“Pho Tay” is the name which is used to call the areas of Bui Vien, De Tham, and Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1 where is the favorite place of a large number of foreign tourists in Saigon. This place locates many cheap hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs in order to serve for the need of visitors.
Pho Tay – A popular place for backpackers
The number of tourists in this area is very large, mostly backpackers. They often walk around the area, order tours, or rent a motorbike. Andrew, a Canadian tourist, who hired a room at a motel in Bui Vien Street, said he chose the Pho Tay for its bustling atmosphere, cheap accommodations and Tripadvisor’s recommendations as a must-see destination in Saigon.
Due to the concentration of tourists, Pho Tay is always cramped with vehicles and pedestrians. Recently the local authorities have proposed to ban vehicles in the area during certain hours or turn it into streets for pedestrians.
Discovering Pho Tay in Saigon
Along these streets are restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels. This area is very bustling after 9pm and especially on weekends and holidays.
As the Pho Tay is so bustling and crowded and the sidewalks are occupied by local households doing business, foreign tourists have to walk on the road.
A corner of Bui Vien Street in the afternoon. The road is not yet very crowded but it will be very quickly when restaurants and shops arrange tables and chairs on the sidewalks.
Foreign tourists can buy many items on the streets, such as handbags, clothing, crafts, paintings… When the night falls, especially on holidays, Pho Tay will be fully packed with both Vietnamese as tour guides and foreign visitors.
Pho Tay is a popular place for foreign visitors in Saigon. They come here to relax and make friend with new travelers from many countries.