painted onto walls overhead are two maps of the region, one of them showing the telegraph lines that crisscross Vietnam and Cambodia and the other displaying a map of the Saigon region in 1892. It’s open every day from 7am to 7pm.

Often erroneously attributed to Gustave Eiffel, the Post office has been built between 1886 and 1891 by architect Marie-Alfred Foulhoux on the site of the former headquarters of the Commandant des troupes.

On its outside plaques, you can see the names of famous people including Samuel Morse, Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday. The reason is that Foulhoux intented to illustrate Human advancement. 

Behind the large portrait of Ho Chi Minh on the rear wall, is the city’s coat of arms, inscribed with Paulatim crescam, “Developing little by little”. But it was covered over in 1975 so it is not possible to see it anymore now.

If you want to explore Saigon in an original way and get an overview of the city’s essentials in a short time, don’t miss our morning drive.

 

central-saigon-post-office

Saigon Opera House

Built by the French next to historic rue Catinat in 1872, Saigon Municipal Theatre is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

 

Its history is quite eventful and turbulent and here’ s a summary.

Did you know that the first purpose-built city theatre was constructed in 1872 on the site of today’s Caravelle Hotel?

It was originally built to entertain Saigon’s developing middle class in French colonial times. At the time it specialized in comic operas.
Made of wood, it burned in 1881 and was reconstructed in stone the following year.

Later it was decided that Saigon needed a much larger and more elegant theatre building to reflect the power of the French empire.
A number of French Architects were involved with the creation of this third building and it was completed in 1898. The current theater was inspired by «The Petit Palais» in Paris built the same year. The ornaments, balustrades and roof of the theatre building were originally imported from France.

Fun fact: at the time the theater could only function 4 months a year (from October to January) because of the heat!

Later, the façade got remodeled during the Japanese occupation of Indochina in the beginning of 1940’s. Then it finally got severely damaged by Allied bombing in 1944. Closed during World War II, it reopened in 1955 after the Geneva Convention and became the Southern Vietnam’s Assembly House.

In May 1975, it was officially named Saigon opera house.

It finally reopened as a theatre in 1982 and was completely refurbished and modernized at the end of the 1990’s with French support to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Saigon.

Saigon Opera House was certified as a national relic in 2012. Nowadays, with its 468 seats, it still daily provides high-quality performances.

You can look at its programme right here.

If you are interested in getting an overview of Saigon’s essentials in a short time and in an original way, join our vintage car tour.

The rice paper pizza

Have you already tried a Vietnamese pizza?

Actually, it’s not really a pizza but it looks like it.

This very popular street food called “Bánh tráng nướng” (literally meaning “grilled rice paper”) is much beloved by young people.

It is made of some rice paper grilled over a coal grill and covered with various toppings. Some quail or chicken egg is beaten directly on top of the rice paper and spread evenly to help gluing the toppings. Toppings are various: it could be fish, minced meat, dried shrimps, sliced sausage, cheese, peanuts, fried shallots, spring onion, herbs and fish sauce…

You can find vendors cooking and selling them next to school gates, city parks and around Hồ Con Rùa roundabout (Turtle Lake).
Be aware that you can get easily addicted to this crispy and tasty snack!

Vietnam National Day

Vietnam National Day (Ngày Quốc Khánh in Vietnamese) is tomorrow!

Just a quick reminder: it commemorates the proclamation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi and the independence of the country on September 2, 1945. At the time, nearly 500,000 people gathered at Ba Đình Square in Hanoi to listen to the Declaration of Independence read by Ho Chi Minh, the first President of Vietnam. This officially stated that Vietnam was liberated from French’s colonial force.

As a typical National Day, people get a day off from work and take this opportunity to travel and visit their family, especially if it falls on a Monday like this year.

On that time of the year, we can see Vietnam flags appearing everywhere on the streets, vividly coloring the whole country.

We can also admire the very colorful posters, with the typical graphic style that recalls the spirit of the 1970s, which appear along the streets, to commemorate the national holiday.

Ceremonies and cultural activities are set up and fireworks displays take place on that special day in the major cities of Vietnam.

In Ho Chi Minh city, there will be fireworks shows organized in three different locations tomorrow evening: at the Thủ Thiêm Tunnel between Districts 1 and 2, at the Landmark 81 (Vietnam’s highest building) and at Đầm Sen Park in District 11.

Be ready to gather in advance as the fireworks displays will start at 9PM and will last 15 minutes. Note that several major streets will be closed to vehicles at that time so you have to be ready to walk and stand in the crowd!

If you like to enjoy Saigon by night on quieter evenings, join our city tours by vintage car.