Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Ecological Travel Zoo and Botanical Garden

Zoo and Botanical Garden

Location Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Garden is located on No.2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Characteristic: Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Gardens was founded by JB Louis Pierre, a famous French botanist.

 

Saigoneses like to call the Garden So thu. In Vietnamese it means "the zoological park". Its official name however is the Thao Cam Vien. In Vietnamese "Thao" means "plants and trees" and "Thu" means "animals": indicating that the garden has both plants and animals.




Construction of the garden started in March 1864 and it was opened in May 1865 on a 20ha area. Originally the garden was solely concerned with the growing of some imported industrial plants such as cacao, coffee, vanilla and rubber, as well as collecting exotic animals and birds from tropical Vietnam for zoos in France. The press praised the garden as one of the most beautiful parks in the Far East, second only to the Zoological and Botanical Garden in Singapore.

However, from 1942 to 1954, the Japanese and French armies in turn used Thao Cam Vien as their barracks. During these twelve years the cages were damaged and many animals and birds died from lack of care. At this time also, many established old trees were cut down.

Following the Geneva Peace Agreement, the City restored the Thao Cam Vien. For the past twenty years after the country's re-unification in 1975, the garden has expanded its co-operation with many countries and organisations in the world. It has joined the Southeast Asian Zoological Parks Association, it has regular contacts with the Leipzig and Rostock zoos in Germany, it co-operates with the World Wildlife Fund.

Through exchange programmes, Vietnamese can now see, for the first time, exotic animals and birds, which they could previously only see in films or books. The garden's staffs spend a lot of time and effort studying their animals and plants. They also make field trips to collect new plants and animals.


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The Park forms a green space in the middle of the city. After the main entrance, visitors will find themselves walking between two lines of tall nhac ngua trees. On their left is the History Museum. On their right is the Temple of the Kings Hung, founders of the Vietnamese nation. In the green houses orchids, cacti and bonsai release their fragrances and show their beautiful colours. After visiting the bird and animal cages, the visitors can stop and relax by the lake to enjoy the scene of lotuses, water lilies, schools of carps, anabases and pikes. This is a real blessing in the middle of a busy urban centre.
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