Sep 29 2011
Sometimes the noise and grind from the constant busyness of Saigon can get you in a funk. Even if you’re only in the city for a few days, a quick break can help you keep your sanity. For a break from the city, I like to take a trip out to District 7’s Phu My Hung area to hang out at the Crescent, a pedestrian-friendly complex of apartments, restaurants, and shopping built along the bend of a river.
The Crescent is new, as it is technically not yet officially finished, and due to said newness it is still relatively empty and very quiet. It is a great place for a stroll, with the south end leading to a footbridge that takes you to a well-manicured park. The park is especially great if you like people watching because everyday it plays host to several bride and groom wedding photo sessions. I’ve never visited without seeing at least one couple and the majority of the time there are five or more, making it awesome to watch the photographers try to keep other wedding photo shoots out of their shoot’s background.
Another benefit to the openness of the Crescent area is that the roads see little traffic. For me, this has made a great opportunity for practising motorbike driving. It’s a great place to get used to the feel of the motorbike without having to dodge buses or ladies pushing food carts. Plus, when you think you’re ready to taste the open road, the surrounding area is also light on traffic.
Besides being pedestrian and beginner motorbike friendly, what really makes the Crescent great is its restaurants. Along the waterfront there are several terrific spots but, being in a higher end location, there isn’t much budget fare. The south side is anchored by the seafood buffet Cham Charm, where a plate will cost a steep $45 but will give you access to one of the more beautiful restaurant gardens in the city on top of the already delicious seafood.
If you’re looking for a more Western dish try Boomarang. Here you can get great burgers or fish and chips and catch up on your favourite sporting events, like the Rugby World Cup. Also calling the Crescent home is District 1 cornerstone Vasco’s, with this location focusing more on food and less on being a nightclub.
Very soon, supposedly by the end of the year, the Crescent will be home to a large shopping mall complete with food court and eight-screen cinema. When the Crescent Mall does finally open I suppose that the traffic in the area will increase, maybe taking away my motorbike practice spot. However, the park, bridge, and restaurants will remain. It is a bit of a journey to get to the Crescent from District 1; take Nguyen Tat Thanh over the bridge and stay on the road until it hits Nguyen Van Linh, where you will take a right. From here take a left onto Nguyen Luong Bang and the Crescent will be on your right. It will take about 45 minutes by taxi and 30 by motorbike but it will be worth it if only to grab a bite and play find the bride!
02 Phan Van Chuong, D. 7
T: (08) 5410 9999
Boomarang Bistro Saigon
2 3-4 107, Ton Dat Tien, Phu My Hung, D.7
T: (08) 3841 3883
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