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Posted by admin on 06/14/2020
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(Vietnamese version available)

Thu Thiem – From a marsh to the prosperous Pudong dream.

The past

More than a decade ago, the east and west banks of the Saigon River demonstrated two completely opposite images: one side was Thu Thiem, which was a ferry terminal at that time and the other was the central area of ​​District 1, capital of the city. From Bach Dang harbour, only an area of ​​reeds was seen. Owning a strategic position in the Northeast growth belt and being the intersection of key traffic routes, if there is no plan for renovation, Thu Thiem will just merely be a valueless marsh area.

Looking back at Shanghai Harbour in the 1990s, what we see was such a similarity to Thu Thiem peninsula. The West borders Hoang Pho River and the East is adjacent to the sea while 3 sides of Thu Thiem is adjacent to the Saigon River. A cultivated land with vacant and desolate fields and old villages was once the past of a dynamic and desirable Pudong of Shanghai like today. The opposite image to the West bank as well as the “usurpation” against the position of Chinese financial core city had created an encouragement for the city government to embark on the Shanghai development. Ultimately, the result we see is a completely transformed Shanghai, rising to become the Asian economic giant with the most upscale life quality in the world.

Another lesson right from our own country is the successful renovation of the Southern area of Saigon into Phu My Hung urban area. Remember the image of Phu My Hung in the past as an empty field with all muddy land, far inferior to that of the Thu Thiem peninsula at first. However, with efforts to invest in reformation, Phu My Hung significantly became the first standardized urban area model in Vietnam, which made the land and real estate prices of this area witness a jump by leaps and bounds, an area of the city with the most expensive house price. 

Two lessons from the “predecessors”, Pudong in Shanghai and Phu My Hung, have created an impetus for Thu Thiem peninsula to start making impressively promising changes. The surrounding water features an abundant source of life, the location of wealth and prosperity, very suitable for settling the career.

Thu Thiem peninsula in the past

The present

At the end of 2011, Thu Thiem ferry officially ceased its operation, replaced by a “promising land” instead on the East bank of the Saigon River. What creates the opposition between the East and West bank is the lack of connection in infrastructure between the two areas. Therefore, investing in the renovation of outdated municipal infrastructure is a prerequisite in building a new face for Thu Thiem. The development of a peninsula plan has certain implications for the country:

  • Firstly, Saigon River, winding around the peninsula, is a main channel for transporting goods into the warehouse and storage yard by boats and has a ferry terminal to support passengers in approaching neighboring areas. This had polluted the river with sewage from vehicles and domestic waste. The renovation of the river landscape has helped “revitalize” Thu Thiem, which improves the quality of life for the local and makes Thu Thiem a place that is worth living.
  • Secondly, the capacity of land in Thu Thiem is still plentiful while the rapidly increasing demand for housing leads to an overload in the central District 1 and the Southern area of Saigon. Therefore, the plan to develop Thu Thiem peninsula helps to create a standard residence and reduce the burden on the city center by synchronizing the quality of life of people compared to the opposite West bank.

And since then, a “real estate fever” named Thu Thiem has attracted many real estate giants to invest and develop condominium and housing projects in this area.


Thu Thiem is in the process of building public facilities and improving river landscape

The future

Thu Thiem is fully potential to go a big step forward. With lessons from the previous “predecessors”, we absolutely have reasons to put our faith in a thriving Thu Thiem which will become the new economic, cultural and commercial center of the city.

Famous harbors such as Darling in Sydney, Pudong in Shanghai or New York Harbor are the ideal models to set a standard direction for Thu Thiem to grow. In the future, Thu Thiem will become a new face, the pride of Vietnam for the development and efforts in national renovation.

The visualization of Thu Thiem in the future

Thu Thiem – The core of the center

Urban infrastructure in Thu Thiem has been upgraded: building main roads to facilitate traffic of the peninsula, improving the natural landscape of canals as well as the drainage system, constructing works of iconic images, public utilities, mixed-use and multi-functional commercial-service-residential areas to serve the working, settling and entertaining demands of residents.

5 brigdes and main traffic roads

Although based on superior standards of the leading urban areas in the world, what makes Thu Thiem peninsula differentiated is that the construction of 5 bridges that help connect Thu Thiem traffic with neighboring areas, gradually turning the peninsula into “the core of the center”.

  • Thu Thiem 1 Bridge, completed and put into use, connects District 2 with Binh Thanh District and District 1.
  • Thu Thiem 2 Bridge connects Thu Thiem area to Ton Duc Thang street in District 1 ( still in the completing process of over 70% and is expected to be operational by the end of 2020)
  • The two bridges 3 and 4 are currently at the project initiating level. Bridge 3 will connect District 2 with District 4 running through Nha Rong Harbor and Khanh Hoi while Bridge 4 includes 6 lanes that will connect District 2 and District 7 – the Eastern and the Western Saigon.
  • The pedestrian bridge connecting Thu Thiem with Bach Dang park, being researched for an investment in construction, is an expected highlight of this peninsula, giving people the experience of “walking on the water of Saigon River” to approach the central District 1.
Thu Thiem Bridge 1
Thu Thiem Bridge 2 is in completing process, estimated to be open for traffic at the end of this 2020

Now, it is you that seems to know the whole city like the back of your hand with “5 fingers” that can take you anywhere you want just in a snap. Travelling back and forth the East and West bank of Saigon River has not seemed that easy ever before. 

What are there in Thu Thiem functional sub-zones ?

To manage conveniently, the new urban area Thu Thiem consists of 8 functional sub-zones divided into 5 different groups in terms of location, function and construction density.

  • The Core Zone, including sub-zones 1 and 2, is the “face” of the peninsula, playing an essential role as a multi-functional residential and commercial center, including iconic public buildings such as Opera House, Central Square, Museum, Observation Tower, other sporty and recreational facilities. This zone also has the most spectacular view on  the peninsula, overlooking the center of District 1 and District 4 across Saigon River. 
  • The Northern Residential Zone, including sub-zones 3 and 4, has the same function as the Core Zone but the location is not as much favorable, mostly concentrating on residential and office mixed-use buildings. Multi-functional commercial and service areas are located along the opposite sides of Crescent  Boulevard.
  • Going deep into the center of the peninsula with a lower density of population, is the sub-zones 5 and 6 – Mai Chi Tho Residential Zone, well-known with Sala Residence. This zone is invested in public facilities (medical, education, etc.) and commercial blocks adjacent to the Central Lake and the natural canals of the peninsula. The Software Park especially highlights the scientific and technological progress of District 2, representative of one of the key economic sectors of such a dynamic and vivid city like Ho Chi Minh.
  • Sub-zone 7 is the Eastern Residential Zone of ​​the peninsula and invested in the development of residential and commercial service, restaurants for staying, travelling and refreshing purposes. There is also a suite marina in the area contributing to a new signature of Thu Thiem peninsula
  • Finally, sub-zone 8 – the Southern Wetland Zone is mainly used for ecological conservation and research playing the role of the peninsula’s “green lung” which helps balance between the modern municipal lifestyle and nature. There are a few hotels and resorts that are sustainably managed and residential areas.
8 functional sub-zones of Thu Thiem

The ​​efforts to initiate prospective capability  of Thu Thiem have demonstrated our dream about the second Pudong but still maintain own unique and subtle features. Currently, with recognizable potentials, many real estate developers have continuously launched attractive housing projects in Thu Thiem peninsula, making the regional real estate market be estimated to be in the heat for such a very long time.


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