fitness IN SAIGON

There are enough gyms in Ho Chi Minh City to satisfy any workout junkie. Despite the small sea of beer bellies, there is a dedicated portion of the city’s population who run, swim and pump iron like there is no tomorrow.

In their favor, full-featured gyms have sprung up - mainly in District 1 and in various 4-star and 5-star hotels. Some independent gyms exist, offering the latest equipment, such as the few branches of California Fitness, The Landmark Health Club and the Vincharm Health Club. All these venues offer the usual treadmills, elliptical machines and bicycles for cardio training. For muscle and body building, they will have free weights (dumbbells, barbells, olympic bars and plates), benches, squat racks and machines dedicated to one specific body area: legs, arms, pectorals, shoulders, back, etc.

High-end gyms in Ho Chi Minh City range in price but hover around $100-150 US range, and less if yearly memberships are acquired. More local, less accommodating gyms go as low as $10-25 US, with varying degrees of amenities. If you’re not too concerned about pools, jacuzzis, saunas and ice baths, then the small gym around the corner might be just as suitable.

Some sports clubs also offer fitness classes and lessons. The Saigon Sports Club for instance have zumba and yoga group sessions. You can also book for a private instructor to help you make the best our of your exercises.

Those who are not keen to get in shape by balancing barbells have a plethora of options. Parks are great for jogging and sometimes have free workout stations where you can do push ups and sit ups. Recommended parks for your daily workout fix include Tao Dan Park and 30-4 Park. Gymnasiums and sports-and-recreation centers around the city have dirt-cheap fees for fun activities like dodgeball, rock-climbing, tennis and other sports. We recommend paying a visit to Phan Dinh Phung to get a nice selection of activities. You can also rent a badminton or a basketball court for a very reasonable price.

Swimmers need not fret. Many pools line the city, some of the best located in 4- and 5-star hotels and resorts. Fees at these facilities range from $10-20 US for a day of use and are well worth it, with fewer people and cleaner water. Local pools are a fraction of the price but are not recommended for hygiene purposes.

Ho Chi Minh City boasts so many delicious delicacies that sometimes it’s hard to get back on track and get fit. The small streets and thick pollution exuding from the many motorbikes doesn’t help much, either. Luckily, the city is loaded with enough high- and low-end gyms, sports centers, pools and parks to help you get in shape and stay healthy, even if you can’t resist just one more local dish.

fitness IN SAIGON