Adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 and to the north, is Binh Thanh District. As the Saigon River meanders along it forms a loop creating what is known as the Thanh Dinh peninsula. A canal was constructed between the two parts of the river to form an island. The Binh Quoi Tourist Village is found at the end of the island furthest away from the city. Its Vietnamese name is Lang Du Lich Binh Quoi.
This tourist area was developed in two phases, firstly the Binh Quoi Tourist Area 1 in 1975 and 76 and then the Binh Quoi Tourist Area 2 in 1979 and 80. They are about 400 metres apart. The Tourist village was constructed and opened in 1994. It is a great escape from the city centre traffic and crowds. It is hard to believe that you are only 20 minutes from the heart of District 1. The air quality is much better here and noise pollution almost absent.
The park consists of beautiful lawns and greenery with palm trees and small streams. Thatched cottages and gazebos have been constructed around the side of the river. It creates a vista reminiscent of older times in the Mekong Delta. It is an authentic look back at the cultural and historical past of Vietnam. There is a resort here also with numerous thatched bamboo cabins offering lovely accommodation under the canopy. There are also a few rides for the children to enjoy and a traditional water puppet theatre.
Dining alternatives are provided by the three-storey, 700 seat, floating restaurant in the Bach Dang harbour here. It offers authentic dishes from the Mekong Delta and other parts of Southern Vietnam. The restaurant is very popular and is busy most of the time. Set menus offering such dishes as snails and crab are very reasonably priced and of a good standard.
They have fashioned a sort of mini Mekong here, with the building of a small lake fed by water from the Saigon River. There are traditional fishing nets and a bamboo walkway connecting different areas of the park over the water. A relaxing bamboo waterwheel turns slowly creating a gentle sound in the otherwise silence. For less than a couple of dollars you may hire a small rowing boat to paddle around.
Each day there are performances of a old style Vietnamese wedding party. The “happy couple” arrive over the water and traditional dances and other rituals take place. It is a particularly good spot to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down at the end of the day. Binh Quoi Tourist Village is a popular weekend getaway for local business people.