Phu My Hung’s wide pavements are great for cycling around
Text by Lyra Dacio
Image by Quinn Ryan Mattingly
With District 7 a bit further out from the hubbub of the central business district and practically a residential area, there are ideal places where you can get your family to slip on their running shoes or ride their bikes, meander through the tree-lined streets, and enjoy the scenery.
Route 1 – The Short Snake Route
Starting from the corner of Bui Bang Doan and Nguyen Van Linh (where Huong Vuong 3 apartments is), turn left at Hung Phuoc 4 then towards the Sky Garden apartments along Pham Van Nghi. This area is basically a grid so you can weave your way through the streets up to the Hung Thai villas. And if you need air in your tires, this is the best place to start because there’s a bom xe right at the corner (outside Sacombank) that charges VND5,000.
As you go further from the main road, the streets become less busy and narrow, but with trees serving as cover from the heat of the Saigon sun, it’s a good place to cycle without getting sunburned.
Recently opened Paris Baguette Café along Pham Van Nghi at Sky Garden 2 is a good place to stop by for some coffee and carbs to fuel your bike ride. Or find Awesome Coffee at D2-21 My Toan 3 (along Nguyen Van Linh) to enjoy Italian coffee and their signature waffles with choco-honey and banana. Their homemade tiramisu is a must try.
Route 2 – The Longer Snake Route
From the corner of My Khanh 1 along Nguyen Duc Canh, turn left at Pham Thai Buong to explore the streets behind the apartment buildings of Parkview, My Duc, My Phat, My Phuc, Grandview, and Garden Plaza. The roads are wide and usually empty of vehicles. During early mornings and late afternoons, it’s common to see couples posing for wedding photos. With beautiful villas and huge umbrella trees, this vicinity makes a lovely backdrop for a cycling trip.
After cycling back to the starting point, stop over at Hoang Long Quan for some piping hot pho and bun cha at 7-1A My An – a perfect breakfast after a morning of biking.
Route 3 – Crescent Route
Another good route starts at Tran Van Tra at the corner of the Panorama complex. The Canal District where the Garden Plaza and Garden Court apartments are located is good for cycling laps. For a stronger workout bike by the river where there’s a bit of a climb as you go over the bridge connecting to the Crescent area, but be warned because this stretch is not covered by trees which exposes you to the mercy of the sun. Behind Crescent Residences are huge empty lots and roads – ideal for biking or running. For a quick refreshment head to the Ton Dat Tien arc in front of Ho Ban Nguyet (the Crescent Lake) and choose from the dozens of cafes there.
Route 4 – My Thai and Canh Vien Area
For the ultimate bike versus motorbike challenge, cross Nguyen Luong Bang (from Crescent) and bike over to the My Thai and Canh Vien area. Nguyen Luong Bang is a busy main road but once you pass the Ca Cam 2 bridge and turn left to My Thai 1, an oasis with gorgeous looking villas and well-kept apartment buildings around an elongated park surrounding a pond is your reward. This is another popular spot for wedding photos, and the area is a safe haven for kids to play in. Roll out the picnic blanket and take a break.
You can also visit The Greenhouse at Canh Vien 1 and try their mouthwatering pizzas. For some Indochine coffee, walk a bit further to Master’s Cup Coffee House at B-08 Nam Do. Master’s Cup is housed in a charming villa originally established for Vietnamese students to practice their English. Their homemade apple pie, New York cheesecake, and chocolate cheesecake are delicious. The cafe mocha and café latte are great pick-uppers.
If you need to get a bike, check out Saigon Cycles (Shop 51/1 Sky Garden 2, Phuong Tan Phuong) or Bike Life (401 Pham Thai Buong).
Remember, the family that bikes together, well basically, gets tired together. But you’ll have loads of fun doing it.