Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
Named after Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, the city formerly known as Saigon has emerged from its darkest days to become one of Asia's most exciting cities. It boasts vibrant street life, handsome buildings, and warm weather all year round. But what are the best things to do in this interesting city?
How did the Americans lose the Vietnam War? Your guide will lead you through hidden trap-doors to explore the Cu Chi tunnels that helped thwart the US army at every turn.
Modelled on the Petit Palais in Paris, this striking example of French Colonial architecture is easy to reach and regularly hosts some of the city's best concerts.
Saigon Central Post Office still operates, though it also serves as one of the city's top attractions, having been designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel.
Pilgrims flocked to this beautiful basilica in 2005 when its Virgin Mary statue was reported to have shed tears. We're sceptical, but there are better reasons to visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, such as its superior architecture!
Originally built to demonstrate Vietnam's strength in the wake of Independence, it was torn down, replaced, and eventually renamed Reunification Palace after the fall of Saigon.
Though known as the backpacker district, the bustling Pham Ngu Lao Street attracts people from all walks of life with its bounty of clothing, war memorabilia, and other merchandise.
The War Remnants Museum paints a vivid – and often disturbing – picture of the country's 20th-century struggles. It's a must for anyone hoping to understand Vietnam's complex history.
With lakes, gardens, and so much more beyond the rides, Dam Sen is the perfect amusement park for people who don't like amusement parks, as well as those that do!
With its ornate carvings and constant aura of incense smoke, this is the pagoda to see if you've only time for one. Be sure to look over its gorgeous courtyard from the roof!
Located in the old Gia Long Palace, photographs and artefacts offer an exemplary account of Vietnam's bloody past. It's uncompromising without being gratuitous.
The cheapest way to get to the city is by taking bus 152 near the arrivals exit. It costs extra if your luggage weighs over 10kg, but will take you all the way downtown to the bus station near Cho (market) Ben Tanh. Taxis are located to the left of the terminal. Make sure you take a metered taxi and do not pay in any currency other than Vietnamese dong or you risk being ripped off.
One of the most charming things about Ho Chi Minh City is how the low-cost street food can so often outperform its best restaurants. You'll find many good ones on Dong Khoi, the lively stretch of shops and bars between the river and cathedral.
Ho Chi Minh City has several markets worth visiting as well as the aforementioned Pham Ngu Lao Street. The two largest are Cho Ben Tanh and Cho Lon. Cho Lon – the Chinese market – has a dazzling array of goods on offer and is the least touristy of the two. Ben Tanh is also fun to visit, and better regulated, with less knock-off merchandise and fewer pickpockets. That said, you should always be wary of both those things.
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Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Top Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
Cities in Vietnam
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What people are saying about Ho Chi Minh City
Our tour was delivered by Vietnam Adventure Tours and our guide was "Duc" a young Vietnamese well-spoken English and humorous person. The bus was comfortable and our group of 20 or so fitted comfortably in the air-conditioned bus. It takes about two hours to travel from Ho Chi Minh to the tunnels and the pickup start from around 7.30AM. Its best to as this tour to book the smaller bus this mans you are taken through the site more easily. During the bus ride, old videos played about the Cu Chi Tunnel. At the site, your guide will purchase the tickets and you will make your way to the orientation map that explains visually the site the tunnels and the makeup of them, You will get an opportunity to see a model of the environment and created environment. The tunnels are 20,40,60 and 100 metres in total length and get more difficult as you progress there are escape exits at various points.
We were picked up at the hotel by Lan at 8 am and made it to the Cu Chi tunnels by 11.30 am after a rest break and a visit to a craft making site. Amazing workmanship and creativity by the disabled Vietnamese injured in the war. The Cu Chi tunnel experience was made very interesting through our informative guide Lan. He also had a wicked sense of humour and a humility when it came to explaining the war and it s atrocities from all sides. I would highly recommend the trip and the insight into just how horrid it would have been during the Vietnam war with such suffering for all - soldiers, children, mothers, families, dogs. Yes even the dogs had a roll to play in the war and suffered tremendously as in other world wars.
My family & I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Attentive staff, fabulous entertainment and some good food. The magician was especially great with my children. Only downsides were some of the foods running out pretty early into the trip and not being replenished. Also the included welcome cocktail was a cordial juice...I have been expecting something more substantial. Overall a fabulous trip and highly recommended to see the beautiful Ho Chi Minh city by night. Would be even more fabulous if at least an hour longer which would enable more sales from the bar and some dancing from the passengers.
Tour guide was funny - you need thick skin though! Bring a change of clothes if you're doing the tunnel crawl. Only issues were the stops at the Lacker place - seems like a bit of a cash grab (same as coconut place, but that one was a bit cooler). The other thing was that the trip includes ~5+ hrs of driving and you don't drink booze in the limo as the picture would have you assume. However, the tours are really cool and the guide was hilarious!
This was an activity-packed day, with two lengthy bus journeys bookending the tour itself. However, throughout the day Vu (our guide) was energetic, informative and spoke impeccable English. We really enjoyed all of the activities (although were very tired by about halfway through, so perhaps the traditional music could be cut from future tours) and felt we saw many different aspects of the Mekong Delta.