Please keep in mind how much money Vietnam has at its disposal, to invest in to tourism and animals in particular when you look around Saigon Zoo (it is important to keep everything in perespective)…
Enclosures & Animals
However even considering this, Saigon is a great zoo with just a couple of enclosures where any such lack of funding is even remotely noticeable. Such enclosures include the chimpanzees (which were really quite bland, small and not in the slightest bit engaging), reptile house and maybe some of the other primates.
In general however enclosures were large and well furnished… Some enclosures such as the bears, gibbons and elephants were pretty impressive even by European standards. Asian zoos get a pretty bad name due to a number of terrible zoos, however there are some really nice zoos such as this in the region (as well as some absolute gems such as the Singapore Zoo – widely regarded as one of the best in the world).
There were some great animals which you don’t get to see often (such as Sumatran rhinos and douc langurs) and seeing them here was a real treat. They do a lot of conservation work with these animals which was promising to find out. One of the better documented (sadly they don’t tell you too much about the work which they are doing outside the zoo) was a project with the Vietnamese pheasant.
It is really easy to get to by taxi from the city center and cheap… As well as being cheap to get in. It’s probably not really in walking distance from the city center, at least not for tourists, where the weather does make it difficult to walk larger distances. However even though the zoo itself is well worth the trip over, it is also right next door to the Vietnamese national museum, which is well worth a visit once you finish in the zoo.
When you get in you don’t get a map bit its quite easy to get around, there are large maps on display but if you can take a photo of one if these to make it a bit easier to get around… It is also good that there are plenty of places to get in to the shade in this beautifully planted space.