Explore the Hidden Gems of District 4: A Guide to Saigon’s Secret Alleys

District 4 is one of the smaller districts in Ho Chi Minh City, once infamous in the media during the 90s for its notorious gangs and colorful history. From a “dangerous land” to a “gentle land”, District 4 has undergone a remarkable transformation, offering visitors a chance to explore its diverse culinary scene and unique, quaint architecture hidden in its many alleys. If you’re curious and ready for an adventure, District 4 is the perfect place to discover a myriad of perspectives!

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Alleys are perfect places for you to experience getting lost and discovering the hidden wonders within the alleyway.

Where is District 4? 

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District 4 is known as a place of “narrow land, crowded people”, where alleys are a whole new world to explore and discover how the local residents live.

Shaped like a triangular islet, surrounded by rivers and canals, District 4 is an inner-city district of Ho Chi Minh City. It is bordered by:

  • The East with Thu Duc City (across the Saigon River) and District 7 (across the Te Canal)
  • The West with Districts 1 and 8 (separated by Ben Nghe Creek)
  • The South with Districts 7 and 8 (separated by Te Canal)
  • The North with District 1 (separated by Ben Nghe Creek)

From our place, just crossing the Ong Lanh Bridge, you can explore District 4 with its many hidden secrets waiting for you. How about joining me on a bike ride through the alleys of District 4, discovering its culture and local cuisine together?

Guide to Hidden Alleys in District 4 

Alley 200 Xom Chieu 

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During the day, the alley is peaceful, bringing back tranquility to the residents of the neighborhood.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Famous for its delicious street food, Alley 200, also known locally as “Cho 200” (200 Market), is named partly because it lies along 200 Street and also because with just 200,000 VND, you can enjoy a variety of affordable, high-quality street foods like che (sweet soup), noodle soups, and pha lau (Vietnamese Stew with Organ Meats). This bustling 300-meter-long alley, lined with over 50 food stalls, is a favorite snacking spot for Ho Chi Minh City locals. If you visit, don’t miss the vibrant atmosphere and delicious eats, perfect for a nighttime food adventure on your bike.

  • Address: Alley 200, Xom Chieu Street, Ward 14, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Time to visit: 1:30 PM – 11 PM
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From evening until late at night, the alley bustles with eateries offering delicious food that attracts many locals and visitors to come and enjoy.

Alley Doan Van Bo

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Many travelers, and my friend, are struggling to navigate their way out of these alleys.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

On Doan Van Bo Street, you can expect an experience similar to mine – getting lost in a maze of alleys, sometimes leading to dead ends! But don’t worry, these alleys always have exits leading to main roads. Whether you walk or bike through the alleys of Doan Van Bo, you’ll discover a new world of hidden food stalls, quiet cafes, and fascinating tiny houses with tiny architecture. Explore these alleys if you’re seeking fresh inspiration and the joy of getting lost in Saigon’s narrow paths.

  • Address: Alley Doan Van Bo, Ward 16, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Time to visit: Anytime
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I understand that the small road is lined with hidden houses and shops, concealing the existence amidst the hustle and bustle of District 4.

Alley 148 Ton Đan

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Ton Dan – the famous alleyway, where the notorious Vietnamese gang leader of the 90s lived and operated, Nam Can.

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Speaking of District 4’s infamous past, the top spot in Saigon’s memory belongs to Ton Dan Street, especially Alley 148, once home to the notorious gangster Nam Cam. Known as the cradle of Vietnam’s gangsters at the time, today, this alley has shed its notorious past. The area is now developed, with friendly, welcoming residents. Exploring Alley 148 and the surrounding small alleys, you will encounter interesting stories and feel like you’re navigating a maze. Hop on a bike and discover this area your way.

  • Address: Alley 148, Ton Đan Street, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Time to visit: Anytime
Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City
The alley has undergone a transformation, shedding its old skin for a new one. Gone are the complexities, replaced by friendly, hospitable residents. Now, the alley exudes a peaceful tranquility that is simply enchanting.

Handy Hints Just For You! 

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Remember these helpful tips below to have an unforgettable experience in Saigon.

If you have the chance to explore these alleys in District 4, keep the following tips in mind for a more enjoyable trip:

  • Walking: Walking makes it easier to navigate the narrow alleys of District 4. Wear comfortable clothes, carry some cash, and stay hydrated for a refreshing adventure with new perspectives on Saigon.
  • Biking: Biking is an ideal way to explore many alleys, avoiding traffic jams and easily maneuvering through streets. If you need a companion to bike with, join us in discovering District 4. We’re here to explore with you!

Let’s Wrap It Up 

Getting lost in The Alleyway District 4 is more than just an interesting adventure; it’s an immersion into the vibrant culture and flavors of Vietnam. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, these alleyways offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Don’t miss the chance to explore these hidden gems and savor the diverse dishes that make Vietnamese cuisine so special at 200 Xom Chieu Street. For more exciting adventures and travel tips, visit us. Happy day!

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Seeing you and your beautiful photos, your bright smile in Saigon brings me happiness. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City!

Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Vietnam

At Jackfruit Adventure, we organize Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour and Team Building Ho Chi Minh. With a deep knowledge of Saigon city and local connections, we believe we can give you an awesome bonding time together. Contact us today if you have any requests or questions to prepare a trip for your team to bond in Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam.

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