Uniquely local: Flying kites in Saigon, a wholesome Vietnamese past-time

Vietnam's largest cosmopolitan city, Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon to locals, is known for a lot of things - one of the most scrumptious cuisines in the world, vivacious neighbourhoods,  a wild cafe scene... and also flying kites? When the wind picks up and spring is on the horizon, little known to those outside of the city, Saigon becomes a true kite-flying paradise! From little children to adults, no matter your age, the metropolis has a rich history of kite flying that surprisingly dates back to the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty. While kites were originally used for practical purposes such as signalling, communication, and even fishing, over time, kite flying became a beloved leisure activity and a form of folk art for us Saigonese. These whimsical hand-crafted wings, tethered to a long string and puppeteer by its owner is a hobby amongst Saigonese that is unique and nostalgically lasting even to today's modern flair of technology. In a world where we're constantly tethered to screens and our digital life - the dreamy colours and shapes of kites flying high around the city are a poetically starry-eyed way to be tethered to nature and being in the moment. Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!

© iStock / xuanhuongho

Throughout Saigon on the weekends from District 1 to the outer neighbourhoods, you will see the parks and open spaces filled with people of all ages, flying their kites on sun-dappled days from early evenings. The sky is filled with a flurry of rainbow kites, from traditional diamond-shaped kites to modern designs like cartoon characters and animals. It is a truly magical experience to see so many kites soaring in the sky, and it's hard not to feel a sense of joy and wonder. From cute Pikechu and Doremon kites, be sure to look out for dragons, phoenixes and magical fishes fluttering in and between the clouds - a surreal way that Vietnamese folklore comes to life through these artful kites. 

© Unsplash / Phuong Uyen Vo Hoang

But it is not just about flying kites, kite-making is also a cherished art form in Ho Chi Minh City. Many locals make their own kites using materials like bamboo and paper and take great pride in creating unique and beautiful designs. It is a merrymaking opportunity for you to try your hand at a new craft and create a kite of your own that you can fly with pride.

And the fun does not stop there! The city also hosts annual kite festivals, where kite enthusiasts come together to show off their skills and compete in kite-flying competitions. Yep, as friendly as the hobby is, it also gets serious. Imagine a sea of colourful kites filling the sky, with people of all ages participating. The festival also features flying demonstrations, where you can watch experienced kite flyers showcase their skills and perform amazing tricks with their kites. You can cheer on your favourite kite flyers as they compete to see who can fly their kite the highest, the longest, or perform the most incredible tricks. For those curious about where to start, there are also kite-making workshops where you can learn the art of kite-making from the experts. You can create your own kite using materials like bamboo and paper and take it home as a souvenir.

© iStock / NgKhanhVuKhoa

For Saigonese, kite flying is popular during the spring and summer months, typically from March to September. This is because the weather in Ho Chi Minh City during these months is generally sunny and dry with gentle winds, making it ideal for flying kites. The clear skies and mild temperatures make it a perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and in general, being able to stay outside longer. Also during this time of the year, many schools are on break, so families and children have more free time to get together to fill the parks and Saigon's public spaces up to fly kites.

There are several popular places in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City where you can go to fly kites. Some of the most popular places include:

1. Thu Thiem Bridge: There is an empty plot of land underneath that serves as a flying ground. People also fly their kites on the pedestrian sidewalk of the bridge too.

  1. Central Park in Landmark 81: another popular ground for flying kites in Saigon, there's plenty of space between flying your kites right by the Saigon river, the observation towers, or the huge green lawn.
  1. Kite Flying Field, District 12: Aptly named for this wholesome hobby, you can find this vacant spot in District 12 near the An Suong Apartment by Quoc Lo 22 and the intersection of Quoch Lo 1 (Highway 1) . There are not many buildings nearby, so you'll get more powerful winds.
© iStock / NgKhanhVuKhoa

Let our AI assistant help plan your trip

Create a personalized plan and share it with your friends

Never run out of things to do! Sign up to our newsletter today, what are you waiting for?

live the world logoMaking travel planning easy.
Supported bykbc logo
instagram logotiktok logo facebook logo pintrest logo

CONTACT US