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Saigon Turtle Lake Ho Chi Minh City

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City, you may hear about Saigon Turtle lake, and wonder if there is a real turtle living there. Saigon turtle lake is a small pond with fishes, fountains, some monuments, and a tower resembling a lotus. Why we call it Saigon Turtle Lake, Let’s me tell an interesting story about this attraction.

Where is the Turtle Lake Saigon?

Saigon Turtle Lake (Ho Con Rua Saigon) is an artificial fountain located at the intersection of 3 roads, Pham Ngoc Thach, Vo Van Tan, and Tran Cao Van in District 3. The official name of this area is the International Square, but locals often call it Con Rua lake to get the attention of tourists

Saigon Turtle Lake is only 800 m from the Independence Palace, 400 m from Notre Dame Cathedral, and 2 km from Ben Thanh Market. It is next to the University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh and the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh.

How to get there

Tourists can get to Saigon Turtle lake by taxi, motorbike, bus, or cyclo.

There are buses number 05, 06, 30, 31, 36 to get there. Another interesting way to get there is by cyclo. This way, tourists can both sit back, relax and watch the city.

The history of Saigon Turtle Lake

The current location of Turtle Lake is the position of the Kham Khec gate of the Bat Quai citadel, later renamed by King Minh Mang to Vong Khiet.

 In 1837, Ba Quai citadel was demolished and Phung was built with a smaller size. When the French captured Phung citadel, they razed the citadel and renamed it Gia Dinh, then proceeded to re-plan the whole city.

In 1878, a water tower was built here for the purpose of supplying water to the people nearby.

In 1921, the water tower was demolished because it was no longer able to supply enough water for everyone's needs. Since then, this location has become the intersection as it is today.

Saigon Turtle Lake was built between 1965-1967 by architect Nguyen Ky. From 1970 to 1974, the lake was restored and built with 5 tall concrete columns shaped like five hands spread out together. The main tower has a height of 34 meters with a large octagonal fountain with 4 copper spiral walkways leading to the central area of ​​​​the memorial. There is also an alloy turtle statue on its back with a large stone stele inscribed with the names of countries that recognized the Republic of Vietnam. Therefore, the folk named this place Turtle Lake.

Things to do at Turtle Lake Saigon

Turtle Lake Saigon is the area where many people both local and foreign tourists often come to gather, talk and watch the streets as there is a lake with green trees around, and the atmosphere is extremely cool. You can also go up the steps to sit while enjoying the cool wind and admire the bustling and dynamic scene of the streets.

There are a few food stalls around Turtle Lake Saigon, you can just order a cup of iced tea, some sour and spicy mango pickles, a box of fragrant yellow rice paper, and sit there for the whole day, chat with friends.

If you love taking photos, this is a great place for photos. No wonder you are students, young couples, or tourists, this place can save the best memories of your life.

Saigon Turtle Lake in the evening, you will surely enjoy the joyful and crowded scene here: old people sitting and talking to enjoy the wind, young people talking, singing and dancing, the children are running, jumping and playing. All bring a strange feeling of peace and happiness.

What to eat at Saigon Turtle Lake

  • Baked rice paper (At the corner of Tran Cao Van Street). The price is around 15.000 VND
  • Fried corn (Opposite the corner of Tran Cao Van Street). The price is from 15.000 – 20.000 VND
  • Grilled chicken nuggets (opposite to the corner of Tran Cao Van Street). The price is about 10.000 VND
  • Mix Rice Paper (opposite to the corner of Tran Cao Van Street). The price is about 20.000 VND
  • Fried squid with fish sauce: The price is from 90.000 – 140.000 VND depending on squid size

Saigon Turtle Lake Map

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