We live in an insane, sprawling metropolis that overwhelms us with constant stimuli. There is no shortage of things to do, places to see, but what about keeping our sense of wellbeing? The calm within the storm? We decided to compile a list of five places or products that can act as oases for the weary city-dweller. It’s time to recharge our energy levels, patience, and bodily functions. Photo by Vinh Dao.

Cat Tien National Park

We live in a dirty, intense concrete jungle. While there is gorgeous plant life all around us, nothing can replace spending some time in a large forest, surrounded by animals and plants and fresh air. The connection with the natural world is something that we can easily lose while working in a major metropolis. A few hours is all it takes to venture out to this National Park just northeast of Saigon.

Cat Tien comprises an amazingly biodiverse area of lowland tropical rainforest. The 72,000-hectare park is one of the outstanding natural treasures in Vietnam, and the hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching here are the best in the south of the country. Always call ahead for reservations as the park can accommodate only a limited number of visitors. However, a word of caution: visitors have to be really lucky to see any of the larger mammals resident in the park, so don’t come expecting to encounter tigers and elephants.

Ho Chi Minh Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

Yoga is an important component to self exploration, relaxation, and realignment of the mental and physical faculties. A daily yoga practice can provide a wealth of benefits for wellbeing. None do it better than the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center.

Sivananda Yoga Vietnam is part of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization with locations in more than 30 countries. They host 9 ashrams and more than 30 city yoga centers on almost every continent from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Their founders and teachers Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, the Yoga Masters who brought this teaching to West from the ancient knowledge of the Vedas.  The 5 points of Yoga for Health and Well-being is the main teaching of the Sivananda Centers and the 4 paths of yoga are the synthesis of all the different yoga teachings.

They teach basic Hatha classes that are perfect for beginners, but alsoprovide more advanced classes for those that are looking for a challenge.

25 Tran Quy Khoach, D1
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Moc Huong Spas

Located in the heart of Saigon in District 1, and another location on Xuan Thuy in Thao Dien. Moc Huong Spas are equipped with modern indochine decoration and supported by top-ranking professional physiotherapists, as well as thoughtful and knowledgeable staff. Moc Huong Spa is an ideal place to relax after a long or stressful day at work.

There is a wide range of treatments available, from skin care to body care. Rehabilitating the body and mental faculties is the primary objective for Moc Huong Spas. They perform differnet massage techniques from all over the world. Styles from USA, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, India, are combined with Vietnamese traditional medicine.

They offer two super easy and accessible locations, reasonable prices and a wide range of services. Their professional staff are capable of providing top quality relaxing treatments for manicure and pedicure, facials, and other beauty services as well.

9C Ton Duc Thang, D1
61 Xuan Thuy, D2
mochuongspa.com

Nutrifort

Listen, Nicole cares about your wellbeing. The team at Nutrifort strives to be more than just another voice for the health and wellbeing of those that live in work in Ho Chi Minh City.

They provide fantastic classes from spin, pilates, circuit training, TRX suspension for strength training or weight loss. They take extra care to train all of their staff to the same high standards. Their fitness trainers and instructors are personable, and strive to develop a genuine connection with each and every one of their clients.

Good Eats is an extension of their thoughtful activities coming straight out of the kitchen. We serve healthy/weight loss meals to people on the run who don’t have time to cook their meals. With an extensive background in nutrition, Nicole has prepared an easy and convenient set menu and snacks that can be delivered daily. Nutrifort offers a complete health programme from exercise training, healthy food service, to therapeutic massage.

34, Nguyen Dang Giai, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
www.nutrifort.com

Saigon Sports Club

Boasting 81,000 square feet of training space, Saigon Sports Club is hands-down the finest, and largest gym in all of Vietnam. Whether you are looking for a relaxing dip in their beautiful pool, a centering session in one of their yoga classes, or an over-the-top intense martial arts class to drain some of that extra energy and passion you have floating around in your bones, they have you covered.

They’re located on Huynh Thanh Phat next to the Phu My Bridge in District 7. One of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in all of Ho Chi Minh City. They offer world-class training and a comprehensive array of martial arts disciplines. Krav Maga, Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing, and conditioning classes are all on offer. Their range of programmes are designed to accommodate all skill levels, from beginner to champion competitors, while their top-notch instruction style and flexible expertise make them a leader in all things fitness. Although some may think that martial arts are antithetical to relaxation, for those that like to push themselves to the brink to unwind, this is your spot.

514B Huynh Tan Phat, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
www.saigonsc.vn