If you take a look at a map of Saigon, you soon notice that it’s surrounded by rivers and canals.
The city centre sits almost at the zenith of a great sweeping arc on the western bank of the Saigon River.
From here, you can see the flotsam and jetsam on the surface of the river ebbing and flowing as the waters tug them towards or away from the East Sea approximately 50km away, depending on the tidal cycle.
Just south of the city centre across the bridge is District 4, the smallest urban district of Saigon, a densely-packed neighbourhood that also shares part of that impressive arc of the river as its eastern border.
The district has been imaginatively described as an island, even a cay.
In reality, that’s a pretty far stretch.
It’s certainly a far cry from the images conjured up by glossy travel brochures and slick online magazines of the warm tropical waters of the Pacific and its coral cays.
Perhaps District 4’s topography could be more realistically described as a triangular snatch of swampy lowland bordered by the brown turbid waters of the Saigon River and penned in at its western end by the equally murky, and at low tide smelly, confluence of the Ben Nghe and Kenh Te canals.
But therein lies its charm, don’t you think?
Before urbanisation, this is around-about where the Mekong Delta started and where the Binh Xuyen river pirates made a name for themselves ambushing boats plying the waterways.
These days, thankfully, life in District 4 is much different.
Its shady reputation is gone, the people are friendly, the food excellent and there are great places for #QuickBeers.
One such place about halfway along Ton That Thuyet Street that runs by Kenh Te canal is Revons Coffee & More.
This delightful open-air cafe by the water is part of Revons Studio and is only accessible through a nondescript and still fully-operational warehouse.
The breezy outlook across the water takes in District 7 on the opposite bank, and to the west looking towards the busy Nguyen Huu Tho bridge, there are uninterrupted views of the sky, making it the perfect place to kick back and watch the changing colours of dusk over some #QuickBeers and ponder what life must’ve been like as a District 4 river pirate.
Arrive around 5pm for the best light.
Featured beer: Tiger lager 5 ABV | VND25,000
Find Revons Coffee & More HERE
Find out more about Revons Coffee & More at https://www.facebook.com/R%C3%AAvons_coffee-more-118874466485293/
Video: Matthew Cowan & The Bureau Asia
Edit: Melanie Casul
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