Saigon mornings are for the beautiful birds

A coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tao Dan Park has become a popular place for people who like to listen to and admire beautiful songbirds.

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The small coffee shop, which is informally known as the Bird Café, is located on Cach Mang Thang Tam street in District 1.

From 6am-8-9am, the café is a meeting place for people to bring their beloved birds.

The activity has been popular since 1954, according to many old bird lovers in the city.

On the weekend, visitors can see the outdoor café crowded with many motorbikes and birdcages perched on their backs, with the chirping of birds drowning out the sounds of traffic.

The bird lovers show off their pet birds, share their knowledge about breeding birds, and enjoy the morning with a cup of Vietnamese tea or coffee.

The birdcages hang on hooks from the trees, looking like branches made of metal cages.

Visitors often sit around for a few hours enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

Nguyen Thi Luong from District 5 visits the park in the early morning to rest, have a drink, and chat with friends, while listening to the birds singing under the morning sunshine.

“The singing of the birds makes me feel really relaxed and comfortable,” she says.

Keeping pet birds is a popular hobby in the city, but it is a time-consuming one as the owners must feed and train the birds.

Most of the visitors are middle-aged men, but students, woman and foreigners also come to the park.

Pham Huu Luan, a bird lover from District 3, has been going to the park for 20 years. He says there are at least 30 bird lovers who come each day, and in recent years, nearly 100 people have been visiting, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

”It’s good for the birds’ health if they stay out under the sunshine in the morning hours,” he says.

Some of the birds at the park are canaries, nightingales and tailorbirds.

The park, with its peaceful atmosphere from the songs of birds, provides a welcome respite for people to begin a new day or relax at the weekend.