If Paris (France) has the Champs-Elysées, Beijing (China) has the Liulichang, Dong Khoi Street is the famous historic street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This street has witnessed several ups and downs of Saigon since the colonial period. It is undoubtedly a must-visit for any travelers who first come to this southern city.
I. Where Is Dong Khoi Street?
Dong Khoi Street is a major street in District 1 – the heart of Saigon. It was originally called rue Catinat – the name of a warship that joined the French attacks to Vietnam in the 19th century. That attack marks the first penetration of French colonial troops onto the Vietnamese land. After the French army had withdrawn, the locals called the street “Tự Do” (Freedom) before giving it today’s name “Đồng Khởi”.
If you look up this street on the map, Dong Khoi Street is linked with Cong Xa Paris Street where the Notre Dame Cathedral and stretches toward Ton Duc Thang Street that nestles Saigon River’s Bach Dang Wharf. Its adjacent neighborhood is also a famous area with Nguyen Hue Walking Street and several important relics and buildings.
II. How to travel to Dong Khoi Street?
As it is one of the main touristic streets in Ho Chi Minh City, it is super easy to get there. High chances are you will be staying in a hotel in District 1 or the nearby area. From the hotel, you can take a taxi or just simply walk there. It takes only a few minutes to transfer.
Buses and even motorbike taxis are also plentiful there. Just google the map or ask the locals the way and you can reach it easily.
Of course, if you are on a luxury tour with a private tour guide, then you will no longer need to care about the navigation stuff. Just follow them and they will take you there.
III. What to see at and nearby Dong Khoi Street Saigon?
1. Notre Dame Cathedral
Imagine you are taking a Saigon day tour, then the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, which is located at the starting point of Dong Khoi Street, will be where you kick start your trip. Dating back to the late 19th century, this is a catholic church that was built to become a community and religious place for the French colonialists. This church follows the Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles with all materials imported directly from France. Rumor has it that the Virgin Mary Statue at its facade shed tears in 2005.
Nowadays, not only is the cathedral an important religious center, it is a famous tourist attraction for Saigon tours.
2. Continental Hotel
Situated in No. 133 – 134 Dong Khoi Street, Continental Hotel Saigon is one of the very first hotels in Vietnam. It was established in the 1880s, in the same period with the city’s many landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Postal and Telecom Service (the Central Post Office), and Hotel de Ville (today’s People’s Community Office of HCMC). This heritage hotel hosted several famous figures, including Rabindranath Tagore, Andre Malraux, Graham Greene, and so on.
Possessing the classical French style, Continental Hotel Saigon reminds people of the old Saigon – once the “Pearl of the Far East”
3. Vincom Center Shopping Mall
Dong Khoi Street is not just about classical French buildings. It is also home to several modern hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. Vincom Center Shopping Mall, with two sides facing Dong Khoi and Le Thanh Ton Streets, is one of the biggest malls in Ho Chi Minh City.
This shopping arcade is divided into two zones: A and B. The one facing Dong Khoi Street is the smaller and shorter Vincom A. The mall is designed in baroque styles so that it could look similar to the antique buildings on the same street. Vincom Center Shopping Mall has everything you need, from the high-end clothes and bags, pieces of jewelry, home decor interiors, electronics, foods, and of course, entertainment.
If you are a shopaholic, then Vincom Center Shopping Mall is a must-stop for your Saigon luxury tours.
4. Saigon Opera House
Saigon Opera House, a.k.a the Municipal Theater, is another top destination to visit on Dong Khoi Street. This opera house was built in 1878 and resembles the world-famous Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. It follows the architectural style of the French Third Republic with granite floor, impressive stone-carved ornaments and statues, and crystal chandeliers. Totally, there are 500 seats inside the theatre.
This place was once used as the home of the Lower House Assembly of Saigon Government during the Vietnam War. Its role as an opera house did not come back until 1975 when the war was ended.
Nowadays, Saigon Opera House is now the venue for the reputable A O Show – a traditional Vietnamese bamboo circus and several Bel Canto performances.
5. Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Just about some walks from Dong Khoi is Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street – a large walking promenade in the heart of Saigon. The street nestles between rows of antique French-colonial buildings, which are home to the important relics, restaurants, night bars, cafe apartments, and shopping centers. It is the best place to enjoy the ecstasy of Saigon nightlife. Furthermore, walking towards the end of the street, you will reach the dreamy Saigon River, where you would be left in awe by the spectacular view it offers.
IV. Luxury Travel Tour To Dong Khoi Street
Dong Khoi Street, with its many important relics and entertaining places, is a cannot-miss place for any Saigon tours. Don’t forget to visit this enchantingly beautiful place when you travel to this southern metropolis.
Don’t know how to travel and what to do there? Come to Luxury Travel to get support. We have several well-organized Ho Chi Minh City Tours that Dong Khoi Street is included in the itinerary. There is nothing that could challenge our experienced staff when it comes to tours to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.
If you need help, feel free to contact us at any time. It is always our honor to support you.