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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Discovering HCMC’s hidden gems along Bus Line 88

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Travelers who want to explore HCMC’s unique attractions can take a bus on Line 88, which connects several exciting destinations including Ao Dai Museum, Tan Lap Church, and Hue Nghiem Pagoda.

This bus line runs from Saigon Bus Station in District 1 to Long Phuoc Market in Thu Duc City, covering a total distance of about 23 kilometers. Buses operate daily from 4:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., departing every 6 to 10 minutes, offering a convenient and comprehensive tour of the city’s cultural sites.

Ao Dai Museum

Located in Long Phuoc Ward, Thu Duc City, Ao Dai Museum covers nearly 20,000 square meters. The museum, which was conceptualized and established by artist and designer Si Hoang, officially opened its doors in January 2014.

Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress), the museum showcases the evolution and beauty of this traditional attire through various historical periods. It not only displays valuable artifacts and documents related to ao dai but also promotes its significance in contemporary cultural life, educating both local and international visitors, especially the younger generations.

The museum also features exhibitions on multiple UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritages of Vietnam. These include quan ho and hat xoan (traditional folk music from the northern region), nha nhac cung dinh Hue (royal court music from Hue), and don ca tai tu (traditional music from the southern region).

Tan Lap Church

Tan Lap Church, also known as Tan Lap Parish Church, is nestled in Binh Trung Dong Ward of Thu Duc City. Founded in 1955, the church has been a serene refuge for local worshippers.

Its architecture beautifully blends Eastern traditions with Western modernity, featuring an earthy brown façade highlighted by a prominent clock and a central statue of the Virgin Mary. The church’s roof, adorned with red tiles, prominently displays crucifixes atop each peak.

Binh Khanh Temple

Located on Luong Dinh Cua Street in Binh An Ward, Binh Khanh Temple is a historic site constructed in the 19th century.

Known for its vast courtyard and striking terracotta-orange tiled roof, the temple serves as a sanctuary honoring Thanh Hoang Bon Canh. The temple grounds are beautifully decorated with intricately carved statues of lions, dragons, and cranes, making it a culturally rich site for visitors.

Hue Nghiem Pagoda

Also situated on Luong Dinh Cua Street but in Binh Khanh Ward, Hue Nghiem Pagoda was established in 1975 by Thich Tri Quang.

The pagoda is revered for its tranquil ambiance, enhanced by numerous large stone tablets bearing Buddha’s teachings. Surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant flower gardens, the pagoda offers a peaceful retreat and a touch of elegance.

Thu Ngu Flagpole

Located on Ton Duc Thang Street in Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, the Thu Ngu Flagpole is a historic beacon with over 150 years of history.

Constructed in the first half of the 19th century, this flagpole is not only a testament to the enduring heritage of HCMC but also a crucial component of the city’s distinctive historical and cultural landscape. Standing along with other significant landmarks like Nha Rong Wharf, Bach Dang Wharf, and Mong Bridge, the Thu Ngu Flagpole was designated as a city-level historical relic in 2016.

Ba Son Bridge

The Ba Son Bridge is a striking cable-stayed structure that spans the Saigon River, linking the bustling downtown in District 1 with the modern Sala urban area in Thu Duc City. Opened to traffic in April 2022, the bridge offers a stunning view of city landmarks such as Landmark 81 skyscraper, Bitexco Tower, and Bach Dang Wharf.

It was recognized by the HCMC Department of Tourism as one of the 10 most interesting check-in spots at the end of 2023.

Thu Thiem Bridge

Connecting the newly developed Thu Thiem urban area with HCMC’s city center, the Thu Thiem Bridge has been facilitating travel across the Saigon River since 2005. This bridge is not only an essential part of the city’s transportation infrastructure but also a popular destination for visitors who wish to experience a panoramic view of the downtown area. While it offers a picturesque backdrop for photographs, tourists are advised not to stop their vehicles on the bridge to avoid disrupting traffic.

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