Today we went for our usual (well, its been three weeks in a row already..) Sunday bicycle ride and instead of going our usual route, we went to a different location and discovered a very nice place, Nguyen’s Art Garden in the outskirts of Saigon (HCMC). As I had my camera with me, I can share some pics and encourage you to visit this small oasis of peace and art (its a “painter’s village”).
Usually we go to the ferry crossing of Cat Lai and then cycle on the other side of the river in the fields, that’s a great ride since you really leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and find yourself in the countryside with many people waving and saying hello.
This time we decided to cycle around our side (D2) of the river, near the big road that goes in front of the ACG school.
We had spotted this house before and this time we stopped and walked in, nobody at the door on this fine Sunday morning, we were welcomed by a posse of barking dogs but luckily they were of the small size variety and somebody came to calm them down.
This door was closed but a few meters to the right you have another entrance. Once you get through that entrance you will find yourself in a shaded leafy environment that is half Chinese garden and half art exhibition.
Here are some photos of this very pleasant place.
There is a space for eating and apparently a small restaurant, not sure what is on the menu but you can chill out by the river here.
There were only a few people around but they were very friendly and welcomed us. The cool thing is that they are all artists and either live there or go there to be in a nice setting while they work on their paintings, sculptures and potteries. They can sleep there if they wish, a great idea and kudos to Nguyen (name to be confirmed) and now his daughter Van who seem to be the ones that built the place and keep it running, great job!
Now, here are some photos of the art displayed, it is like walking into a museum because some art works look quite old (potteries, and wooden sculptures).
In the leaflet they gave us, this place is called Saigon Arts Ky Long Gallery and the address is:
35 Ham Long Arts Village, Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
T: (848) 37425449 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
and this is Miss Van’s card, don’t hesitate to visit this incredible oasis just on the outskirts of Saigon, you are still in D2 but in another world..
After visiting this amazing place and promising our new friends that we would come back with our families, we continued our bike ride.
Very near this place there is a meeting point for Saigon model plane enthusiasts, you can hear them before you see them as their planes and small scale helicopters can be heard buzzing around. Then you see these small planes doing amazing acrobatics in the air, these guys are quite good at flying their planes and do some nice stunts. In any case, its nice to see people getting together to share a common passion, whatever that may be, in this case it is flying model airplanes.
The red one near the car is a helicopter and this guy knows how to fly it, nosediving and what not, really cool to watch.
My mate Sebastian on his bike admiring the model airplanes.
Back home after 2,5 hours on our bikes, 40 kilometers, not bad! And we didn’t even have to cross the river, lot’s of places to ride in District 2, An Phu.
About the author:
Javier is a big fan of Vietnam and currently is helping build several online marketing campaigns for clients as a freelancer. Below are some links related to current online campaigns