The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is not only a place for entertainment and the preservation of flora and fauna but also serves as a repository of childhood memories for many generations. Let’s explore its most prominent features together through the following article from’s.

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Vietnam’s Oldest Zoo

  • Location: 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
  • Land area: 16,770 hectares
  • Website:

Formerly known as the Botanical Gardens and commonly referred to by locals as the Zoo, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or simply Thao Cam Vien, once bore the name “Vườn Bách Thảo” (Hundred Plants Garden). It is the eighth oldest zoo in the world, established by Decree of Admiral De La Grandière on March 23, 1864. Following this decree, French military veterinarian Louis Adolphe Germain was tasked with expanding 12 hectares of wild land northeast of the Thi Nghe creek to establish an animal breeding and tree nursery area. In March 1865, Germain built some initial enclosures.

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the soul of the city, continually welcoming numerous visitors during weekends and Tet holidays

By the end of 1865, the Botanical Gardens expanded to 20 hectares. On French National Day, July 14, 1869, the Botanical Gardens opened permanently to the public. To this day, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens continues to enrich its collection of flora and fauna through cooperative relationships, exchanges, and purchases with numerous other zoos and international scientific organizations.

In over 130 years of existence, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens has housed 590 animals of 125 species, 1899 trees of 26 species, 23 native orchid species, 33 cactus species, 34 bonsai species, and continues to add more. Despite being located in the heart of Saigon, the atmosphere here is remarkably fresh with the chirping of birds, animal sounds, alongside lush greenery and beautiful flowers, playing roles in conservation, education, and research. Visitors can obtain a map of Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens at the entrance or scan the QR code on their phones to ensure they can navigate the area according to their preferences.

Directions to Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens:

By motorcycle: Visitors can reach here via the main gate on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street or the auxiliary gate on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. Parking is available on both streets, with ticket prices starting at 3,000 VND for motorcycles and 4,000 VND for scooters.

By personal car: You can park your car at the auxiliary gate of Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street. Ticket prices range from 30,000 VND for 4-7 seaters, 40,000 VND for 9-16 seaters, and 50,000 VND for more than 16 seaters.

By renting a private car with a driver: This option is suitable for groups of friends, families, or international tourists. With’s private car rental service with a driver in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll have the safest and quickest journey. Contact us via WhatsApp: +84886660396 for detailed advice.

By bus: Bus routes that stop at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens include routes 05, 06, 14, 19, 42, D1, and 52.

Bus routes stopping at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Gate:

  • Route 06: Cho Lon Bus Station – University of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Route 14: Mien Dong Bus Station – 3/2 Street – Mien Tay Bus Station
  • Route 19: Ben Thanh Market – KCX Linh Trung – National University
  • Route 45: District 8 Bus Station – Ben Thanh Market – Mien Dong Bus Station
  • Route 52: Ben Thanh Market – International University

Bus routes stopping at Sofitel Plaza Hotel – Le Duan:

  • Route 18: Ben Thanh Market – Hiep Thanh Market
  • Route 35: District 1 Bus Station – District 2
  • Route 50: University of Technology – National University

Ticket Prices at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

  • Adult tickets (height above 1.3m): 60,000 VND/ticket
  • Child tickets (height from 1m to below 1.3m): 40,000 VND/ticket
  • Children under 1m: Free of charge

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a place where one can reconnect with nature.

Escaping the Heat in the Heart of Ho Chi Minh City

The name “Vườn Bách Thảo” (Hundred Plants Garden) from its inception has always reflected the green ecosystem and diversity here. Thanks to its abundant plant resources, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens have become an excellent refuge from the heat for local residents. At the end of 1865, the Japanese government provided the Botanical Gardens with about 900 rare plant species, creating the “green lungs” as seen today.

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is an ideal escape from the heat for visitors

Various groups of trees, native orchids, cacti, bonsai, and green lawns spread across 20 hectares and are divided into several zones:

  • Animal enclosures.
  • Ornamental plant and orchid zones.
  • Entertainment area for all ages.

Exploring on Electric Cars around Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

If you want to conserve energy while still enjoying the panoramic view of Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, consider purchasing tickets for the train or electric cars sold at the entrance on Le Duan Street. These open cars leisurely take you to every nook and cranny here, under the shade of stretching leaves, allowing you to observe various animal species.

Electric cars take visitors for a stroll around the premises

Experiencing Thrilling Adventure Games

To meet the entertainment and exploration needs of all ages, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens also offers many adventurous games such as bumper cars, high-speed trains, and hot air balloons. Ticket prices for each game vary but range from 10,000 VND to 40,000 VND per ticket. Service hours are from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day of the week, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

The Ferris wheel takes us to admire the panoramic view of Ho Chi Minh City from above

Children’s Zoo Loved by Many Families

The children’s zoo is a favorite spot for kids as they can feed baby goats, lambs, etc., by hand through the fence. Especially on Saturdays, Sundays (9:30 AM – 10:00 AM), and holidays (10:00 AM – 10:30 AM), the zoo offers free admission for children to explore and play.

You can personally interact with friendly herbivorous animals at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Around 3:00 PM daily at the lion, Indochinese tiger, and Bengal tiger enclosures, staff members feed the animals. The food is placed at a height to maintain their wild instincts and encourage more activity.

Enjoying Art Performances at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens host two free performances: music shows and elephant performances.

  • Elephant performances: Held on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM at the elephant enclosure. suggests visiting during Tet holidays as there is an additional performance in the afternoon from 2:00 PM to 2:30 PM.
  • Music performances: Cultural programs, circuses, magic shows, etc., take place at the main stage on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Additionally, there’s an extra show on Sundays from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
The impressive performances by the elephants in the park

Observing Rare Animal Species

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens are known as a common habitat for many rare animal species. The zoo is divided into several sections: carnivores, reptiles, mammals, birds, small animals, etc. Every day at 3:00 PM, head to the carnivore section to witness the wild hunting skills of lions, Bengal tigers, and Indochinese tigers.

The diversity of species is clearly demonstrated in the zoo with a wide variety of species and individuals

Impressive Instagrammable Spaces

At Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, you’ll easily find countless beautiful spots near animal enclosures, fountain plazas, bridges, or along tree-lined paths. The most popular spot among young people is the orchid and cactus garden on the far left of the main stage. The garden opens at 9:30 AM, offering a refreshing space with impressive greenery.

The orchid garden is the most popular spot for young people to take Instagram-worthy photos.

Some frequently asked questions at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

When is the best time to visit the Zoo?

As the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is quite spacious, it may take around 4 – 5 hours to explore the entire area. Therefore, it’s best to arrive here a bit early, around 8 – 9 AM, or after 2 PM to avoid the heat. The most beautiful time for the plant ecosystem is noted to be after Tet (Lunar New Year), so visitors should take note of this in their travel itinerary before going.

What should I consider when visiting Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens?

  • Visitors should wear flat shoes, low heels, sandals, and avoid wearing high heels as there is a lot of walking involved in this large area.
  • Bring sufficient sun protection equipment for all-day exploration: sunscreen, wear long-sleeved shirts, hats…
  • Fully charge your phone/camera batteries for taking photos.
  • Visiting Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens on weekends allows you to enjoy impressive art performances and circus shows.

Exploring the green lungs of Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens and admiring adorable wild animals will bring many unforgettable memories. We hope you’ll have the most complete experience here with our detailed Saigon travel guide.