Located on 2B Nguyen Binh Khiem (Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm), Ho Chi Minh (Hồ Chí Minh), Thao Cam Vien Park – Ho Chi Minh’s Zoo established in 1864 and opened to the public on February 17, 1869. This park today becomes one of the largest and the best recreational areas in Ho Chi Minh city. In addition, it is the Saigon Botanical and Zoological Garden established by the Governor of Indochina Pierre-Paul de La Grandière and French army veterinarian Rodolphe Alphonse Germain. As the cultural place of Ho Chi Minh City and the place preserving plant life, this park is attracting more and more visitors and travelers to come for a visit.
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Thao Cam Vien Park: Botanical & Zoological Garden In Saigon
I. Best Time To Visit Thao Cam Vien Park
Thao Cam Vien Park is located in Ho Chi Minh City, so the best time to visit Thao Cam Vien (Thảo Cầm Viên) is during the drier months from December to March when the average temperature ranges from 21°C to 34°C.
Furthermore, May to September has monthly rainfall levels of about 200mm during the period. However, the rains come in short bursts; therefore, you can enjoy the sunny days when you visit Thao Cam Vien. But it is still important for you to bring an umbrella during the trip to avoid getting wet because of the rain.
II. What Are The Interesting Things About Thao Cam Vien Park
1. Long History
In 1864, the commander of French forces in Cochinchina, Admiral Pierre-Paul de La Grandière ordered the French army veterinarian Rodolphe Alphonse Germain to build a zoo in Saigon. By the end of 1865, the zoo featured 20 hectares (49 acres). It opened to the public on February 17th, 1869 and today this zoo has become one of the oldest zoos in the world.
Thao Cam Vien or Saigon Zoo has experienced many changes over the years. In 1927, a bridge was constructed to connect sections of the zoo. In 1985, with the building of a stone jetty and added electrical wiring, the zoo was improved to meet the needs and demands of tourists and visitors. In 1989, to create the most suitable environment, there are many improvements to facilities. In 1990, this zoo joined in the South East Asian Zoos Association. In 1993, this zoo improved the quality of housing, management, and care of the animals. Now, the Thao Cam Vien, the Botanical Garden, and Saigon Zoo are becoming the largest zoo in Vietnam.
2. Values And Characteristics
The Saigon Zoo Thao Cam Vien Park features an area of about 33 hectares and it is divided into several areas: plants, animals and the orchid collection. This zoo houses more than 500 animals including white tigers, monkeys, hippos, elephants, lions, snakes, turtles, etc. The botanical garden has various fauna and flora including more than 260 plant species from Laos, India and Cambodia, and 1800 trees with some at more than 100 years old. There are also 32 different species of cactus, 20 orchid types, and 34 species of bonsai. In the zoo, you can find a mishmash of gardens, Ferris wheels, animal enclosures, kiddie pools, bumper cars, and snack shops.
The zoo still has a few corners that remain some of the original characters. For example, the Art Deco orchid house is made from reinforced and concrete steel. There is also a nearby colonial-era office.
Possessing the most impressive green space in Saigon, Thao Cam Vien is an ideal destination for families to enjoy the fresh air, explore the park and hold a picnic on holidays and weekends.
In the zoo, you can also visit the Vietnam History Museum – Ho Chi Minh City established in 1979 the Hung Kings Temple built in 1927. These are two noteworthy buildings in the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden. The temple of the Hung Kings was built to commemorate the Indochinese soldiers died during the World War I. The Museum of Vietnamese History is divided into two sections including a 6 room area that displays artifacts of South Vietnam and a 15 room area that displays items and objects from the beginning of Vietnam to 1930. Outside the museum is a large yard displaying the weapons of France used in the war between French and Vietnam. This museum has about 25,000 documents of culture, history, and ethnography.
Thao Cam Vien is also the children’s amusement park for little kids and people who do not want to grow up. The park has a wide range of diverse activities that will make a perfect day out for every family who comes to this zoo.
3. Education And Conservation
Thao Cam Vien Park, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden were built to educate the public and protect the endangered plants and animals. There are many programs the zoo has hold to serve this main purpose and one of them is to breed animals in captivity in order to replenish their populations. Thao Cam Vien Park is the only zoo in the world that breeds successfully the crested argus pheasants in captivity.
In 1999, the zoo built the plan to educate the public about how to protect the plants and animals. Each year, about more than 3,000 students come to the zoo, listen to the long lecture about how to protect our environment and watch a short film about plant and animal conservation.
I can say that the Saigon Zoo is a great place for you to study flora and fauna of Southeast Asia.
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In 2012, the zoo implemented the programs free for you to buy train or tram tickets to explore the park and learn more about the history, behavior, and characteristics of wild flora and fauna. I hope that you can find useful information in this article on Vina.com. Any questions can be left in the comment section and we will answer them as soon as we can.