Sports Activities in Ho Chi Minh City
Find out about the different sports activities available...
Ho Chi Minh City lies on a delta, so the terrain is flat and sits about 1 to 1.5m above sea level. As there are no hills or mountains close by, there are no areas for mountain trekking and mountain bike riding. Areas to carry out these activities are situated in the highlands around Da Lat in Lam Dong Province, an eight hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, and in the north of Vietnam.
With its high population density, the roads in Ho Chi Minh City are very congested and are not suitable for cycling. There are no designated cycle routes in the city.
Ho Chi Minh City is land locked however, many locals and expatriates make the journey by road or ferry to the seaside at Vung Tau and Ho Tram, the closest beach areas. Day and weekend trips to these locations are very popular.
There are several public parks located around Ho Chi Minh City and on weekends these tend to be overflowing with people looking for an outdoor location to relax. There are usually street food and drink vendors around the perimeter of these parks.
Dam Sen Cultural Amusement Park, while a commercial enterprise, is a large popular facility providing outdoor entertainment mainly for families and children. It has many different sections with animals and bird species to see, a water park, roller coaster, mono-rail and a large lake with paddle boats. There is an admission charge.
- Dam Sen Cultural and Amusement Park
At: 3 Hoa Binh St., Ward 3, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (08) 9634963 / (08) 8554963 / (08) 8587826.
Fax: (08) 9633073
With the increase in the number of expatriates in Ho Chi Minh City in recent years and the lack of open spaces and nature parks for outdoor activities, many turn to organised sports for recreation. With such a diverse range of people and backgrounds there are many clubs and societies to suit every taste.
This internationally renowned expatriate "drinking club with a running problem" has active branches in Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau. A different course is set for every event. Participants can either run or walk and there is transportation for those who fall behind. A small fee is charged and everyone is welcome.
- Saigon Hash Harriers
At: Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: 090 3374742
Bus departs at 14:00 every Sunday from the Caravelle Hotel
Badminton was introduced to Vietnam in the late 1950s through colonisation and the return of Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) to Vietnam, bringing the sport with them. Since the first National Badminton Competition held in Hanoi in 1980, badminton has become increasingly popular in Vietnam with both amateur and professional players. In the early mornings badminton is played in parks and in streets before the traffic starts. There are also organised competitions at various locations around the city.
Tennis is a popular sport and many expatriate housing complexes have tennis courts. There are also several tennis clubs and associations spread around the city.
There are limited facilities for playing squash, and these are usually associated to expatriate housing complexes.
- See the Business Directory for Tennis, Squash & Racquet Sports
Basketball was introduced into Vietnam in the 20th century and has become increasingly popular, particularly with young Vietnamese. Ho Chi Minh City has its own basketball team, Saigon Heat, which plays in the ASEAN Basketball League.
There are some foreigners starting to get involved in this sport and there are several stadiums around the city.
Another popular sport is cricket, which is largely played in Ho Chi Minh City by English-speaking expatriates. There are several teams in Ho Chi Minh City and the Saigon Cricket Association (SCA) was formed in 2006. The various teams are very active at weekends with Sunday tournaments being held at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) sports ground in Ho Chi Minh City.
Football and rugby
Australian Rules Football, soccer (known locally as football), and rugby are all played in Ho Chi Minh City.
- For a list of clubs and teams, see the Business Directory Cricket, Rugby & Football
There are many golf courses in and around Ho Chi Minh City and the sport is becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are over 25 golf courses operating in the country, with more than 65 projects in development. Developers are now attracting designers such as Greg Norman and Colin Montgomery.
Memberships and daily fees are available at reasonable rates and it is not necessary to have membership to play at most courses. Most courses provide lessons and have a pro shop.
- For a list of golf courses see the Business Directory Golf Clubs & Courses
Other Sport and Leisure Activities
There are many other sport and leisure activities available in Ho Chi Minh City including rock climbing, pony club, go-carting, paintball, and sailing.
- For further information, see the Business Directory Sport & Leisure